The Annual Fish Letter 2019
ANNUAL FISH LETTER 2019
“It is a pity that for a season, which had the best fishing conditions for the last 13 years, that there have been so few fish.”- to quote somebody, who has been around the Ballogie banks a lot during the last 13 years! It has been a frustrating year, but also a varied year. After a slow start, catches picked up in May and June. Carlogie, in particular had a superb June catch of 31 against a five year average of 17. It has been a difficult year for most beats and most rivers throughout the whole of the Atlantic Salmon range. It is a disappointment that despite the best efforts of fishers and ghillies that we have not had better returns, however, once again, we had a strong finish to the season. The Dee is clearly developing a strong Autumn run and giving some exceptional fishing in the last weeks of the season.
Ballogie Carlogie Commonty
This Year Last Year This Year Last Year This Year Last Year
Salmon 88 106 114 97 36 41
Grilse 28 46 17 38 19 19
Sea Trout 29 29 30 43 17 15
Ballogie – 20lbs – S Frank, Top Gannets, March; C Stephan, Flats, September; S Horne, Bullwarks, October
Carlogie – 21lbs – W Napier-Gibbins, Pitslug, March
Commonty – 18lbs – N Paten Boat, June; N Paten, Bend, August
This year and in the close season, we have seen the highest floods since Storm Frank. I am hopeful that these spates may, to some extent, restore some of the fishing that has been lost in the big flood of December 2015.
The new fishing map and instructions that have been trialled on the Commonty have been very well received this season and we shall be making maps for Ballogie and Carlogie for the 2020 season.
I hope this will enhance your enjoyment of the fishing and add to your knowledge of the beats.
WooWoo - No not another invasive species!
Following the success of the new toilets at Commonty and Carlogie, we are pleased to be installing another WooWoo by the Gannets hut in the spring. Once again Aberdeenshire Council have been generous in giving a grant towards those fishery owners, who want to upgrade their facilities. We shall also be repairing the fence from the Rail End down to the Pot, with financial support from the River Dee Trust.
River Board Assessments
As I have previously mentioned, we have appealed the very high Fishing Assessments awarded in the Revaluation of 2017. However, because of the heavy pressure on the Assessor’s Office due to the imposition of Sporting Rates, these appeals have still not been heard. However, they must be heard before December 2020, so we hope we will have some good news soon on our appeals.
Other Sporting Opportunities
I will take this opportunity to remind you that as well as fishing, we do have other sporting activities on Ballogie. If you are interested in having some variety in your week and to try an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting or to go out either early morning or evening deer stalking with Peter Littlejohn, then do please contact us, we would be delighted to arrange that for you.
Move to Potarch
Despite all sorts of challenges put in our way, we are finally going to move the Estate Office to Potarch and we hope to be there by the summer. The new office will be much more accessible and will be closer to the “action” of the ever-popular Café and to be able to give more direct support to that developing part of the business. We are delighted to be able to offer our own lamb to join the pork and venison from the Estate already regular items on the Café menu. We are also able to serve grouse in August and September.
Please can you confirm accommodation for the following season as promptly as possible, because with our increasing wedding trade, we have bookings for the cottages two years in advance. We need to be sure, which weeks will be taken by regular guests.
We are glad to note that our beat mugs are so popular. I am sure you will be pleased to know that they will be on sale at the “Potarch”, next year.
This annual Fishing Letter is sent to all organisers of fishing parties, but I would appreciate it if it was possible to circulate it around other regular members of your parties. Thank you all for your continuing contributions to the work of the River Dee Trust, through the rod levy. These contributions are very much appreciated in supporting the excellent work that the Trust does up and down the river.
We have held prices for fishing for 2020 season. For the 2021 season, for Carlogie and Ballogie, we are proposing to keep the spring price the same as 2020, to increase summer fishing by 1% and the autumn fishing by 3.0%. Given the increase in our costs, I hope you will accept that these increases are reasonable. There will be no increase in Commonty prices.
Before finishing this letter, I would like to note that sadly, Alan Lankshear, after 57 years continuous fishing on the Dee, is reeling in his line. I would like to thank Alan for his enthusiasm, his sportsmanship and his support to fishing on Ballogie and on the Dee for so many years.
My thanks as always to the team of Sean, Ian and Jean, who do so much to look after you and ensure your enjoyable stay at Ballogie. Sean has reached a special career milestone this year and Tracey has arranged for him to have a fortnight’s fishing in Argentina, (I believe including a return ticket). I am sure he will return with a fresh repertoire of fishing tales for the new season on the Dee.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Ballogie this coming season.
A note of thanks from The River Dee Trust to Ballogie Anglers
Dr Lorraine Hawkins from The River Dee Trust sent a letter of thanks to Ballogie Anglers for their generous contribution in 2018 to the Trust.
'Scenes from the Saxon Lands' an Art Exhibition by Filly Nicol
Filly Nicol has been painting for over 25 years and is fascinated by locations, people and in particular water.
The artist is based in Edinburgh and paints from her studio, she uses the mediums of oil and wax to capture the light, movement, emotion and atmosphere within her paintings.