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Posted by James on 4th Sep 2017

A very last-minute decision this weekend to hit the River Dee with friends. This time we were fishing the Groves Farm beat on the Bangor on Dee Salmon Anglers ticket. Groves is one of my favourite beats on the Dee as it offers every kind of fishing you could wish for from deep holes through to shallow runs. Our 9am arrival to the beat was greeted by the usual wet conditions and within minutes, the heavens opened up and gave us a nice 15-minute shower in true Britsh fashion.

The River Dee was running clear, it was running a little higher than the summer level and I could not wait to get in.

We were off. Within about 7 casts I was into my first Grayling, nothing particularly to write home about but never the less, a fish. The morning continued to produce ‘bits’ but nothing of any size and the interesting thing was whilst the air temperature felt ok, the River was running extremely cold. I had wondered whether compensation water had been released from one of the Welsh Dams which could account for the temperature. On the run up to noon, and having moved a little up River, a rise started to take form so I removed the spiders and elected to fish Griffiths Gnat.

River Dee Grayling on a Dry

What sport! within 15-20 minutes, 10 fish landed and around the same amount were lost. To be honest, I didn’t mind losing the fish, it was just so much fun. But note to self, “James your reactions are starting to wane with age”

Then a much needed 45-minute break for lunch with friends spent eating sandwiches, coffee and great conversation about the morning’s pursuits. More importantly, everyone caught!

Post lunch, myself and one of the lads decided to venture to the top of the beat and then worked our way down. 20 minutes later we were ready to go. I had elected to remove the Griffith Gnat and team up three size 12 heavy Spiders. Moving into a fast run, first cast, and bang, I was into a wonderful looking Grayling of a respectable size.

River Dee Grayling on a Spider

A Spider and a Sea Trout

Around five more came within a matter of minutes and then, something that felt different. Within seconds, it was out of the water, tail dancing, shaking me and generally just being overly aggressive – “A Sea Trout”. It had taken a pearl quill bodied size 12 spider with a grouse hackle and a wee dab of fox squirrel behind the hackle to catch this sea trout. A quick picture and back it went leaving me feeling extremely happy.

Sea Trout on a #12 Spider

From Silver to Brown

Several steps further down the river with nothing to show and then another fish, again this felt different, nothing like the Sea Trout but aggressive all the same – A lovely Dee Brown in all its glory. Again, bringing it into slacker water, a picture and release.

Brown Trout on a Size 12 Spider

I worked the rest of the beat with only a couple more Grayling to show and then exiting the water, I spotted Neil who walked to the top of the beat with me walking down. He was like a Cheshire cat, smile from ear to ear and when asked – a simple reply of… I had a 6lb Salmon on a Spider. You can see Neil’s Salmon on his Twitter page here: Neil’s Salmon

I was done for the day and whilst walking back down River, chatting with Karl and Alan who both had a good day fishing with Grayling, Browns, Sea Trout and even an 8lb Salmon (Yes, on a size 10 spider)