Aberdeen can be quite tricky to think of things to do sometimes. Occasionally it seems that you have done it all and there is nothing else new you can try! How wrong can one be! Almost on my doorstep there is the River Dee and the Glen Tanar Estate with its stunning scenery, where I had a chance to learn salmon fly fishing.
This was my first time ever trying this fantastic activity and it provided me with all the necessary fundamental skills and knowledge to succeed. As this is a day activity, everything needed is provided, even lunch, so other than catching the correct bus at the correct time, there was nothing else for me to worry about.
We started our day by taking a bus over to Dinnet where our instructor for the day, Craig Mcdonald, had kindly agreed to meet us. From here he took us to explore our fishing location, known as a beat.
Rushing winds and beautifully clear, enchanting river welcomed us.
After a quick and very informative introduction, during which Craig told us more about the history of salmon fishing at River Dee, various fishing techniques, the 180 degrees principle, and after a hot cuppa, Scottish hospitality right there for you, it was time to start! Our fishing group included: my partner, two lovely gentlemen, Craig our main fishing instructor (our Ghillie), and Ross who has a real passion for fishing and creating salmon flies, and myself.
After the initial morning introduction, Craig presented a very clear and easy to follow demonstration where he visibly showed and explained the techniques and methods. He made it look so smooth and simple, he is very passionate about it. We were given clear instructions, tips and pointers; everything to make us feel prepared.
It was now time to put the theory into practice and wear the not so glamorous, yet very practical outfit of the day, which kept me dry and warm all day long. Our outdoor summer date was starting on a very fashionable note!
There is nothing more tranquil than standing in the Dee and casting a line. Being outdoors surround beautiful scenery and being given expert tuition for a relaxing activity was definitely my perfect day. The wind was rather crazy, which did not help with perfecting the D loop (one of the key fundamentals you are taught), but I gave it my best whilst being guided under Ross’ watchful eye.
I have to say, I love sports and any activities but fishing proved once again that I do have muscles that I had no idea existed. I truly learnt that there is so much more to fishing than meets the eye. I always feel pretty hungry after swimming, which is fair enough as it is an intense activity. However, I never expected to be that hungry after fishing! Yet there I was, tired yet very happy, just waiting to bite into one of delicious home made sandwiches, treat myself to a sweet dessert and afterwards warm up with a hot cup of tea.
Ross demonstrated to the group how to create the perfect fly and the shiny details required to attract fish. We also learnt about the different designs and patterns as well as why different types are used. I even had a chance to have a go myself! I am now the proud owner of a black and blue fly, which I intend to catch my first salmon with. I am being very optimistic here.
Lunch time was a perfect way to bond with the other members, listen to Scottish history, and feel a sense of community. There was no such a thing as awkward questions too basic too ask. As a complete beginner and the only female I felt very welcomed to ask any silly questions regardless to how simple they might have been.
With full stomachs now was time for the really fun part, which is obviously trying to catch the biggest salmon anyone has ever seen in Aberdeenshire! Very enthusiastically, everyone from the group got quickly into action! Hooks now attached to our lines, we were ready to catch.
Standing in a river and seeing huge salmons cheekily jumping in front of you time to time, daring everyone to catch him is a bizarre yet incredible way to experience the wilder side of Scotland.
Well, despite my biggest and hardest efforts, it was 1:0 for the salmon this time but I will be back to have my revenge! Especially that now after the whole day of learning and training under the watchful eyes of Craig and Ross, I feel confident in getting my own fishing rod. I have to admit I managed to lose my fly and not realising until Craig came to check on me, so I would have to be pretty lucky to catch a salmon just on a line with no hook attached. I also managed to catch a piece of wood once, and a few rocks.
As a little goodbye gift, and possibly to dry our tears since no one was lucky enough to catch a salmon, everyone in the group received three different types of flies as a lovely little parting gift and a reminder of our fulfilling day.
I am very excited to share with you some fantastic news. I have been nominated for the Best Travel Blog in Bloggers Blog Awards 2016! I would really appreciate if you could please spare 3 minutes of your time to vote for my website and show your support; you can vote for my site by following the link at the end of this post: Category 6 C - IGA Berry. Thank you so much for your continued support and motivation, and for creating such a wonderful and wanderlust obsessed community! Till next time travel berries!