Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that we hope will help those of you who have never fished before, or are new to the Dee. If your query is not covered here, please get in touch and we will do our best to help you (use the 'Contact Us' page).
All you have to do is to book the right to fish for the relevant number of rods and days on the beat of your choice. (See 'How to Book'). By the way, a 'rod' is a Scottish term used to describe a fisherman, so taking two rods for a day entitles two people to fish. There are no other fishery licences required, so all you have to do is to ring the Ghillie a few days before you are due to fish (you will be given his number on booking) find out what tackle he needs you to bring with you, and then turn up at the appointed time and place.
Virtually every beat employs a Ghillie of some sort -perhaps it may be the riparian owner of the fishing himself who will provide advice. The Ghillie be full or part time, and on a large beats there may be more than one (with one designated as the head Ghillie). On beats with boats, a Ghillie is sometimes referred to as a 'boatman'. The Ghillie's support for the angler is to show you the water when you arrive, advise you on likely spots to fish and tackle to use, and to visit you from time to time to see how you are getting on. On some beats, he may stay with you for some or all of the day, and if boats are available and it helps your chances of catching a fish, he may row for you. Ghillies are also responsible for making sure that you fish within the law and in compliance with relevant conservation code guidelines. Most can also help with casting tuition, but make sure in advance of coming that you try to get some tuition. It is customary to tip the Ghillie at the end of your stay.
When you arrive at the beat, the Ghillie will meet you, usually at the main hut at around 9.00am, and help you set up your tackle and select a suitable fly. He will then show you where to start fishing and where to go for the rest of the morning. You will be expected to stop fishing for an hour at lunch time (usually about 1.00pm - please remember to bring your own lunch!). He will then organise your afternoon session, often on a different part of the beat. At the end of the day, usually about 5.00pm, you meet again to tell him about any fish you may have caught and to find out how any other rods have got on.
Sometimes the beat can let you hire some items of tackle, but you should not rely on this. The best thing is to hire the appropriate items from a local tackle shop like Orvis in Banchory. The relevant ones are listed on the tackle advice page on this website. Tell the shop where and when you are fishing and they will provide the relevant equipment for you to collect. The main problem will be how to pick up and return things before and after your fishing. Some shops may be able to deliver to your hotel (for an extra charge). You can contact Orvis here by e-mail to advise of your requirements.
In line with general Scottish fishing practice, there are no refunds if the river floods and is deemed unfishable. You still have the right to fish, although your Ghillie may advise you that it is not worthwhile exercising this right. He is entitled to refuse to take you out in a boat, or to wade with you, if he thinks that it is not safe to do so. Otherwise he is available to help as needed and will do his best to help get round the adverse conditions.
If you have to cancel your fishing, you do not get a refund, but we can attempt to relet the fishings for you and, given enough time, can often achieve results. There is a commmision charge for this work. Altenatively you can get a friend to fish for you.
In the most unlikely event of the beat having to cancel your fishing, you will get a full refund from the beat's owner and we will do our best to help you claim for any other costs that you are genuinely unable to avoid (lost hotel deposits etc).
Voluntary River Bank clear up with Banchory police officers and Ken Reid