The Deveron may not be ranked as premier league but on it's day it can play in the top class game. With a reputation for big salmon, Mrs 'Tiny' Morrison caught the biggest salmon taken on the fly on the Deveron, 61lbs, the river needs to be taken seriously.
For myself the Deveron is memorable. Cornihaugh, provided my first mid teens fish followed 2 days later by my best ever fish off about 23lbs having lost a fish of similar stature less than half an hour earlier. I recommend a 15 foot rod, a 13 footer might be adequate on the middle river, but those big fish demand something with a bit of 'welly' if you expect to land them.
One November up in the Cabrach where the river is little more than a burn I counted, among many, at least a dozen spectacular spawning fish. They were so big they wallowed in the small pools and shallow runs their backs well clear of the water as they forged upstream. My estimate of their size was in the high 20s into the 30lb plus range, most impressive fish.
My favourite beats are in the middle reaches of the river below Huntly where some of the most attractive and interesting water can be found. Not too far from the sea that with a spate the fish can be in the middle beats with long tailed sea lice still attached.
There is Marnoch with the renown Falconers Pool on the right bank. The ghillie told me his technique, very successful, was to fish with very light tackle drifting a dry fly down stream on a 3lb leader. He had salmon and big sea trout to his name but I confess I am to cowardly to try his method. He was an Aussie. Next down is Inverkeithny then a little bit further, Lower Netherdale where I look a stunning springer against the odds.
One cold March day about 1pm on Lower Heron with the water temperature just below 46C I perceived a subtle change in the weather. The temperature rose a smidgen, the air felt different. I had been trawling a big tube on a fast sink line to no avail. I changed tactics.
The pool isn't particularly deep so I set up a floating line with a fast sink leader and an inch and a half Ally Shimp treble. This set up allowed the the fly to 'dangle' just off the bottom. Half way down the pool I had a solid take and the fish was on, what a fight! Just as I was getting ready to net the fish the leader popped through the top eye of the rod and stuck fast. If the fish ran the game was up, it ran, right into my landing net! It just shows you that paying attention to subtle changes, new tactics and a shed load of luck can make your day.
Above Marnoch there is Boat of Turtory, Ardmeallie and Glennie. I have had some great times on Boat, salmon, great trout and once just watching a pair of otter cubs having a rumble, tumbling down the bank into the the Boat Pool then dashing back up the bank to do it all again. It ruined the fishing but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
Just a few miles up stream there is Cornihaugh / Mains of Mayen, Rothiemay and the Castle beat below Milltown of Rothiemay.
Above the bridge at Rothiemay is Avochie, an extensive fishery which includes the junction pool where the Isla joins the Deveron. You can fish the Isla on the Huntly Town ticket, the trout on the Isla are excellent with a 10lb fish recorded to a dry fly. I had a red letter day with half a dozen ballistic brownies of a pound and a half to 2 lbs on dry Greenwell, unforgertable.
Further up there is Coniecleugh, the Castle Beat and the Huntly Town water which includes fishing on the Bogie.