Leys Estate Links Up With Brothers To Bring Fresh Approach To Fishing

Crathes Castle Beat on Leys Estate

An Aberdeenshire estate has entered into an agreement with enterprising brothers which will see them take on the management of prime fishing on the River Dee.

TwinPeakes Fly Fishing, in partnership with LOOP Tackle UK, has taken on the management of Leys Estate’s Crathes Castle beat on the edge of Banchory from 2021.

Twin brothers William and Alastair Peake already have an established fly fishing school and retail unit at the nearby Milton of Crathes complex which will be complemented with this new agreement.

Leys Estates ghillie, Brian Sim, recently retired after 25 years on the river and the Estate feels the agreement with TwinPeakes is an exciting prospect not only for the Crathes Castle beat but fishing in the north-east of Scotland.

David Smart, Leys Estate Chief Executive, said: “With the retail unit and Flyfishing school at Milton of Crathes, the addition of the Crathes Castle beat to Twin Peakes operation presents a unique opportunity for both the Estate and Twin Peakes.

“As is the case with many industries, 2020 has been a challenging time for those involved with fishing in Scotland. However, fishing was in the fortunate position of being one of the first activities allowed to operate following the country-wide lockdown.

“This has resulted in a resurgence of interest as people look for ways to stay active and enjoy the countryside while adhering to social distancing guidelines. We hope to work with Twin Peakes to encourage new people to salmon fishing, particularly young people but also to develop a disability friendly fishing beat.

“We look forward to welcoming many of our regular fishers during 2021 as restrictions allow when, I am sure, they will warmly welcome Alasdair and William to the beat.”

Alastair and William have been full time ghillies on the River Dee for the past six seasons and previously on the west coast of Scotland.

William Peake, TwinPeakes Director, added: “A dream of ours has been to create a designated fly-fishing school offering a steppingstone for people to get into the sport of fly fishing.

“2020 gave us the opportunity through Leys Estate with the opening of our retail unit shop and fly-fishing school on the banks of the Dee at the Milton of Crathes in Banchory, partnered with LOOP Tackle we run the school and LOOP field centre.

“After discussions with the Estate about the opportunity of partnering and including Crathes Castle, such a renowned prime spring beat on the Dee, it was too good an opportunity to pass by.

“Testament to the great work the estate and Brian have done in the past the bookings are very strong, we look forward to integrating the beat with angling development initiatives, salmon fishing courses as availability increases in the summer months.

“We are now in a fortunate position to be able to offer any person interested in salmon fishing on the River Dee somewhere that they can relax, learn, offer a tackle fitting service and enjoy everything from their first days salmon fishing to perhaps an exciting trip abroad.

“Our goal is always to create self-sufficient new anglers that can enjoy the sport as much as we have over the years.”

The Crathes Castle Beat has 2 ½ miles of prime left bank fishing with a variety of pools and is situated between Crathes and Banchory in Aberdeenshire.