GUIDE TO THE RIVER DYE
NAME OF RIVER: River Dye (Aberdeenshire).
WHERE IS IT? Flowing down the North side of Cairn O'Mount near Banchory in Aberdeenshire next the the B974.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Driving up from Banchory you quickly arrive at the takeout bridge (The first time you cross the river) where there is a large forest layby on the left. From here you simply keep going up until once more the road crosses the river. If you decide to put in here please park considerately next to the old road bridge on the right. However, it is possible to put in about 1km further up this road where a small tributary passes under the road. From here it is about a 150m walk to the river.
APPROX LENGTH: 3miles.
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: This is a seldom paddled section of river and as such no problems have ever been encountered.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: This needs some serious rain to bring it into condition. Only if the river is very high is it worth paddling. Look over the bridge at the takeout or put-in and if it there are no rocks showing and the river is flowing very quickly it should run OK.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: About three quarters of the way down there is a very low bridge across the river. This consists of a couple of railways sleepers set into concrete. In very high flows this may be covered but otherwise it is a mandatory walkaround. I guess that at medium flows you may be able to roll/ swim under it but we were not for trying.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Mostly the Dye is continuous grade 2 interspersed with the occasional G3 rapid. From the off, the river swings sharply away from the road making the trip seem quite committing and if it is high enough to paddle, the trees lining the bank will become the bank making things seem even more committed. However, everything is straightforward and with the exception of the low bridge there are no surprises with the one ominous looking horizon line near the end nothing more than a straightforward flume. The Dye is a fun little river and would be a good option for introducing beginner/ intermediate paddlers to smaller spate rivers.
OTHER NOTES: If high enough, you could paddle on down until the Dye joins the Feugh and extend the trip to the Falls of Feugh which would make for a more exciting end. (Note: the Falls of Feugh are not suitable for beginners)
CONTRIBUTED BY: Kris Waring.
Access: Head up the B974 past the usual Dye strech and keep going till you cross the Dye over a bridge. Obvious as there is two bridges side by side over the river. This is the get out. Keep going up the road up a hill and the down over the other side, around 2km and you eventually come to a gravel track which you go down for the get in.
Gauge: We ran this section when the feugh was running at 3m, at this level we saw flooded fields and burst banks all over the feugh, in short the falls were a monster! At this level the Dye took about 15mins to get down and the river was running up next to the grass and trees unlike usual when it has a foot up to the river bank either side as I have been told.
Description: It sort of blended into one long roller coaster with two memorable rapids. The first is about 300m or so down from where the burn joins the Dye on the right. The river flows down a ramp into a rather fluffy hole (4), runs fine on centre to left line, the far right goes into a rather meaty hole. The second memorable rapid is where the river again constricts into a ramp, around 500m-1km from the other rapid. This can be run centre again flushes nicely, avoid the boil at the bottom on the right however(3+). The rest of this run is just read and paddle and avoid holes but with enough speed most of them wouldn't drag a boat back in. This description is for when the feugh was tanking however so in lower flows the river will be different. We paddled this twice and the second run an hour after the first the river had dropped by about 1.5 feet and the rapids had changed in nature quite a lot. Generally a very nice spate run.
Couldn't find a description previously for this run so thought I would write this, sorry if there is an actual description kicking about that I haven't seen.
There is a high, 1 inch rope which is very visible then the metal wire is directly below and less obvious, this has been put in since last spring.
I will follow up with the local outdoor access forum and post up any updates.