Monday, February 19, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 19th February 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 19th February 2018.

The Salmon fishing season is now a month old in mid-February on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland. We have been encountering some varied conditions with very cold wintery weather over the last week and prior to the Opening. This has settled the river back to normal levels and excellent conditions with the same picture for the coming week after a couple of milder days then continuing cold. Currently the colder weather will continue to give us more settled water and a chance of good fishing. On the opening month several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The cold weather hopefully will give a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements as any fish progress slowly through the system.
Currently the river is running at a good height with a reasonably settled river (around 4' on the Ballathie gauge) but may rise with snow melt and some rain in a milder few days before cold returns.
The weather is to remain reasonably settled over the next few days despite a few days of milder temperatures but then continue cold for the end of the week and into the weekend. Colder conditions certainly benefit the river at this time of year slowing the spring salmon run down and giving everyone a chance to catch as they run up the river slowly. The milder weather forecast at times will give us more water and would have encouraged salmon to run the river. Colder weather will settle the river back to a good level and make ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature was cold at around 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 degrees Celsius but may drop slightly if we get some colder days forecast. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. There will no doubt be quite a few kelts about on many beats and possibly some later run fish, which have yet to spawn. Should you require guidance on salmon identification in early season please see this link for some help.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method in early season but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.
Tackle recommendations for fishing the Tay throughout the season.

Fly Rods.
The Tay is a large river especially when running at a normal level and even in lower levels you are fishing another river within the mighty one so therefore a 15 foot fly rod for a 10 weight line is certainly minimum requirement for much of the season. Do not come under gunned. In some parts of the river where it is especially wide even longer rods are used. It should be noted however that it is better to cast a shorter controlled line than try to cast out with your capabilities and have the lines end up in a mess and decrease your chances.

Fly Lines.
In early season when the water is cold you need to cast larger flies and get them deeper in the water to fish them slowly. There is a tremendous choice on the market nowadays which can be quite confusing to many anglers. Any type of Skagit line that can easily cast a 15 foot sinking leader of various depths is a good choice especially to the less experienced. Iflights and a tip of choice attached are another good bet as these lines enable you to cast a longer line than normal with ease. For more experienced anglers, there are a vast array of shooting heads of different sinking abilities available as well. These tactics can be used in late season as well when the water starts to cool down.
Once the water temperature starts to climb by April then tactics change to mainly floating lines and sink tips with much smaller conventional flies. Again, the choice of lines is incredible from longer belly Spey lines to shooting heads. If you go to shooting heads, then it is important to choose a good shooting backing as line management can be a big issue casting longer lines on a river such as the Tay.
Spinning Rods.
Rods.
You should have a minimum of a 10 foot rod for casting baits of 20gm to 60gms.
Line.
A main line of 20 pounds in nylon or 30 pounds in braid. You should use a lesser poundage far a cast such as 15 pounds so if you get caught up on the bottom you do not lose a large part of your main line.
Baits.
Tobies from 18gm upwards. Toby Salmos are very popular in 30gms. Conventional weighted Devon's are good especially in the Spring. Rapalas and Vision 110's are very effective and of course Kynochs are popular for harling.
Salmonfliesscotland.
What flies should I take?
In early season bigger flies such as Tube Flies, Temple Dogs and Monkey type flies up to 2 inches in body length and larger conventional patterns in 4's and 6's in lower water are required. A point of note is that a lighter Tube such as an aluminium or plastic body is far easier to cast than brass. Current line technology enables you to get these lighter flies to the correct depths. Ask your ghillie for tip advice on the day.
As river temperatures rise to a more conventional approach then a size range in your box should be from 6 in higher water to 12 in lower water and even smaller on exceptionally low conditions. Cascade type patterns seem to be the most popular and recently feeler flies have come to the fore. It is always worth a go with a Sun Ray type fly with a long wing whether casting normally in colder conditions to stripping it fast in warmer water.
Finally, you are reminded that the Tay's policy for January - 1st April 2018 is that all spring salmon must be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% mandatory release of all salmon caught under the new Scottish Government Statutory Conservation Regulation. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the release of salmon as it is a now legal requirement during this period even if a fish has died. The Board's bailiff team will be enforcing this new legislation.
When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended. Further information on the policy and good release practice.
The Tay Ghillies Association are continuing their popular FISH OF THE MONTH AWARD to encourage good catch and release practice on the Tay. Each month the winner will receive 2 personalised crystal Whisky glasses engraved with details of the catch and they will automatically be entered into the fish of the year competition for a Stylish Crystal Engraved Decanter. Full details of this initiative.
If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 17th February 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 17th February 2018.

The Tay, Perthshire has now seen a month of the salmon fishing season as mid-February arrives and we have had a cold weather pattern continue settling the river back to good water levels and excellent conditions for fishing although cold. Expectation is high on the river for 2018 after a string of successful springs over the last 5 years plus the fantastic news of a 35 pounds fish being landed on the river recently has put the Tay again at the centre of everyone's attention. Hopefully settled weather over the coming weeks will give everyone a chance of landing a spring "Bar of Silver" and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.
Beat catches reported
(week ending 17th February)
SALMON & GRILSE: Catholes 1, Stobhall 2, Taymount 2, Ballathie 1, Islamouth 3, Loch Tay Fish n' Trips 2, Portnacraig Pitlochry 3.
Total: 14 Largest: Ballathie 22lbs

More Spring salmon were landed last week in cold weather and river conditions favouring those who braved the elements in some cases. The river has been settling back nicely for the coming week with a slightly milder few days to come then returning to a colder forecast by the end of the week. The numbers are slowly coming up with fourteen fresh spring salmon were recorded last week but again it was the size of some of them that really stood out. It is early yet with only small runs coming into the river and fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult. Some of the fish that have been caught are truly memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come.

These typical Tay fish continue to grace the river with 3 days of 20 pounds plus being the heaviest weight in the past week. The lower river tends to dominate the catches early in the season with river temperatures being very low, however fish are being caught further up the system as well.
The Lower river saw a few fish being landed last week with Catholes registering its second for the season, a lovely fresh 7 pounds fish caught by Ronnie Fraser casting a fly from the boat in the Woodside. Taymount and Stobhall featured as well with 2 fish a piece gently improving optimism for things to come. The fish on Taymount fell to Craig McFarlane with a 15 pounds fish and Stuart Voce landing a 9 pounds fish. Ballathie had a superb 22 pounds fish on Saturday from the boat landed by Ian Mitchell and guided by veteran George McInnes. Islamouth had a good early part of the week with Richard Muir's party landing 3 fish in the teens.

The Upper area has featured last week as fish move up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish. On the Tummel 3 fish were caught at the Dam on the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch all by Steven Watt.
On Monday he landed a couple up to 21 pounds on the fly then
later in the week caught another good fish spinning. East Haugh also had a fish last week caught on the fly by Andy Khakoo weighing approximately 14 pounds.
Loch Tay saw a couple of fish caught this past week with Grant Tigwell landing a 20 pounds fish then Craig McFarlane catching a 15 pounds fish on Saturday.

The Tay is certainly the place to come to for the chance of a fish of a lifetime. The sheer size of the river produces very powerful large salmon and the possibility of a 40 pounds fish must be on the cards now. The food source for atlantic salmon is moving further away from our shores with seas temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer at sea before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish returning. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon.

These were disappointing total figures however the sheer class of the fish caught has been outstanding but with a settling river the coming week should see improved catches with a good forecast as well.
The Spring Salmon fishing was well and truly underway after all the excitement of opening day's celebrations. It has been a quiet start but let us hope the season lives up to every one's expectations over the coming weeks and months and when you visit the Tay you catch a fish of a lifetime. Tight lines!

If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Monday, February 12, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 12th February 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 12th February 2018.

The Salmon fishing season is well and truly underway now on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter mid-February. We have been encountering some varied conditions with very cold wintery weather over the last week and prior to the Opening. This has settled the river back to normal levels and excellent conditions with the same picture for the coming week and continuing cold. Currently the colder weather will continue to give us more settled water and a chance of good fishing. On the opening weeks several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The cold weather hopefully will give a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements as any fish progress slowly through the system.
Currently the river is running at a good height with a settled river (around 3' on the Ballathie gauge).
The weather is to remain reasonably settled over the next few days and continue cold. Colder conditions certainly benefit the river at this time of year slowing the spring salmon run down and giving everyone a chance to catch as they run up the river slowly. The milder weather forecast at times has given us more water and would have encouraged salmon to run the river. Colder weather will settle the river back to a good level and make ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature was cold at around 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 degrees Celsius but may drop slightly if we get some colder days forecast. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. There will no doubt be quite a few kelts about on many beats and possibly some later run fish, which have yet to spawn. Should you require guidance on salmon identification in early season please see this link for some help.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method in early season but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.
Tackle recommendations for fishing the Tay throughout the season.

Fly Rods.
The Tay is a large river especially when running at a normal level and even in lower levels you are fishing another river within the mighty one so therefore a 15 foot fly rod for a 10 weight line is certainly minimum requirement for much of the season. Do not come under gunned. In some parts of the river where it is especially wide even longer rods are used. It should be noted however that it is better to cast a shorter controlled line than try to cast out with your capabilities and have the lines end up in a mess and decrease your chances.
Fly Lines.
In early season when the water is cold you need to cast larger flies and get them deeper in the water to fish them slowly. There is a tremendous choice on the market nowadays which can be quite confusing to many anglers. Any type of Skagit line that can easily cast a 15 foot sinking leader of various depths is a good choice especially to the less experienced. Iflights and a tip of choice attached are another good bet as these lines enable you to cast a longer line than normal with ease. For more experienced anglers, there are a vast array of shooting heads of different sinking abilities available as well. These tactics can be used in late season as well when the water starts to cool down.
Once the water temperature starts to climb by April then tactics change to mainly floating lines and sink tips with much smaller conventional flies. Again, the choice of lines is incredible from longer belly Spey lines to shooting heads. If you go to shooting heads, then it is important to choose a good shooting backing as line management can be a big issue casting longer lines on a river such as the Tay.
Spinning Rods.
Rods.
You should have a minimum of a 10 foot rod for casting baits of 20gm to 60gms.
Line.
A main line of 20 pounds in nylon or 30 pounds in braid. You should use a lesser poundage far a cast such as 15 pounds so if you get caught up on the bottom you do not lose a large part of your main line.
Baits.
Tobies from 18gm upwards. Toby Salmos are very popular in 30gms. Conventional weighted Devon's are good especially in the Spring. Rapalas and Vision 110's are very effective and of course Kynochs are popular for harling.
Salmonfliesscotland
What flies should I take?
In early season bigger flies such as Tube Flies, Temple Dogs and Monkey type flies up to 2 inches in body length and larger conventional patterns in 4's and 6's in lower water are required. A point of note is that a lighter Tube such as an aluminium or plastic body is far easier to cast than brass. Current line technology enables you to get these lighter flies to the correct depths. Ask your ghillie for tip advice on the day.
As river temperatures rise to a more conventional approach then a size range in your box should be from 6 in higher water to 12 in lower water and even smaller on exceptionally low conditions. Cascade type patterns seem to be the most popular and recently feeler flies have come to the fore. It is always worth a go with a Sun Ray type fly with a long wing whether casting normally in colder conditions to stripping it fast in warmer water.
Finally, you are reminded that the Tay's policy for January - 1st April 2018 is that all spring salmon must be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% mandatory release of all salmon caught under the new Scottish Government Statutory Conservation Regulation. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the release of salmon as it is a now legal requirement during this period even if a fish has died. The Board's bailiff team will be enforcing this new legislation.
When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended. Further information on the policy and good release practice.
If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 10th February 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 10th February 2018.

The fourth week of the salmon fishing season on the Tay, Perthshire has seen a cold weather pattern continue settling the river back to good water levels and excellent conditions for fishing although cold.
Expectation is high on the river for 2018 after a string of successful springs over the last 5 years plus the fantastic news of a 35 pounds fish being landed on the river this past week has put the Tay again at the centre of everyone's attention. Hopefully settled weather over the coming weeks will give everyone a chance of landing a spring "Bar of Silver" and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.
Beat catches reported
(week ending 10th February)
SALMON & GRILSE: Burnmouth 1, Stobhall 1, Taymount 1, Islamouth 1, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 2, Delvine Burnbane 1, Glendelvine 1, Upper Kinnaird 1.
Total: 9 Largest: Glendelvine 35lbs
SEA TROUT: Lochlane and Laggan 1.
Total: 1 Largest: Lochlane and Laggan 2lbs

Odd Spring salmon were landed last week in cold weather and river conditions favouring those who braved the elements in some cases. The river has settling back nicely for the coming week with a colder forecast continuing. Nine fresh spring salmon were recorded last week but it was the size of some of them that really stood out. It is early yet with only small runs coming into the river and fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult. Some of the fish that have been caught are truly memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come.

A typical Tay fish was caught on Glendelvine earlier in the week weighing an impressive 35 pounds setting the bench mark. It was landed by Jim Shaw from the boat on a harled fly and must have made his season already.
This was not the only outstanding fish caught on the river in the past week. Again, earlier in the week there was an estimated 23 pounds fish caught at Burnmouth and on Thursday a superb 24 pounds fish was landed at Meikleour and Upper Islamouth by Graham McIntyre from the Castle pool. The Tay is certainly the place to come to for the chance of a fish of a lifetime. The sheer size of the river produces very powerful large salmon and the possibility of a 40 pounds fish must be on the cards now. The food source for atlantic salmon is moving further away from our shores with seas temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer at sea before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish returning. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon.

Further outstanding fish were caught in the week with Delvine Burnbane getting off the mark after Jim McDonald landed a 16 pounds beauty from the boat. Tuesday saw Stobhall and Taymount catch with Rodger Clarke landing Taymount's first of the season. A fish was also recorded at Kinnaird as they continued their good start to the season.
Meikleour and Upper Islamouth had a 16 pounds fish on Friday caught by Derek Tuten casting from the boat in the Castle pool plus there was another fish caught from Islamouth just downstream.
These were disappointing total figures however the sheer class of the fish caught has been outstanding but with a settling river the coming week should see improved catches with a good forecast as well.
The Spring Salmon fishing was well and truly underway after all the excitement of opening day's celebrations. It has been a quiet start but let us hope the season lives up to every one's expectations over the coming weeks and months and when you visit the Tay you catch a fish of a lifetime. Tight lines!

If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Monday, February 5, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 5th February 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 5th February 2018.


The Salmon fishing season is well and truly underway now on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter February. We have been encountering some varied conditions with very cold wintery weather and then milder days over the last week and prior to the Opening. This has settled the river back to normal levels and at times set it sky high with snow melt and heavy rain. We have had some settled conditions over last week and a massive spate as well making the river unfishable for a couple of days but that has gone and a settled picture is for the coming week but cold. Currently there is another storm running off from last week, but colder weather is on the cards to hopefully give us more settled water and a chance of good fishing. On the opening weeks several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The cold weather hopefully will give a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements as any fish progress slowly through the system.
Currently the river is running at a good height from melt for the time of year (around 4' on the Ballathie gauge).
The weather is to remain settled over the next few days turning colder again. Colder conditions certainly benefit the river at this time of year slowing the spring salmon run down and giving everyone a chance to catch as they run up the river slowly. The milder weather forecast has given us more water and would have encouraged salmon to run the river. Colder weather will settle the river back to a good level and make ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature was cold at around 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 degrees Celsius but may drop slightly if we get some colder days forecast. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. There will no doubt be quite a few kelts about on many beats and possibly some later run fish, which have yet to spawn. Should you require guidance on salmon identification in early season please see this link for some help.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method in early season but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.
Tackle recommendations for fishing the Tay throughout the season.
Fly Rods.
The Tay is a large river especially when running at a normal level and even in lower levels you are fishing another river within the mighty one so therefore a 15 foot fly rod for a 10 weight line is certainly minimum requirement for much of the season. Do not come under gunned. In some parts of the river where it is especially wide even longer rods are used. It should be noted however that it is better to cast a shorter controlled line than try to cast out with your capabilities and have the lines end up in a mess and decrease your chances.
Fly Lines.
In early season when the water is cold you need to cast larger flies and get them deeper in the water to fish them slowly. There is a tremendous choice on the market nowadays which can be quite confusing to many anglers. Any type of Skagit line that can easily cast a 15 foot sinking leader of various depths is a good choice especially to the less experienced. Iflights and a tip of choice attached are another good bet as these lines enable you to cast a longer line than normal with ease. For more experienced anglers, there are a vast array of shooting heads of different sinking abilities available as well. These tactics can be used in late season as well when the water starts to cool down.
Once the water temperature starts to climb by April then tactics change to mainly floating lines and sink tips with much smaller conventional flies. Again, the choice of lines is incredible from longer belly Spey lines to shooting heads. If you go to shooting heads, then it is important to choose a good shooting backing as line management can be a big issue casting longer lines on a river such as the Tay.
Spinning Rods.
Rods.
You should have a minimum of a 10 foot rod for casting baits of 20gm to 60gms.
Line.
A main line of 20 pounds in nylon or 30 pounds in braid. You should use a lesser poundage far a cast such as 15 pounds so if you get caught up on the bottom you do not lose a large part of your main line.
Baits.
Tobies from 18gm upwards. Toby Salmos are very popular in 30gms. Conventional weighted Devon's are good especially in the Spring. Rapalas and Vision 110's are very effective and of course Kynochs are popular for harling.
Salmonfliesscotland
What flies should I take?
In early season bigger flies such as Tube Flies, Temple Dogs and Monkey type flies up to 2 inches in body length and larger conventional patterns in 4's and 6's in lower water are required. A point of note is that a lighter Tube such as an aluminium or plastic body is far easier to cast than brass. Current line technology enables you to get these lighter flies to the correct depths. Ask your ghillie for tip advice on the day.
As river temperatures rise to a more conventional approach then a size range in your box should be from 6 in higher water to 12 in lower water and even smaller on exceptionally low conditions. Cascade type patterns seem to be the most popular and recently feeler flies have come to the fore. It is always worth a go with a Sun Ray type fly with a long wing whether casting normally in colder conditions to stripping it fast in warmer water.
The Tay Ghillies Association are continuing their popular FISH OF THE MONTH AWARD to encourage good catch and release practice on the Tay. Each month the winner will receive 2 personalised crystal Whisky glasses engraved with details of the catch and they will automatically be entered into the fish of the year competition for a Stylish Crystal Engraved Decanter. Full details of this initiative.
Finally, you are reminded that the Tay's policy for January - 1st April 2018 is that all spring salmon must be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% mandatory release of all salmon caught under the new Scottish Government Statutory Conservation Regulation. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the release of salmon as it is a now legal requirement during this period even if a fish has died. The Board's bailiff team will be enforcing this new legislation.
When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended. Further information on the policy and good release practice.
If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 3rd February 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 3rd February 2018.

The river Tay opened on the 15th January undeterred in slightly milder conditions for a couple of days before returning to cold frosty conditions again, scores of anglers flocked to the banks of the river to mark the opening of the salmon season with great publicity in the press and on television. The various issues and activities appeared on Television, Radio and Press giving the river extremely high exposure that was invaluable. It has been a reasonably quiet start to the season with good water by and large but cold.
The third week has seen a similar weather pattern continue however there has been another big river from rain and snow melt settling to higher water levels and good conditions for fishing by the end of the week. Expectation is high on the river for 2018 after a string of successful springs over the last 5 years and hopefully settled weather over the coming weeks will give everyone a chance of landing a spring "Bar of Silver".

Beat catches reported
(week ending 3rd February)
SALMON & GRILSE: Islamouth 1, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 1, Murthly 1 1, Glendelvine 1, Dalmarnock 1, Dalguise 1, Upper Kinnaird 1, Portnacraig Pitlochry 1.
Total: 8 Largest: Dalmarnock 27lbs

Odd Spring salmon were landed last week in mixed weather and river conditions favouring those who braved the elements in some cases. The river is settling back nicely for the coming week with a colder forecast returning. Seven fresh spring salmon were recorded last week. It is early yet with only small runs coming into the river and fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult. Some of the fish that have been caught are memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come.
A typical Tay fish was caught on Dalmarnock earlier in the week weighing an impressive 27 pounds. Islamouth only started fishing on Thursday but immediately caught a cracking 16 pounds fish to get their season up and running.
Meikleour and Upper Islamouth then got their season going as did Dalguise on Friday. Meikleours fish fell to a Tomic on the harl weighing 9 pounds meanwhile at Dalguise Ian King caught a 7 pounds fish fly fishing in the Otterstone pool on a Yellow Monkey.
Saturday saw Murthly get off the mark with a sixteen pounder and Glendelvine land their third fish of the season for Scott Latimer from the boat.
Further up the system a superb 14 pounds fish fell to Jordon Grant fishing the fly on the Port-na-Craig beat of the Tummel on the Pitlochry Angling Club beat under the Dam.
These were disappointing figures but with a settling river the coming week should see improved catches with a good forecast as well.
The Spring Salmon fishing was well and truly underway after all the excitement of opening day's celebrations. It has been a quiet start but let us hope the season lives up to every one's expectations over the coming weeks and months. Tight lines!

If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Monday, January 29, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 29th January 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 29th January 2018.

The Salmon fishing season is well and truly underway now on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter the third week. We have been encountering some varied conditions with very cold wintery weather and then milder days over the last week and prior to the Opening. This has settled the river back to normal levels and at times set it sky high with snow melt and heavy rain. We have had some settled conditions over last week and a massive spate as well making the river unfishable for a couple of days which looks like continuing in the coming week. Currently there is another storm running off, but colder weather is at the back of it to hopefully give us more settled water and a chance of good fishing. On the opening weeks several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The cold weather hopefully will give a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements as any fish progress slowly through the system.
Currently the river is running very high from melt for the time of year (around 10' on the Ballathie gauge).
The weather is to remain reasonably settled over the next few days turning colder again. Colder conditions certainly benefit the river at this time of year slowing the spring salmon run down and giving everyone a chance to catch as they run up the river slowly. The milder weather forecast has given us more water and would have encouraged salmon to run the river. Colder weather will settle the river back to a good level and make ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature was cold at 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 degrees Celsius but mat rise slightly if we get some milder days. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. There will no doubt be quite a few kelts about on many beats and possibly some later run fish, which have yet to spawn. Should you require guidance on salmon identification in early season please see this link for some help.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method in early season but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.
Tackle recommendations for fishing the Tay throughout the season.
Fly Rods.
The Tay is a large river especially when running at a normal level and even in lower levels you are fishing another river within the mighty one so therefore a 15 foot fly rod for a 10 weight line is certainly minimum requirement for much of the season. Do not come under gunned. In some parts of the river where it is especially wide even longer rods are used. It should be noted however that it is better to cast a shorter controlled line than try to cast out with your capabilities and have the lines end up in a mess and decrease your chances.
Fly Lines.
In early season when the water is cold you need to cast larger flies and get them deeper in the water to fish them slowly. There is a tremendous choice on the market nowadays which can be quite confusing to many anglers. Any type of Skagit line that can easily cast a 15 foot sinking leader of various depths is a good choice especially to the less experienced. Iflights and a tip of choice attached are another good bet as these lines enable you to cast a longer line than normal with ease. For more experienced anglers, there are a vast array of shooting heads of different sinking abilities available as well. These tactics can be used in late season as well when the water starts to cool down.
Once the water temperature starts to climb by April then tactics change to mainly floating lines and sink tips with much smaller conventional flies. Again, the choice of lines is incredible from longer belly Spey lines to shooting heads. If you go to shooting heads, then it is important to choose a good shooting backing as line management can be a big issue casting longer lines on a river such as the Tay.
Spinning Rods.
Rods.
You should have a minimum of a 10 foot rod for casting baits of 20gm to 60gms.
Line.
A main line of 20 pounds in nylon or 30 pounds in braid. You should use a lesser poundage far a cast such as 15 pounds so if you get caught up on the bottom you do not lose a large part of your main line.
Baits.
Tobies from 18gm upwards. Toby Salmos are very popular in 30gms. Conventional weighted Devon's are good especially in the Spring. Rapalas and Vision 110's are very effective and of course Kynochs are popular for harling.
What flies should I take?
In early season bigger flies such as Tube Flies, Temple Dogs and Monkey type flies up to 2 inches in body length and larger conventional patterns in 4's and 6's in lower water are required. A point of note is that a lighter Tube such as an aluminium or plastic body is far easier to cast than brass. Current line technology enables you to get these lighter flies to the correct depths. Ask your ghillie for tip advice on the day.
As river temperatures rise to a more conventional approach then a size range in your box should be from 6 in higher water to 12 in lower water and even smaller on exceptionally low conditions. Cascade type patterns seem to be the most popular and recently feeler flies have come to the fore. It is always worth a go with a Sun Ray type fly with a long wing whether casting normally in colder conditions to stripping it fast in warmer water.
Finally, you are reminded that the Tay's policy for January - 1st April 2018 is that all spring salmon must be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% mandatory release of all salmon caught under the new Scottish Government Statutory Conservation Regulation. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the release of salmon as it is a now legal requirement during this period even if a fish has died. The Board's bailiff team will be enforcing this new legislation.
When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended. Further information on the policy and good release practice.
If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.
Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

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