Monday, December 31, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Happy New Year.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Happy New Year.
A good NEW YEAR to you all. Let us hope 2008 is a good one. Tight lines to all.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Salmon Flies.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Salmon Flies.
These are salmon flies designed by myself which have been very successful over the last two seasons and are available from the salmon fly shop if you click here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Autumn 2007 Photo Album.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Autumn 2007 Photo Album.
Pictures taken on the Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland beats on the river Tay during the Autumn of 2007.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Merry Christmas.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Humour.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Humour.
Merry Christmas to you all and tight lines in the coming season.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Merry Christmas.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you all.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Merry Christmas.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Salmon Recipe.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Salmon Recipe.
Cooking Perfect Salmon by Nick Nairn

One of the greatest attractions of salmon is how well it adapts to different cooking methods. Whether steamed, poached, grilled, baked, fried, smoked or eaten raw as sachimi, each method produces different results in terms of texture and taste.

Whichever method you choose, it is vital not to overcook it. Really, it comes down to personal preference, but I believe that salmon should be served the same way as steak: medium rare. In practice, this means that the salmon should still be pink inside when it is served. To test, give it a gentle press or squeeze. Perfectly cooked salmon will give slightly, but not too much; if it's wobbly or jelly-like, then it's undercooked. Salmon which is firm to the touch is definitely overcooked and you'll find eating it akin to chewing on cotton wool.
Quick and easy
Preparation time 5-10 minutes
Serves 4

4 x 140g (5oz) salmon fillets or steaks

freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

a squeeze of lemon juice

Baking Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Dot the fillets with butter or drizzle with olive oil, season and place them on a greased baking tray. Put them in the oven for 7-8 minutes.

Char-grilling Using a ribbed cast-iron griddle pan is the easiest way to recreate the charred smoky flavour of the barbecue. To prevent the salmon sticking to the pan, make sure you oil the salmon, not the pan and don't be tempted to fiddle with the fillets while they're cooking. To form the characteristic "stripes", cook for two to three minutes on one side, then rotate the fish through 90° and cook for a further two minutes. Repeat on the other side. Season and serve.

Grilling Preheat the grill to the highest setting. Line the grill pan with foil, dot the salmon with butter or drizzle with olive oil and grill for two to three minutes on each side. Season and serve.

Pan-frying/searing Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot, then add a little sunflower oil. For thin cuts, fry the fillets for 2-3 minutes on each side, to get a caramelized crust; for thicker cuts, reduce to a medium heat once the salmon has been added, then cook for 5-7 minutes on one side and a further 2 minutes on the other side. Season and serve.
Poaching Fill a wide frying pan with water, just deep enough to cover the fillets. Once the water is barely simmering, poach the fish for about 5 minutes, until opaque and just set. Using flavoured stock or even some lemon juice adds an extra dimension to the taste. For cold-poached salmon, slip the salmon into the simmering water, remove from the heat and leave to cool. The salmon will poach slowly in the cooling water. Season and serve.

Steaming This is the healthiest way to cook salmon. Throw some aromatic herbs, say tarragon or thyme into the base of a steamer, add water and bring to the boil. Place the salmon, lightly oiled, into the steamer basket, put on the lid and steam for 5-8 minutes, making sure the steamer doesn't boil dry. Season and serve.

Seared Smoked Salmon, Crispy Beans and Chive Butter Sauce

Nick Nairn

I've "borrowed" this dish from my good friend and top chef Phil Vickery. He prepared something similar on a TV programme called Who'll Do the Pudding? Tucking into the remains of Phil's food, I remarked that it was an excellent and clever dish. The ever-cynical Vickery replied that he was certain to find it in one of my books in the future, and sure enough here it is - my way, of course!
Preparation time 20 minutes

Serves 4

oil, for deep frying

350g (12 oz) long beans, topped and strings removed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

6 tablespoons Butter Sauce (see page 20 of book)

250g (9oz) smoked salmon, sliced into escalopes (see page 10 of book)

For the beer batter

250 g (9 oz) self-raising flour

300 ml (1/2 pint) lager

freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 To make the batter, whisk the flour, lager and salt and pepper together until smooth.

2 Heat the oil to 190 degrees C/ 375 F in an electric deep-fat fryer or large pan (use cooking thermometer if necessary). Dip the beans into the batter a few at a time. Plunge into the hot oil and fry for a few minutes until crisp. Lift out and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm in the oven with the door open while you fry the rest..

3 Stir the chives into the Butter Sauce and keep warm for a few minutes while you cook the salmon (but do not let it boil or it will split).

4 Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot and fry the salmon escalopes on one side for one minute until beginning to brown but still moist. Lift out of the pan on to a plate and keep warm..

5 To serve, place a pile of beans on each plate and set a couple of slices of salmon on top, spoon over the chive butter sauce and serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Government Catch records.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Government Catch records.
The Scottish Government have recently published their Statistical Bulletin of official salmon catches for 2006.

For the Tay district the total salmon and grilse catch was 11,843. This was the best rod catch since 1995, in fact the 10th best year reported since 1952.

Most encouragingly, 1,596 were caught up to the end of April, the best spring catch since 1980. In fact the Tay had the highest spring catch of any river in Scotland in 2006, and indeed one of the highest spring catches of any Scottish river for a number of years.

However, over the season only 35% were released compared to a national average of 55%. In the spring 46% were released as opposed to a national average of 66%. In the Board's view this is not anything like enough.

Official reported rod catch of salmon (and grilse) caught in Scotland's four main rivers, 1990 - 2006. 2006 was the best Tay season for some years.

The overall catch trend on the Tay is remarkably similar to the Spey and the Dee, and the Tay has continued to perform well against other rivers.

The Tweed has bucked the general trend in recent years but this has conicided with the removal of the Northumbrian drift net fishery after 2002. It also has a six week longer season in the autumn than the Tay and eight weeks longer than the Dee or Spey.

Officially reported spring salmon (to end April) rod catches for Scotland's big four rivers, 1990 - 2006.

The general pattern of spring salmon catches in the Tay in recent years has also tended to mirror the other big rivers. In 2006 the Tay was the most productive.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Atlantic Salmon Painting.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Atlantic Salmon Painting.
William Goadby Lawrence Fishing Paintings - Atlantic Salmon Art Print

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland 2008.

Salmon Fishing Scotland 2008.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Atlantic Salmon Spawning December 2007.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Atlantic Salmon Spawning December 2007.
The Salmon in the Tay district will be spawning now so let us hope for the right conditions to maximise the numbers produced for the coming years.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Hatchery Visit.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Hatchery Visit.
Hatchery visit for city pupils
SECOND YEAR PUPILS at St George's Girls School in Edinburgh visited the Tay District Salmon Board Hatchery near Perth yesterday as part of the Salmon in the Classroom project, writes Ken Bell, angling correspondent for the Courier.

The project, organised by Edinburgh Zoo, shows pupils the life history of the salmon.

Pupils are given a small aquarium and salmon ova to hatch in their classroom before the fry are returned to their native river.

Yesterday, the girls saw John Young, ghillie on the Lochlane and Laggan beat of the Earn and chairman of the Tay Ghillies Association, help strip the eggs from a hen fish collected from the Machany Burn, an Earn tributary.

The eggs were put into a tray, joining more than a million others collected from fish from rivers and burns in the Tay system.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Life Cycle of an Atlantic Salmon.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Life Cycle of an Atlantic Salmon.
Atlantic Salmon, like other fish and animals, have a life cycle. Life cycles start when an organism's life begins, and ends when the organism dies.

Did You Know? An average adult salmon lays 1550 - 1750 eggs per kg of body weight, so a 5 kg female will lay 7700 - 8800 eggs. If a female lays 8200 eggs, how many of these eggs will yield fish that can survive long enough to spawn themselves? Lets find out...

Adult female salmon lay eggs which are fertilized by male fish. This process is known as spawning. These eggs are laid in a nest called a redd, which is buried under 12-15 cm of gravel at the bottom of a stream. Spawning usually occurs in late fall. 8200 eggs are laid.

The eggs remain buried in the gravel for the winter months, and hatch in early spring as alevin or sacfry. These tiny fish have a yolk sac which is their food supply, so they don't need to hunt for food.
5000 alevin will survive.

A month or so after hatching, alevins must start searching for food. They emerge from the gravel as fry. It is at this stage in the classroom project that students must begin feeding the tiny fish.
775 fry will survive in their natural habitat.
When the young salmon are about 8 cm long they are called fingerling. This is when the fish are 6-12 months old.
400 fingerling will survive this stage of development.

Fingerling become parr on their first birthday. The fish's colouring and markings change, and small red dots appear on their sides which help the parr hide from their enemies.
315 parr will survive this stage of development.

During the 2nd, 3rd or 4th, year of life, parr become smolts. Now they change colour from greyish - brown to gleaming silver. Smolt migrate to the ocean during early spring.
80 smolts will survive this migration journey.

After spending 1-4 years at sea, the smolts will migrate upstream to spawn. They will return to the same river where they hatched. Fish that spend only one year at sea before returning to their original river are called grilse, whereas fish that spend more than one year at sea before migrating upstream are known as largefish.
10 fish will successfully migrate to their original river.

After fish have spawned, they turn black in color and have a golden shine. These fish are called slinks or are sometimes known as kelts or blacks. After spawning, many fish die, especially males, but some fish have been known to spawn many times.
ONLY 2 spawners will survive.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Stanley Perthshire.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Stanley Perthshire.
Sunset in the spring on the Pitlochrie beat in the Wash house pool at Stanley Perthshire Scotland.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Fishing Paintings.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Fishing Paintings.
Salmon in Sunlight a classic fishing painting by Alan B. Hayman.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Spring 2008.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Spring 2008.
Let us now look forward to the spring of 2008.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Humour.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Humour.
What about this for smoked salmon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Report on Tay AGM.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Report on Tay AGM.
This was the report written by Ken Bell for the Courier about the Tay AGM.

UNLESS BEAT owners and anglers return more salmon to the Tay next season, stronger measures to enforce the voluntary catch and release code might be considered, writes angling correspondent Ken Bell.

This was the warning given by John Milligan, chairman of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, at the annual meeting in the Birnam Institute yesterday.

While the percentage of fish being returned has increased, from 10% when catch and release was introduced in 1999 to 46% in 2006, the Tay still lags behind other major Scottish rivers.

In 2006 out of 1593 spring fish caught on the Tay system anglers released 739.

The 2006 spring run in the Tay was the best for many years, but last spring's catches fell drastically.

Some rivers such as the Esks have made catch and release statutory for part of the season, and Mr Milligan said this was a route the Tay board did not want to have to take.

The meeting heard that just over 60 out of the 214 riparian owners had so far responded favourably to a letter outlining changes to the voluntary catch and release code.

The revised code stipulates that from January 15 to May 31 anglers release the first fish caught each day with the angler then being given the "option" of keeping one subsequent fish.

Worm should not be used as a bait during this period. From June 1 to the end of the season all hen fish should be released, and at least 50% of the cock fish, in particular fish over 15lb.

All coloured fish should also be put back. And anglers should not use worm in September or October.

Mr Milligan said that if 1000 more fish were returned to the river this would put some five million extra eggs into the spawning redds-over twice the capacity of the board hatchery.

While fishing with worm is not to be a statutory offence, inspector Derek Gregor pointed out that if riparian owners made it a condition of the lease then anyone caught fishing with worm would be in breach of their permit, and could be charged with fishing without legal right.

Fisheries manager Dr David Summers, in his report, noted that high flow on the Tay in the summer allowed the late arriving grilse to run through the lower beats to the upland streams where they spawn, while the low water in September and October benefited the lower beats at the expense of the middle and upper stretches.

Fish counters on the river showed figures which were average, with just over 4000 going through the Pitlochry Dam counter, and 600 through the Clunie Dam fish pass, continuing an increase which started following improvements there in the 1990s.

The Lochay Falls counter, where Scottish and Southern has made improvements, had the highest count for 10 years.

The counter on the River Ericht above Blairgowrie totalled just over 6000 fish, a significant decrease. However, it was felt that late arriving fish would not have passed Cargill's Leap in November.

Dr Summers said work was under way to reduce artificial blockages to the upstream passage of fish, and a weir on the Almond and another on the Lunan are being looked at.

Mr Milligan thanked the Tay Ghillies Association for its financial aid and work on various projects. And he thanked John Menteith and his colleagues for their work on the Inchewan Burn at Dunkeld.

Mr Menteith said the work, which has cost over £70,000, was now being used by SNH and SEPA as an example of river habitat improvement.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland December.

Salmon Fishing Scotland December.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Catch and Release.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Catch and Release.

To encourage the release of spring salmon any angler who has released a spring salmon anywhere in the Tay district before the end of May qualifies for a free sweatshirt sporting the “Saving Tay Salmon” logo.

When first introduced several years ago these sweatshirts were highly sought after and the Board has decided to re-introduce them due to popular demand.

To claim a sweatshirt contact the Board’s office (address below) and supply a note signed by the angler and a witness (e.g. the ghillie). Ghillies will have forms for this purpose.


The Board advises that worms should not be used as bait before 1 June nor after 31 August in any part of the district. As many fish are deeply hooked, the Board considers this method of fishing incompatible with the need for conservation.

At the present time stocks of salmon are under pressure, most especially the early running spring fish for which the Tay was famed. Accordingly the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board is seeking to do everything possible to protect and enhance stocks. An important element has been to encourage catch and release by anglers, since studies have shown that over 80% of released fish survive and few are re-caught.


The Board promotes a Catch and Release programme throughout the entire River Tay district. Since the programme commenced in 1999, the proportion of spring fish released has increased from around 10% to 46% in 2006. The Board welcomes this improvement, but it is still far behind some other rivers. The Board wishes to see at least 75% catch and release achieved. While some beats already exceed this, on most beats more fish (in some cases, many more) need to be released.


On 1st October 2002 the Scottish Executive introduced a ban on the sale of rod caught salmon throughout Scotland. The Board strongly supported this measure and reminds anglers that it is now illegal to sell rod caught salmon thus removing the incentive for killing excessive numbers of fish.

Visit, the website dedicated to salmon fishing in the Tay District. Displayed are daily updated river levels, catches, reports on what is happening and prospects for the coming days. Also included are lists of available fishing and a facility for on-line booking and payment if you so wish.


The Tay is a large river which is potentially dangerous for the unprepared. Accidents and fatalities have occurred when safety considerations have been overlooked. Anglers fishing the Tay should always consider their own and others’ safety. The Tay Board commends the use of lifejackets whether on a boat or wading.


It is essential that proper procedures are followed to minimise stress and prevent any damage to the fish and to allow survival to spawning.

Landing the fish:
• Use a fine, knotless meshed landing net and ensure the fish remains in the water. Do not lift it out of the water!
• Do not beach the fish, as abrasion can lead to infection.
• Do not lift fish by the tail!
• Minimise handling the fish.
Removing the hook:
• Wet your hands. A dry, bare, warm hand can cause abrasion which later may lead to infection.
• Remove the hook gently. If possible remove the hook using forceps or a hook disgorger, taking care not to squeeze the fish.
• The use of barbless or micro barbed single hooks is recommended, as they make removing the hook easier.
• Take care with fresh, early fish as they are prone to damage and fungal infection.

Returning the fish:
• If possible, try to slip the fish out of the net without touching it!
• If you really must, then support the fish, in a current, facing upstream and allow time for the fish to recover and swim away on its own.
• Do not weigh the fish but estimate the weight of the fish from its length. Record all fish caught and released.
• Photographs by all means, but do not remove the fish from the net which should remain in the water. However tempting, please don’t grasp a fish’s tail!! This can result in fungal infection.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Catch and Release.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Catch and Release.
Following the Tay Board meeting and AGM to-day this is the final recommendation which will be adopted by the Tay proprietors for the 2008 Salmon fishing season.

Start of the Season to 31 May:

The first fish caught each day by each individual angler must be released. Each individual angler then has the option of keeping one subsequent fish only, per day.

Anglers should not fish with worms during this period anywhere in the district.

From 1 June to end of Season

All hen fish to be released. The aim should then be to release at least 50% of cock fish caught, in particular cock fish weighing over 15 lbs.

All coloured fish should be released throughout the year.

Anglers should not fish with worms in September or October.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Spring 2008.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Spring 2008.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Salmon Fishing Scotland Catch Statistics for the Tay.

Monthly rod catch of salmon for the Tay District 1952 – 2007 (including released fish).(1952 – 2006 data kindly supplied by Fisheries Research Services. 2007 is a preliminary estimate based on Fishtay website analysis)

Salmon Fishing Scotland Catch Statistics for the Tay.
Government angling catch data

Since 1952 all proprietors have been obliged to provide a return of salmon caught each month of each year if asked for by the Government (now Scottish Executive). Every year the Scottish Executive publishes the total all method annual district catch in a statistical bulletin. This aggregate figure is not in itself particularly illuminating but Fisheries Research Services have supplied the TDSFB with monthly rod and net catches since 1952. These are presented above.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Humour.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Humour.
During the close season it is customary to practice your casting techniques.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Humour.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Humour.

Bargain Fishing Books and DVDs