Sunday, July 21, 2013

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 22nd July 2013.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 22nd July 2013.

Conditions about to change!

Summer conditions have remained on the Tay in Perthshire, Scotland making fishing extremely difficult with a low settled river and some scorching weather. Catches have dropped dramatically understandably due to extreme temperatures. Warmer weather remains, however some rain is forecast for this coming week, which could be the trigger to improve fishing and draw in a run of grilse and summer salmon. Limited catches have spread as temperatures have climbed maintaining some sport in the river but cooler weather would help to encourage more fresh fish to run into the lower stretches to sustain sport.

Benchil below Stanley.
Currently the river has dropped back and settled at low summer levels after no rain last week (-4” and steady on the Ballathie gauge). The weather has been very hot making the river temperature soar over 70F or 22C especially at the end of the week curtailing catches and everyone is praying for more water to help to maintain the chance of producing some sport for everyone.

The weather is to be more unsettled with more summer like weather and at last a chance of rain especially on Tuesday and Wednesday. Some rainfall will cool the water and hopefully encourage salmon to run up the river. Not only do we have the chance of rain but there is also a full moon this week with mostly 3.5 metre tides giving a great combination to bring a run of salmon into the river. The river is currently dropping, steady and at a low summer level. The water temperature has soared to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius by late afternoons and drops into the high 60’s at night. These are extreme temperatures for this time of year and not helping but this could change this coming week to fill everyone with enthusiasm for supreme sport to come. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river if that temperature comes back a bit.

Stobhall and Taymount.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should enable you to catch the elusive Tay Salmon. The water temperature is warm making floating lines with the addition of a sink tip being a favoured tactic and using normal dressed flies. It is still worth a go with sinking lines as well depending on water heights and stripping a Sun Ray Shadow is always worth a go. Summer conditions also enable you to try a riffled hitch, which can be very exciting. When spinning, Tay favourites include Toby Salmos, weighted and floating devons, flying C’s and Visons or Rapalas. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year on many beats.

The river showing its bones in the Skellies at Stanley.
Finally you are reminded that the Tay's catch and release policy for 2013.
From 1 June to end of Season:
• All hen fish of any size and all cock fish over 10 pounds should be released.
• All coloured and gravid fish to be released.
• No more than one clean fish weighing, where possible, less than 10 pounds should be retained per angler per day.
• Anglers should not use worms in September or October in any part of the district.
Worming in June, July and August
Please adhere to these recommendations and help preserve the long term future of the river and your sport the recommendations. We have had a superb run and catch this season, which may just be down to the majority of anglers returning salmon over the past seasons. Thank you to all anglers who have this season so far returned their spring salmon to maintain our sport for the future, it is vitally important and is a great contribution by individuals who care for their sport and the river. Well done!

A superb sun set just above Perth taken by Alun Williams.
When releasing salmon especially in warmer conditions 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.

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 to be included in the reports.

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