Thursday, January 11, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Opening Day 2018.

Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Opening Day 2018.

There are now only a few days until the river Tay opens its salmon fishing season for 2018 on Monday next week. The excitement is building slowly with anticipated large crowds expected at Meikleour and Kenmore for the public opening day events.
The salmon fishing season on the River Tay will be opened at the Meikleour Fishings Boathouse on Monday 15 January. A ceremony, organised by the beat in conjunction with the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board (TDSFB) and the Tay Foundation, will mark the start of the 2018 season with guest of honour Marina Gibson performing the symbolic first cast.
The riverside reception by the Meikleour Fishings is open to all from 9 am and the formal opening of the river, accompanied by music and pipers, takes place at 9.30 am. All anglers are welcome to fish Upper Islamouth for a £10 donation to Angling for Youth Development.
Expect a major announcement at this event to benefit the river for years to come.
“It is great to make the first cast of the salmon fishing season on the Tay.
“Scotland is recognised across the world as the destination for salmon and freshwater fishing. Game and coarse angling is worth more than £100 million to the Scottish economy, and supports almost 3,000 jobs, which shows the importance of maintaining and enhancing the quality of our rivers and fish stocks.

Some clips from last years opening ceremony.
William Jack, former chairman of the TDSFB, commented last year: “Salmon angling on the Tay is not just a pastime enjoyed by many from all walks of life but is also a significant contributor to the local economy in this area creating many jobs for ghillies and in the hospitality sector.
Dr David Summers, Director of the TDSFB, added: “There is particular interest in the Tay this year as our ‘spring’ catches have been tending to increase in the last 5 years following a period of decline. The number of larger salmon returning to the river also seems to be on a rising trend.”
Anglers enjoying their first casts last season.

At Kenmore a traditional opening of the salmon season on the River Tay will also be held with a parade of fishermen to the river bank with the Vale of Atholl Junior Pipe Band, the 1st cast of the season will be made to mark the opening of the River Tay and a speaker will wish the anglers 'tight lines' for the season.

Currently the river is running around 3 feet on the Ballathie gauge with a colder weather forecast. Colder and more settled weather is now with us giving the river a great chance of producing some good sport and some early "Bars of Silver" on the opening day and beyond.

A superb Tay bar of silver.
On the first day of the season anglers will be competing for the Redford Trophy, for the heaviest salmon caught and safely released from the River Tay on opening day was first fished for in 1986. It was named after the late Ian Redford of Errol, the then co-owner of the Newtyle beat who tragically died the year before.
The angler who lands the biggest salmon on the day will not only be presented with the Trophy but will receive a £250 tackle voucher courtesy of James Crockart & Sons, the famous Blairgowrie tackle and gun shop.

Anglers who land a witnessed opening day springer should contact Crockarts at 01250 872056 by no later than 5 p.m.

The weather is to be cold and settled as the week goes on. The water temperature is typical for the time year just around 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 degrees Celcius, this could change by the end of this week with colder weather forecast. The temperature may come back further with the colder forecast during the week ahead but any salmon that are running may be spread throughout the system after some slightly milder conditions prior to the opening day giving everyone a good chance for the coming week. 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. Spring salmon identification help for those not sure about the different types of fish in the river at this time of year.

As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method will have to be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.

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.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

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