Sunday, May 20, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 21st May 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 21st May 2018.

The Salmon fishing season is now in late May on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.  We have been encountering some much warmer weather a prolonged winter becomes a memory. We have had good conditions last week with good levels and excellent conditions but maybe occasionally a bit bright. The coming week is looking settled with good temperatures again. There has been some more water maintaining the river height from melting snow however that seems to have disappeared now with much lower levels. On the opening months several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon but conditions are much warmer now and it is a pleasure to be out on the river. The cold weather hopefully has given a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you were prepared to brave the elements as any fish progress slowly through the system. The changing weather has enabled fish to spread with water temperatures now in the fifties. Catches have been maintained and there is far more optimism after a slow start. 

On the nature front the first Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows have arrived, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks have their first broods of young and Sand Pipers are on the river banks. Dippers are darting past getting food for their young and you could see the flash of a Kingfisher if you are lucky. Blue bells are out in the woods and the wild flowers are coming into bloom, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.

Currently the river is running settled and at lower levels at Caputh in perfect condition ( 10”) and similarly on the lower river ( 1’ 5) on the Ballathie gauge and should remain settled with a good forecast.

The weather is to be settled over the next week with little chance of some rain and milder temperatures continuing to take us out of winter. There will not be any frost this week either. The 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 however a milder weather forecast at times will give us more water and would have encouraged salmon to run the river. The water temperature was cold but now at around 54 degrees Fahrenheit or 12 degrees Celsius is warming slowly (midday temperature). These are typical temperatures for this time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. 

As to methods, in settled conditions with the water warming, fishing by any method should be with flies and lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. The recommendations are set out below for different times in the season. 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.
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 – 31stMay 2018 is that all spring salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% catch and release of all salmon caught in this period. 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. 


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

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 19th May 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 19th May 2018.


The Tay, Perthshire is now in late May for salmon fishing with disappointing results in recent weeks and now with a far warmer forecast. Expectation is still optimistic on the river for 2018 after a string of better weeks in April, fish are starting to be caught in better numbers although this month has been disappointing so however the fantastic news continues with 20 pounds plus fish being landed on the river week in week out which has put the Tay again at the centre of everyone’s attention. Hopefully the weather will remain reasonably settled over the coming weeks and give everyone a chance of landing a “Bar of Silver” and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.
Beat catches reported

Spring salmon were landed last week in warmer weather and river conditions were generally excellent although a few may have complained about the bright sun at times. The river has been settled despite some melting snow from high ground due to higher temperatures but that should be at an end now. The numbers were again disappointing for May with around 50 fresh spring salmon recorded last week making it another similar catch to the previous week. The spring season is in its later stages now and frustratingly only small runs are coming into the river but fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult however as the fish travel slowly upriver most beats are catching. Some of the fish that have been caught remain truly memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come. 

Taymount and Stobhall were the lowest beats to record a fish on the Lower river catching 2 fish between them in a disappointing week. Cargill and Ballathie failed to record a fish however the water height is much better for their beats now so hopefully that will change quickly. The jewel in the Tay crown, Islamouth had a much better week especially in the last 3 days as the water dropped. They finished with 13 in the week on the fly with 6 on Saturday up to 14 pounds. Sir Alan Parker’s party caught 11 for their three days and only fished until lunchtime on Saturday! Sir Alan arrived late on Friday but managed a couple of fish in three hours fishing. Beat ghillie, Billy Campbell remarked on the sheer quality of the fish caught as superb. 

Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had one for their week caught on the fly from the Castle pool by Chris McCarthy weighing 5 pounds. 

The Middle river enjoyed excellent water conditions throughout the week and fish continued to appear as they moved steadily up stream. On Kercock a single fish was recorded on Saturday meanwhile the Murthly beats recorded 5 in the week including a couple of 20 plus pounds fish on fly. Friday saw one of Tony Blacks rods catch a super 25 pounds fish from the Tronach. In the previous week one of Tony’s rods lost a fish of a lifetime estimated at over 30 pounds. Dunkeld House had an 8 pounds fish on Saturday and reported a few fish showing as have all the beats from Murthly upwards which is heartening. 

Dalmarnock had a more productive week with 3 fish including a 10 pounds fish from Clachantaggart. Dalguise reported one fish for the week which was 22 pounds and the Kinnaird beats had 4. 

The Upper area has featured last week as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish, 6 fish were recorded from Edradynate, Findynate, Lower and Upper Farleyer beats. 

The Lyon has been seeing a run of spring salmon recently, however there was no news form the area.  

Loch Tay is also seeing sport with a single fish reported last week form Fish n’ Trips. 

The Tummel was also seeing sport with 6 reported last week form the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch at Portnacraig up to an impressive 21 pounds and odd fish, around 120 plus fish have ascended the ladder with temperatures rising. 

The week got off to a flyer with fish caught on fly and spinner up to 16 pounds for Jim Lapsley and Curtis Brunker. 

Curtis then caught a superb 21 pounds fish on Thursady while 

Kenny Horne finished the week off with an 8 pounds fish on the fly on Friday. Further downstream Dunfallandy and West Haugh didn’t record a fish last week. East Haugh and the Lower Tummel must be getting some action as well with fish making their way up to the dam. 

The spring salmon are now going up the Isla with fish caught recently and on the lower Ericht the Blairgowrie Angling Club water has been reporting fish. 

The Earn is starting to see salmon and sea trout arrive in the last few weeks with a sinle sea trout recorded last week on Lochlane and Laggan. 

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 sea temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer away in the ocean before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish finding its way back. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon. 

These are encouraging signs in the past week or so however the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding and with hopefully a settled river in the coming weeks should see improved catches with a settled forecast as well.  
The Spring Salmon fishing is picking up slowly as we enter late May and hopefully some warmer weather. 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.



Monday, May 14, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 14th May 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 14th May 2018.

The Salmon fishing season is now in May on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.  We have been encountering some much warmer weather after a prolonged winter. We have had good conditions last week with good levels and excellent conditions. The coming week is looking settled with good temperatures for the time of year. There has been some more water maintaining the river height from melting snow and rain on Saturday evening. On the opening months several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon but conditions are much warmer now and it is a pleasure to be out on the river. The cold weather hopefully has given a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you were prepared to brave the elements as any fish progress slowly through the system. Catches have improved and there is far more optimism after a slow start. 

On the nature front the first Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows have arrived, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks have their first broods of young and Sand Pipers are on the river banks. Dippers are darting past getting food for their young and you could see the flash of a Kingfisher if you are lucky. Blue bells are out in the woods and the wild flowers are coming into bloom, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.

Currently the river is running fairly settled at Caputh in perfect condition ( 1’ 7) and similarly on the lower river ( 3’ 1) on the Ballathie gauge and should remain settled with a good forecast.

The weather is to be settled over the next week with little chance of some rain and milder temperatures continuing to take us out of winter. There will not be any frost this week either. The 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 however a milder weather forecast at times will give us more water and would have encouraged salmon to run the river. The water temperature was cold but now at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius is warming slowly (midday temperature). These are typical temperatures for this time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. 

As to methods, in settled conditions with the water warming, fishing by any method should be with flies and lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. The recommendations are set out below for different times in the season. 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.
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 – 31stMay 2018 is that all spring salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% catch and release of all salmon caught in this period. 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. 


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, May 13, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 12th May 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 12th May 2018.

The Tay, Perthshire is now in May for salmon fishing with higher expectation in recent weeks and now with a far warmer forecast. Expectation has gone up on the river for 2018 after a string of better weeks, fish are starting to be caught in greater numbers although the month has been disappointing so far plus the fantastic news continues with 20 pounds plus fish being landed on the river week in week out which has put the Tay again at the centre of everyone’s attention. Hopefully the weather will remain reasonably settled over the coming weeks and give everyone a chance of landing a “Bar of Silver” and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.
Beat catches reported
(week ending 12th May)
SALMON & GRILSE: Taymount 2, Ballathie 1, Cargill 1, Islamouth 8, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 1, Delvine Burnbane 1, Murthly 1 4, Murthly 2 2, Newtyle 1, Dunkeld House 3, Dalmarnock 1, Dalguise 1, Lower Kinnaird 1, Upper Kinnaird 1, Farleyer Upper 1, Keithick Mains 4, Portnacraig Pitlochry 5.
Total: 38 Largest: Portnacraig Pitlochry 23lbs
SEA TROUT: Benchil 1, Taymount 1, Cargill 1, Keithick Mains 1.
Total: 4 Largest: Benchil & Taymount & Cargill & Keithick Mains 3lbs

Spring salmon were landed last week in warmer weather and river conditions were generally excellent. The river has been reasonably settled despite some melting snow from high ground due to slightly higher temperatures. The numbers were slightly disappointing with around 40 fresh spring salmon recorded last week making it another similar catch to the previous week. The spring season is in its later stages now and frustratingly only small runs are coming into the river but fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult however as the fish travel slowly upriver most beats are catching. Some of the fish that have been caught remain truly memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come. 

Taymount was the lowest beat to record a fish on the Lower river catching 2 fish on Wednesday in a disappointing week. Cargill and Ballathie only mustered 2 between them however Islamouth had a much better week with 8. At the start of the week Paul Nash’s party caught 3 then beat owner, David Mayhew’s party landed 5 on the fly with John Hewitt catching the largest fish weighing 17 pounds for the Long Head. 

Ghillie, Johnny Ross caught a lovely sea liced 14 pounds fish on the fly from the Castle pool on Thursday evening to have the only success for Upper Islamouth and Meikleour beat for the week. 

The Middle river enjoyed similar water conditions throughout the week and fish continued to appear as they moved steadily up stream. 

On Delvine and Burnbane Gary Furness caught a 10 pounds fish form the boat. The Murthly beats produced 6 fish between them but hopefully that will pick up soon. Newtyle had one in the week but 

Dunkled House had a better week with 3 fish. 2 fell on the same day to the fly, a superb 17 pounds fish from the Cathedral stream and a lovely fresh 9 pounds fish for 

Garry Simpson in the Rock pool. 

Later in the week, 70 year old, Dave Gibbon from South Africa fulfilled an ambition of catching a Scottish salmon on the fly. He caught it on his last cast in the Lady pool, superb story and well done. Dalmarnock had a single fish on Monday and Dalguise had a 22 pounds fish on Thursday. Both Kinnaird beats managed a single fish in the week. 

The Upper area has featured last week as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish however only one fish was recorded on the Upper Farleyer beat. 

The Lyon has been seeing a run of spring salmon recently. 

Famous chef Rick Stein fished the river recently with his sons and caught 2 lovely fresh fish on their visit. 

His son Charlie landed a fish estimated at 25 pounds and Rick also caught. 

Loch Tay is also seeing sport but nothing was reported last week. 

The Tummel was also seeing sport with 5 reported last week form the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch at Portnacraig up to an impressive 23 pounds and odd fish, around 40 plus are starting to ascend the ladder with temperatures rising. The week got off to a flyer with James Lapsley landing 2 fish up to 23 pounds on a spinner and 

Neill Sproull landing an 8 pounds fish on the fly. A further 2 fish were landed on the fly on Wednesday for Malcolm Fyfe and 

Steven Watt. Further downstream Dunfallandy and West Haugh didn’t record a fish last week. East Haugh and the Lower Tummel must be getting some action as well with fish making their way up to the dam. 

The spring salmon are now going up the Isla with Keithick Mains recording 4 fish last week. Coupar Grange will also be catching slightly further upstream and odd fish are being caught on the lower Ericht

The Earn is starting to see salmon and sea trout arrive in the last few weeks but nothing was recorded last week. 

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 sea temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer away in the ocean before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish finding its way back. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon. 

These are encouraging signs in the past week or so however the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding and with hopefully a settled river in the coming weeks should see improved catches with a settled forecast as well.  
The Spring Salmon fishing is picking up slowly as we enter May and hopefully some warmer weather. 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, May 7, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 7th May 2018.

The Salmon fishing season is now in May on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.  We have been encountering some much warmer weather after a prolonged winter. We have had good conditions last week with good levels and excellent conditions despite a rise from rain on Wednesday. The coming week is looking fairly settled with average temperatures for the time of year. This may give us some more water maintaining the river height from melting snow. On the opening months several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The cold weather hopefully has given 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. Catches have improved and there is far more optimism after a slow start. 

On the nature front the first Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows have arrived, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks have their first broods of young and Sand Pipers are on the river banks. Dippers are darting past getting food for their young and you could see the flash of a Kingfisher if you are lucky. Blue bells will be coming out in the woods, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.

Currently the river is running fairly settled at Caputh in perfect condition ( 1’ 11) and similarly on the lower river ( 3’ 2) on the Ballathie gauge but may rise a little with some rain forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The weather is to be reasonably settled over the next week with the chance of some rain on Tuesday and Wednesday with milder temperatures continuing to take us out of winter. There will not be any frost this week either. The 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 however a milder weather forecast at times will give us more water and would have encouraged salmon to run the river. The water temperature was cold but now at around 48 degrees Fahrenheit or 9 degrees Celsius is warming slowly (midday temperature). These are typical temperatures for this time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. 

As to methods, in settled conditions with the water warming, fishing by any method should be with flies and lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. The recommendations are set out below for different times in the season. 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.
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 – 31stMay 2018 is that all spring salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% catch and release of all salmon caught in this period. 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. 


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

Bargain Fishing Books and DVDs