Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 25th February 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 25th February 2017.

Spring salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is now fast approaching March with improving conditions for fishing in colder weather and settling water levels however catches have been slow since the start to the season. Expectation is high on the river for 2017 after 4 successful springs and hopefully settled weather will continue with an improving run in February to give everyone a chance of landing a spring “Bar of Silver”.

Beat catches reported
(week ending 25th February)
SALMON & GRILSE: Catholes 1, Upper Scone 1, Stobhall 1, Taymount 1, Ballathie 1, Islamouth 3, Glendelvine 1, Murthly 2 1, Dalguise 2, Loch Tay Fish n' Trips 1, Portnacraig Pitlochry 1.
Total: 14 Largest: Catholes 25lbs
SEA TROUT: Upper Scone 1.
Total: 1 Largest: Upper Scone 1lbs

The third week in February has seen a few salmon landed in milder weather and river conditions have improved as the week went on favouring those who braved the elements in some cases. It is early yet but considering the conditions the results so far have been disappointing as we enter late February and with increased river levels we should see improvements over the next few weeks. Fourteen fresh spring salmon were recorded last week and the class of fish being caught was good with 20 pounds or so being common. 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. There seems to be fish already running hard up the river after unseasonably mild weather. Two salmon were recorded well up the system in Loch Tay and Port-na-Craig on the Tummel last week.
Saul MacKay had success under the Pitlochry Dam landing a superb 12 pounds fish on the fly from the Port-na-Craig beat on the Green Bank. Grant Tigwell caught the fish on Fish n’ Trips weighing approximately 8 pounds. Other fish are being caught in the Loch as well but not being recorded. The rest of the fish came from the lower and middle river.

The fish of the week fell to Danny Fulton on the Catholes on Saturday weighing an estimated conservative 25 pounds.
Danny was fishing the fly on the famous Slap pool just under the Catholes weir on his own when he hooked a true Tay springer on the now much talked about Blue Angel tube fly invented by legionary ghillie Jimmy Last. He had an incredible fight to land the powerful fish but all his experience saw the fish beached momentarily prior to release. He measured the fish at 40.5 inches long and typically it was an incredibly deep Tay specimen. Danny is a regular Stanley angler and a fish of this magnitude is well deserved. It was a lean week altogether on the river with just odd fish dotted about on a few beats. Upper Scone, Stobhall, Taymount and Ballathie all produced fish.
Mark Fairley landed a 14 pounds springer from Ballathie with the Jolly party.
Islamouth have produced fish each week and last week saw 3 fish landed including Ian Moulton catching a 7 pounds beauty from Sandyford. Further upstream again only odd fish were landed from Glendelvine, Murthly and 2 came off Dalguise.
Ross Haynes caught a 17 pounds springer from the boat in the Guay Pool and Moray MacFarlane caught a 15 pounds fish as well.

The current week has got off to a quiet start as well as the weekend spate clears off.
Monday saw Simon Littlejohn land a 10 pounds fish from the Castle pool on the Meikleour and Upper Islamouth beat. Burnmouth and Stobhall both had fish on Tuesday.
Jonathan Dent had a day to remember on Catholes on Wednesday with 2 fish weighing up to 11 pounds. Firstly he caught on the fly casting from the boat in the Back Dam and then later in the morning he caught a 10 pounds beauty on a Toby in the Little Head.

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 has started to show signs of picking up so let us hope the season lives up to everyone’s expectations over the coming weeks and months. Tight lines!

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 27th February 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 27th February 2017.

The Salmon fishing season is well underway now on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter March this coming week and we have been encountering some milder conditions and colder winter weather occasionally over the last week. Melting snow at the end of last week has brought more water which may encourage fish to run and trigger off an improvement in catches. We have had some unsettled conditions over the last week or so but that will hopefully settle down to give more optimism. On the opening couple of months several anglers have braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The weather hopefully will remain colder to give a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements.
Currently the river is running high from melting snow and heavy rain for the time of year (around 7’ on the Ballathie gauge).
The weather has been mixed for the time of year but will get much colder this week. 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 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 has risen to around 42F or 5.5C over the last few days but may drop with a colder forecast. These are high temperatures for this time of year. The temperature may drop back but the milder forecast in recent days may have encouraged salmon to run throughout the system as earlier resulting in fish being caught well up the system. 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.
The Tay in Perthshire is a prime spring salmon fishing destination so why not give it a go?
Popular hotels to stay in the area are the Tayside Hotel in Stanley, Ballathie House, The Meikleour Arms, Murrayshall Hotel, Scone and the Royal Dunkeld Hotel.
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 2017 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

Monday, February 20, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 18th February 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 18th February 2017.

Spring salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is now deep into February with improving conditions for fishing in colder weather and settling water levels however catches have been slow since the start to the season. Expectation is high on the river for 2017 after 4 successful springs and hopefully settled weather will continue with an improving run in February to give everyone a chance of landing a spring “Bar of Silver”.

Beat catches reported
(week ending 18th February)
SALMON & GRILSE: Lower Redgorton 1, Pitlochrie 1, Stobhall 2, Taymount 1, Kercock 1, Murthly 1 1, Newtyle 1, Dunkeld House 2, Dalguise 2, Loch Tay Fish n' Trips 2.
Total: 14 Largest: Loch Tay Fish n' Trips 28lbs
SEA TROUT: Lower Redgorton 2, Delvine Burnbane 1.
Total: 3 Largest: Lower Redgorton & Delvine Burnbane 1lbs

The second week in February has seen a few salmon landed in milder weather and river conditions have improved as the week went on favouring those who braved the elements in some cases. It is early yet but considering the conditions the results so far have been disappointing as we enter late February and with increased river levels we should see improvements over the next few weeks. Fourteen fresh spring salmon were recorded last week and the class of fish being caught was good with 20 pounds or so being common. 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. There seems to be fish already running hard up the river after unseasonably mild weather. Two salmon were recorded in Loch Tay last week at Fish n’ Trips including a whopping 28 pounds beauty caught by Grant Tigwell which was quickly released after being weighed. Graham Milligan had a further fish later in the week weighing 7 pounds. Other fish are being caught in the Loch as well but not being recorded. The rest of the fish came from the lower and middle river.
Lower Redgorton got their season underway with a 16 pounds beauty caught by Mike Bridger casting the fly from the boat in Broxy.
Horsey produced another fly caught fish for James Holder on Saturday on the Pitlochrie beat at Stanley.
Stobhall and Taymount continued to work away in the week. This included an 18 pounds cracker for Mark Nevin fishing in the Linn Pool on Stobhall. Kercock and Murthly both produced a fish in the week as well.
Up in the Dunkeld area Newtyle had a superb 17 pounds fish from the Ferry pool opening their season account. Dunkeld House continued to produce fish with 2 in the week up to an impressive 19 pounds.
Brian Joseph was the successful angler landing the fish in the Gauge pool on a Vision lure. A further 8 pounds fish came from the Grotto pool on the same lure later in the week.
Dalguise got their season up and running with a couple of fish in the week including a 15 pounds fish for Harry McCombie from the Otterstone pool.

A further celebration on the river was the presentation of the Redford Trophy for the largest Opening day fish caught by Robert Harvey at Dunkeld House. The presentation was made by Arnot McWhinnie and George McInnes with co-sponsor Robert Jamieson of Crockarts of Blairgowrie presenting a voucher for the winner.
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 has started to show signs of picking up so let us hope the season lives up to everyone’s expectations over the coming weeks and months. Tight lines!

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 20th February 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 20th February 2017.

The Salmon fishing season is well and truly started now on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter middle February and we have been encountering some milder conditions and colder winter weather occasionally over the last week and prior to the Opening day. Melting snow at the end of last week has brought more water which may encourage fish to run and trigger off an improvement in catches. We have had some unsettled conditions over the last week or so but that has settled down to give more optimism. On the opening weeks several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The weather hopefully will remain colder to give a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements.
Currently the river is running at a settled level for the time of year (around 4’6 on the Ballathie gauge).
The weather has been very mild for the time of year but will get much colder towards the end of the week. 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 prior to the start gave 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 has risen to around 43F or 6C over the last few days but may drop with a colder forecast. These are high temperatures for this time of year. The temperature may drop back but the milder forecast in recent days may have encouraged salmon to run throughout the system as earlier resulting in fish being caught well up the system. 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.
The Tay in Perthshire is a prime spring salmon fishing destination so why not give it a go?
Popular hotels to stay in the area are the Tayside Hotel in Stanley, Ballathie House, The Meikleour Arms, Murrayshall Hotel, Scone and the Royal Dunkeld Hotel.
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 2017 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

Monday, February 13, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 11th February 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 11th February 2017.

Spring salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is now into February with improving conditions for fishing in colder weather and settling water levels plus catches improved last week after a slow start to the season so far. Expectation is high on the river for 2017 after 4 successful springs and hopefully settled weather will continue with an improving run in February to give everyone a chance of landing a spring “Bar of Silver”.

Beat catches reported
(week ending 11th February)
SALMON & GRILSE: Upper Redgorton 1, Catholes 1, Pitlochrie 2, Burnmouth 1, Stobhall 4, Taymount 4, Ballathie 3, Cargill 1, Islamouth 3, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 2, Dunkeld House 1, Lower Kinnaird 1, Portnacraig Pitlochry 2.
Total: 26 Largest: Cargill 23lbs
SEA TROUT: Upper Redgorton 1, Catholes 1, Stobhall 1, Delvine Burnbane 1, Newtyle 1.
Total: 5 Largest: Catholes & Stobhall & Delvine Burnbane 2lbs

The first week in February has seen more salmon landed at last in colder weather and river conditions improved as the week went on favouring those who braved the elements in some cases. It is early yet but considering the conditions the results so far have been disappointing however as we enter February and with increased river levels the catches have improved and should improve further over the next few weeks. Twenty six fresh spring salmon were recorded last week and the class of fish being caught was good with 20 pounds or so being common. 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. There seems to be fish already running hard up the river after unseasonably mild weather.
Two salmon were caught at Pitlochry Dam last week with Steven Watt being the successful angler landing both fish. He caught his fish on Fly and Spinner with the heaviest fish estimated at 16 pounds. The rest of the fish came from the lower and middle river.
Upper Redgorton got their season underway with Iain Bain landing a 7 pounds fresh fish on the fly.
Catholes produced its first fish for Berwyn Morris weighing 15 pounds and that was Berwyn’s second fish in two days as the previous day fishing Islamouth, he landed a 12 pounds springer from the Green bank. Not bad for an early trip to the Tay. Saturday saw 2 fish coming from the Pitlochrie beat at Stanley both caught on the fly from Horsey.
The fish weighed up to 12 pounds and were landed by Andy Burton and John McElroy. Burnmouth also had success on Saturday catching their first fish of the season, an 18 pounds beauty landed by Jason Stratton. Stobhall and Taymount had a reasonable with 4 fish each.
On Stobhall Mark Emmerson had a 13 pounds fish from the Linn pool earlier in the week then 3 were landed on Friday with George Patterson catching one of the fish weighing 12 pounds.
Taymount had good success as well in the pool with fish up to 17 pounds for Ross Coker and David Croshaw.
Ballathie had a good week with 3 fish up to 22 pounds which was caught by William Kennedy.
Ian McMaster also had a fish from the beat in the boat weighing 10 pounds.
Cargill also saw a big fish with Miceal Bothwell landing a fish at 23 pounds.
Islamouth ended up with 3 in the week and Upper Islamouth and Meikleour landed 2 fish up to 15 pounds from the Castle pool.
Dunkeld House had a notable fish weighing 21 pounds for Brian Joseph in the Rock Pool.

Monday saw a further 4 notable fish recorded of supreme quality. This has included a 28 pounds monster from Loch Tay on Fish n’ Trips. Hopefully this is a sign of an early run starting.

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 has started to show signs of picking up so let us hope the season lives up to everyone’s expectations over the coming weeks and months. Tight lines!

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 13th February 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 13th February 2017.

The Salmon fishing season is well and truly started now on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter February and we have been encountering some milder conditions and colder winter weather occasionally over the last week and prior to the Opening day. A big spate at the end of last week has brought more water which may encourage fish to run and this past week saw an improvement in catches. We have had some unsettled conditions over the last week or so but that has settled down to give more optimism. On the opening weeks several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The weather hopefully will remain colder to give a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements.
Currently the river is running at a settled level for the time of year (around 3’ on the Ballathie gauge).
The weather is looking a bit more settled over the next few days and turning milder towards the end of the week. 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 prior to the start gave 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 cooled to around 39F or 4Cc over the last few days but may rise slightly with a milder forecast. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. The temperature may rise further with the milder forecast for the week ahead and encourage salmon to run throughout the system as earlier resulting in fish being caught well up the system. 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.
The Tay in Perthshire is a prime spring salmon fishing destination so why not give it a go?
Popular hotels to stay in the area are the Tayside Hotel in Stanley, Ballathie House, The Meikleour Arms, Murrayshall Hotel, Scone and the Royal Dunkeld Hotel.
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 2017 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

Bargain Fishing Books and DVDs