Monday, April 17, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 15th April 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 15th April 2017.

Spring salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is now in April with improving conditions for fishing in milder weather and settling lower water levels plus catches are improving after a slow 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 April to give everyone a chance of landing a spring “Bar of Silver”.
Beat catches reported
(week ending 15th April)
SALMON & GRILSE: Catholes 2, Stobhall 3, Taymount 5, Ballathie 4, Cargill 7, Islamouth 18, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 2, Kercock 1, Delvine Burnbane 1, Murthly 1 2, Glendelvine 3, Murthly 2 8, Newtyle 4, Dunkeld House 6, Dalmarnock 5, Lower Kinnaird 8, Upper Kinnaird 1, Findynate 1, Farleyer Upper 5, Farleyer Lower 1, Loch Tay Fish n' Trips 3, Coupar Grange 3, Portnacraig Pitlochry 10, Loch Faskally 1.
Total: 104 Largest: Islamouth 24lbs

March saw improvements with more salmon landed in milder weather and river conditions have improved as the weeks have gone 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 saw out March but we are seeing an improvement with more consistent catches and settling river levels which hopefully will continue over the next few weeks. Over one hundred fresh spring salmon were recorded last week and the class of fish being caught continues to be outstanding with 20 odd pounds or so being common and even a superb 24 pounder coming from Islamouth on the fly. 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 as the spring run develops further. There seems to be fish already running hard up the river after unseasonably mild weather.

It has been another reasonably productive week on the river with a spring run starting to develop and progress up the river with most beats getting into the action. On the Lower river, it has been a quiet week below Stanley mainly due to the warmer river temperatures. Catholes was the lowest beat to record with a couple of fish caught on fly.
Finnish angler Tuomas Rytkonen caught a small fish from the Catholes stream on a small monkey fly and then on Saturday Catholes regular Danny Fulton caught a superb 18 pounds fish form the Gean Tree after a monumental battle in the fast water. Stobhall had odd fish but again the warmer water is encouraging fish to run hard giving less opportunities on these lower beats. Cargill and Ballathie continue to fish consistently with fish recorded most days and the lower water suiting them.
Angus Johnstone’s party enjoyed success at Ballathie during the week with Edmund Clarke, Jock Miller and Rory MacLachlan all getting onto the score sheet landing fish up to 22 pounds. On the opposite days Cargill enjoyed good success as well with several fish landed up to 20 pounds. Fly fishing proved popular with David Croshaw landing a few over days and Ian Williamson being successful at the Cobblers Croy.
Other fish were landed in the week including first ever fish for Grant Simpson, and there was no stopping for him as he soon landed his second which was an impressive 19 ½ pounds. Islamouth had an excellent week with 18 fish all caught on the fly.
Paul Dolman was one of the successful rods with an 8 pounds fish from Donnits and
Peter Kay caught a superb 23 ½ pounds beauty in the Ash Tree on a Willie Gunn tube.
Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had a couple in the week with Craig Duncan catching a lovely 14 pounds fish from the Castle pool on the fly and Peter Grose landing a 15 pounds fish as well.

The middle river is producing more fish now as the run progresses up river. Larger fish are being caught on a regular basis as these bigger fish have more energy in their tank enabling them to travel further before a rest. This is certainly evident again last week as water temperatures start to climb further. Kercock and Delvine Burnbane had single fish in the week. Neil French caught a 10 pounds fish from Burnbane on a Toby Salmo. The Glendelvine and Murthly beats have been catching more consistently as the run improves on the middle beats of the river. Newtyle had 4 last week with a team of Finnish fly fishers doing well.
Petteri Kauhanen and Frode Olderkjaer both caught good fish up to 20 odd pounds.
Robert Clyde also caught on the beat.
Dunkeld House had 6 in the week with John Cranston landing 2 in a day including a cracking 16 pounds fish on the fly in the Gauge pool. Tom and Roger Wadsworth did well with a Salmo landing fish up to 14 pounds.
On Saturday John Johnston and Richard Hutchinson both caught good fish from the Gauge and Mousetrap pools. Dalmarnock had 5 for the week which included a superb 16 pounds beauty for Ian Willis on the fly from the Clachantaggart pool.
John Cross caught an 8 pounder then 3 were landed on Saturday with Archie Bryden landing a superb 16 pounder on fly and Andrew Whyte and John Cross both being successful as well with fish up to 16 pounds. The Kinnaird beats continue to fare well with 9 fish last week.

The upper river is also seeing a bit of action with the Findynate and Farleyer beats being successful. Alun Williams was again in on the action landing a superb fish from Farleyer.

The Tummel saw some action as well with fish coming off the lower beats but not being reported. At the Dam in Pitlochry fish are starting to ascend the ladder with 120 being the current latest count. Last week saw 10 fish landed on the Portnacraig beat below the dam and further fish landed from the Sawmill Stream at the bottom of the town.
Monday saw an excellent start to the week with Tony Brown enjoying great success landing 3 fish up to 15 pounds on fly. Further fortune was enjoyed by Allan Young and Jim Fisher also on fly.
Callum Imray caught a superb 20 pounds beauty and Andrew Khakoo caught a 6 pounder again all on fly. The fly was proving very effective with further fish up to 19 pounds falling to Thomas Andrew, Jim Fisher, Dean McGowan and Iain McLaren.
Kenny Horne finished a superb week with a stunning 18 pounder on the fly from the town bank at the dam. More should certainly follow in the coming weeks.

Loch Tay continues to fish reasonably well with fish running through the system with Fish n’ Trips recording three fish last week. Other fish are being caught on the loch but not being reported.

Another example of fish running the system has been fish caught on the Isla at Coupar Grange with 3 grassed last week.

The current week has got off to a great start with a good few fish registered on Monday.

The Spring Salmon fishing season has had a quiet start but has started to show signs of picking up with improving catches and some outstanding fish landed so far 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, April 16, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 17th April 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 17th April 2017.

The Salmon fishing season is now three months old on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter mid April and we have been encountering some lovely spring weather over the last week. Melting snow all be it only a small amount and rain have kept the water up until late last week which may have encouraged fish to run and trigger off an improvement in catches which was evident again last week. We have had some settled conditions over the past week or so which hopefully will continue to give more optimism. On the opening few months several anglers have braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The weather hopefully will remain reasonable 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 settling back to a low level with excellent conditions (around 1’ on the Ballathie gauge) to hopefully encourage more spring salmon to run.
The weather is to remain settled over the next week with little rain forecast and remain coldish as last 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. Milder temperatures and no rain have basically brought the river down to summer levels however the river is still big enough to encourage salmon to run by its sheer size, we are just fishing another river within it now. This current week continues more settled and returning to colder conditions with maybe a chance of the odd frost at night.
The milder weather has given us higher water temperatures which would have encouraged salmon to run the river including the first fish through the ladder at Pitlochry. The water temperature is rising with much warmer weather recently and has seen a jump to around 48F or 9C over the last few days and should remain at that level with the current forecast although we are to see some colder nights. The temperature may rise further and 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. 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 April and May is that all spring salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has adopted a policy of 100% catch and release for spring salmon. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please help preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the recommendations. It is vital the river system follows these guides to ensure the draconian rules do not get extended in seasons to come.
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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 8th April 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 8th April 2017.

Spring salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is now in April with improving conditions for fishing in milder weather and settling water levels plus catches are improving after a slow 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 April to give everyone a chance of landing a spring “Bar of Silver”.
Beat catches reported
(week ending 8th April)
SALMON & GRILSE: Almondmouth 1, Upper Redgorton 1, Fishponds 1, Upper Scone 2, Stobhall 5, Taymount 6, Ballathie 6, Cargill 4, Islamouth 13, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 4, Kercock 1, Delvine Burnbane 1, Glendelvine 4, Murthly 2 3, Newtyle 4, Dalmarnock 1, Lower Kinnaird 7, Upper Kinnaird 1, Findynate 3, Farleyer Upper 2, Loch Tay Fish n' Trips 4, Coupar Grange 2, Portnacraig Pitlochry 6.
Total: 82 Largest: Glendelvine 24lbs
SEA TROUT: Taymount 1.
Total: 1 Largest: Taymount 2lbs

March has seen improvements with more salmon landed in milder weather and river conditions have improved as the weeks have gone 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 saw out March but we are seeing an improvement with more consistent catches and settling river levels which hopefully will continue over the next few weeks. Eighty fresh spring salmon were recorded last week and the class of fish being caught continues to be outstanding with 20 odd pounds or so being common and even a superb 24 pounder coming from Glendelvine on the fly. 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 as the spring run develops further. There seems to be fish already running hard up the river after unseasonably mild weather.

It has been another reasonably productive week on the river with a spring run starting to develop and progress up the river with most beats getting into the action. On the Lower river, some fish have been caught below Stanley at long last. A fish was recorded on Almondmouth and Upper Redgorton and Fishponds got into the action. John lessels caught a fish from the Craigs on a Flying C on the Redgorton beat meanwhile
Paul Little caught a superb 21 pounds beauty on the fly to open Fishponds account for the season. Upper Scone had a couple in the week from the Pitlochrie and Benchil beats. Stobhall had a Finnish party of fly fishermen for the week landing 5 salmon up to 22 pounds.
The big fish fell to Jari Vaisanen after an epic fight with Bob Campbell helping with the aid of the net.
Tuomas Rytkonen also had success with an 8 pounds fish. Further upstream at Ballathie and Cargill had 10 between them.
On Ballathie at the start of the week Richard Spragg landed a 9 pounder from the boat then Kevin Kettrick caught a 14 pounds fish by the same method. Paul Clarke had success with the fly catching 3 fish in his visit up to 16 pounds.
On Cargill the fly was in favour for Victor Frost landing a 10 pounder from the Bridge Stream. Dutch visitor Cor Brockman had success on his first visit to the Tay with 13 pounds beauty. Nick Wilkinson also had success with a memorable 18 pounds beauty caught from the boat. Islamouth had another good week with 13 grassed mostly on fly. Simon Furniss enjoyed a good afternoon in the Ash Tree landing 3 fish up to 16 pounds. Jim Ferrie also had success in the Cutty.
Meikleour and Upper Islamouth had 4 for the week which included a good fish for Darren Crawford and an 11 pounds beauty on the fly for Simon Littlejohn from the Castle pool.
Trav Gough also had a good fish on the fly from the Tunnel Stream.

The middle river is producing more fish now as the run progresses up river. Larger fish are being caught on a regular basis as these bigger fish have more energy in their tank enabling them to travel further before a rest. This is certainly evident again last week as water temperatures start to climb further. Kercock and Delvine Burnbane had single fish in the week.
Gerry Gilfillan was the successful rod on Kercock. Bryan Davies caught a 12 pounds fish form the boat in the Burnbane pool.
The Murthly and Glendelvine have been picking up fish on a regular basis with Ryan McShane catching a superb 24 pounds fish from the Boat pool on the fly.
Newtyle had 4 for the week Jon Amos, Neil Tong, Stuart McArthur and Mark Little catching fish on the fly up to 18 pounds. Dalmarnock had a single fish meanwhile further upstream the Kinnaird beats fared much better with 8.

The upper river is also seeing a bit of action with the Findynate and Farleyer beats being successful.
Steve Watt and Alun Williams both had fish from Findynate on fly earlier in the week.

The Tummel saw some action as well with fish coming off the lower beats but not being reported. At the Dam in Pitlochry fish are starting to ascend the ladder with 77 being the current latest count. Last week saw 6 fish landed on the Portnacraig beat below the dam and further fish landed from the Sawmill Stream at the bottom of the town. The week started off with Alistair Hamilton, Alan Greene and Oliver Falk all catching on the fly up to 18 pounds. Jim Fisher had a 14 pounds beauty also on fly the following day. Some superb fish were running with Ally Gowans and Ian Lindsay landing fish on the fly up to 16 pounds.
Further fish fell to Neil Tong and Paul Carter. More should certainly follow in the coming weeks.

Loch Tay continues to fish reasonably well with fish running through the system with Fish n’ Trips recording four fish last week which included fish caught by Allan Brown and Wullie Colquhoun. Other fish are being caught on the loch but not being reported.

Another example of fish running the system has been fish caught on the Isla at Coupar Grange with 2 grassed last week.

The current week has got off to a great start with nearly 50 fish registered up to Tuesday evening up to 24 pounds.

The Spring Salmon fishing season has had a quiet start but has started to show signs of picking up with improving catches and some outstanding fish landed so far 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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 10th April 2017.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 10th April 2017.

The Salmon fishing season is now three months old on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter early April and we have been encountering some lovely spring weather over the last week. Melting snow all be it only a small amount and rain have kept the water up until late last week which may have encouraged fish to run and trigger off an improvement in catches which was evident again last week. We have had some settled conditions over the past week or so which hopefully will continue to give more optimism. On the opening few months several anglers have braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The weather hopefully will remain reasonable 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 good level for the time of year (below 2’ on the Ballathie gauge).
The weather has been settled for the time of year and should remain that way this current 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 including the first fish through the ladder at Pitlochry. Settled weather has dropped the river back to a good level and made ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature is rising with much warmer weather recently and has seen a jump to around 48F or 9C over the last few days and should remain at that level with the current forecast although we are to see some colder nights. The temperature may rise further and 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. 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 April and May is that all spring salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has adopted a policy of 100% catch and release for spring salmon. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please help preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the recommendations. It is vital the river system follows these guides to ensure the draconian rules do not get extended in seasons to come.
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