Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Salmon Fishing Scotland Opening Day 2019 at Stanley, Perthshire.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Opening Day 2019 at Stanley, Perthshire.

The sun rises on the 2019 Salmon fishing season at Stanley on the Catholes and Pitlochrie beats of the Tay in Perthshire.
The vehicles arrived with all the kit and ready for the off!
The opening day on the beats was taken by the prestigious Gleneagles Hotel bringing new and experienced hands to salmon fishing. 

A lone piper plays a tune ringing out over the river. 

Ken Sharp, a newcomer to the sport has success landing a Kelt on the fly casting from the boat.
A hearty lunch was enjoyed by all. 
It was a very successful day despite no fresh fish being landed. 10 Kelts were caught on the fly and all enjoyed the experience. Thank you everyone. 
Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Salmon Fishing Scotland Spring Salmon Fly Fishing on the Stanley beats Tay, Perthshire.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Spring Salmon Fly Fishing on the Stanley beats Tay, Perthshire.


Stanley Mills on the Pitlochrie beat.


A spring salmon about to be landed on the fly at the Slap on the Catholes.



A spring salmon being played on the fly in the Wash House from the boat on the Pitlochrie beat.


Aitken Head on Benchil, a classic spring pool in higher water.



Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

Monday, June 11, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 11th June 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 11th June 2018.

The Salmon fishing season is now in June on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.  We have been encountering some much warmer weather after a prolonged winter became a memory. We have had good conditions at the end of last week after thundery rain caused a landslide above the Pitlochry dam area with much lower levels and excellent conditions but maybe occasionally a bit bright and very warm. The coming week is looking far more unsettled with some rain forecast. There has been some more water maintaining the river height from heavy thunder downpours. On the opening months several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical 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 well into the fifties. Catches have been maintained but certainly not at the levels expected for the time of year however there is a bit more optimism after a slow start. 

On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are in the skies, 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 but nearly past and the wild flowers are out in bloom with outstanding displays of Lupins on the banks, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay and a salmon would be a bonus.

Currently the river is running at lower levels following a dry week however that may change with some rain in the forecast. It is at Caputh (6”) and similarly on the lower river ( 9” ) on the Ballathie gauge.

The weather is to be more unsettled over the next week with far more chance of rain with weather systems coming from the west. Hopefully this may give us a bit of fresh water and cool the river a bit. The warmer temperatures would have encouraged salmon to run the river and get into the upper areas as fish start to shoot through the ladder at Pitlochry. The water temperature was cold but now is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15.5 degrees Celsius following very warm weather. 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, there has now been a bold change in policy following poor catches so far this season and you are reminded that the Tay's policy from 1stJune until the end of 2018 season is that all salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% catch and release of all salmon caught in this period. salmon are a scarce and precious resource currently. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following this request from our current board. 


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 9th June 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 9th June 2018.

The Tay, Perthshire is now in June 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, however May was poor but fish are starting to be caught this month after a bit of fresh water from thundery rain. The most positive news has been the multi sea winter 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 9th June)
SALMON & GRILSE: Almondmouth 2, Lower Redgorton 1, Taymount 2, Ballathie 2, Cargill 2, Islamouth 17, Kercock 6, Murthly 1 1, Glendelvine 2, Murthly 2 1, Newtyle 1, Dalmarnock 3, Dalguise 1, Lower Kinnaird 1, Loch Faskally 1.
Total: 43 Largest: Kercock 18lbs
SEA TROUT: Waulkmill 2, Lower Redgorton 3, Ballathie 1, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 1, Glendelvine 1.
Total: 8 Largest: Lower Redgorton & Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 3lbs


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 and the dirty water coming down the whole river from a landslide above Pitlochry. The river has been settled and at lower levels now due to the lack of rain. The numbers were again disappointing with just over 40 fresh salmon recorded last week making it a poor week for the time of year. 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. 

The Lower river saw its share of catches last week after the dirty water started to clear on Wednesday especially at Islamouth where the influence of the Isla has an undoubted benefit and with now lower river levels the beat is consistently leading the way. The very lower part of the river is now seeing odd fish with Lower Redgorton and Almondmouth both catching last week. Taymount had a couple in the week then just upstream Ballathie and Cargill shared 4. 

On Ballathie Ian Bowler and Chris Loftus’s team enjoyed success with a couple. 

On Cargill Nigel Russell and 

Euan Darroch caught good fish on fly and spinner. At Islamouth is was another good week despite dirty water early in the week. Ian Muir’s party finally got going on Wednesday with 7 landed up to 17 pounds on fly. 

Chris Wall caught the fish at 17 pounds from the Ash Tree and Ian Muir, Jonny Muir and John Bell all caught with the Long Head being the most productive pool. The last three days in the week saw John McElroy’s party have consistent days with 10 fish.
Neil Tong did well with several fish but others were caught by John McElroy and John Campbell up to 13 pounds.  

The Middle river enjoyed excellent water conditions with exception of the dirty water early in the week and despite some bright days throughout and fish continued to appear in modest numbers as they moved steadily up stream especially on Saturday when catches were achieved on most middle beats. 

On Kercock it was a much better week with 6 fish landed including 4 on Saturday. 

Jim Lamb, Scott Sykes, 

Kenny Milne and 

Paul Quigley all caught fish on fly up to 18 pounds. The Murthly and Glendelvine beats had a quieter time with 4 fish between them with Jim Ferrie having success on the top beat. Newtyle had one for the week but Dalmarnock had a better week with 3. 

Dalguise had one fish caught by Brian Walker from the Bridge pool and a single fish was caught on Lower Kinnaird. Sadly, there were no others reported on the middle stretches. 

The Upper area has featured recently as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish, however no fish were recorded from the area last week probably due to the lack of water. 

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 but nothing was reported last week. 

The Tummel was also seeing sport recently form the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch at Portnacraig however there were no reports last week but on a positive note there are now around 1000 plus fish have ascended the ladder with temperatures rising. A single fish was reported from Loch Faskally.

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 however the lower water levels will be curtailing sport especially on the Ericht. 

The Earn is starting to see salmon and sea trout arrive in the last few weeks but nothing was reported 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 was slow as we saw out May. 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, June 4, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 4th May 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 4th May 2018.

The Salmon fishing season is now in June on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.  We have been encountering some much warmer weather after a prolonged winter became a memory. We have had good conditions last week with much lower levels and excellent conditions but maybe occasionally a bit bright and very warm. The coming week is looking settled with good temperatures again. There has been some more water maintaining the river height from heavy thunder downpours. On the opening months several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical 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 well into the fifties. Catches have been maintained but certainly not at the levels expected for the time of year however there is a bit more optimism after a slow start. 

On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are in the skies, 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 out in bloom, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay and a salmon would be a bonus.

Currently the river is running a bit dirty and at lower levels following thundery downpours at the weekend. It is at Caputh (10”) and similarly on the lower river ( 1’6 ) on the Ballathie gauge and should clear and settle with a good forecast.

The weather is to be settled over the next week with little chance of rain and again warmer temperatures welcoming us to summer. The warmer temperatures would have encouraged salmon to run the river and get into the upper areas as fish start to shoot through the ladder at Pitlochry. The water temperature was cold but now is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15.5 degrees Celsius following very warm weather. 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, there has now been a bold change in policy following poor catches so far this season and you are reminded that the Tay's policy from 1stJune until the end of 2018 season is that all salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% catch and release of all salmon caught in this period. salmon are a scarce and precious resource currently. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following this request from our current board. 


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 2nd June 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 2nd June 2018.

The Tay, Perthshire has now seen out May and entered June 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 far however the fantastic news continues with multi sea winter 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 2nd June)
SALMON & GRILSE: Upper Redgorton 1, Benchil 1, Ballathie 2, Cargill 3, Islamouth 16, Kercock 1, Murthly 2 2, Newtyle 2, Dalmarnock 1, Farleyer Upper 1, Lochlane and Laggan 1, Portnacraig Pitlochry 2, Loch Faskally 2.
Total: 35 Largest: Portnacraig Pitlochry 15lbs
SEA TROUT: Lower Redgorton 3.
Total: 3 Largest: Lower Redgorton 2lbs

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 and at lower levels now due to the lack of rain however some very heavy thunder showers at the weekend has given the river some fresh water which can only help matters. The numbers were again disappointing for May with just under 40 fresh salmon recorded last week making it a poor week for the time of year. 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. 

The Lower river saw its share of catches last week especially at Islamouth where the influence of the Isla has an undoubted benefit with now lower river levels and contributing 50% of the rivers catch for the week. A fish came off Upper Redgorton on Tuesday evening to a member of the Perth and District angling club on the fly. On Benchil Danny Fulton caught a 10 pounds fish on the fly from the Long Shot. Ballathie and Cargill shared 5 fish between them which must be very frustrating in great low water conditions for the beats. 

On Ballathie Mark Johnson and Fred Harrison were both successful with fish of 10 pounds. On Cargill 3 fish were caught in the week with Mark Gooch landing a 10 pounds fish on the fly from the Bridge Stream and 

Gerry Kelly landing another 10 pounds fish from the Lower Beat. Islamouth caught 16 in the week on fly with 2 or 3 fish landed each day up to 14 pounds. At the start of the week John Horlocks’s party landed 8 fish up to Wednesday then Mike Cuthbert’s party had a similar result for the last three days.  

The Middle river enjoyed excellent water conditions despite some bright days throughout the week and fish continued to appear in modest numbers as they moved steadily up stream. 

On Kercock a single fish fell to James Redmond. It was quiet in the Murthly area however the number 2 beat had a couple. 

Newtyle also accounted for a couple with Ken O’ Donnell landing a lovely 14 pounds liced fish from the Steps pool on the fly. Dalmarnock had a single fish for the week. Sadly, there were no others reported on the middle stretches. 

The Upper area has featured last week as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish, 1 fish was recorded from the Upper Farleyer beat. 

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 but nothing was reported last week. 

The Tummel was also seeing sport with 2 reported last week form the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch at Portnacraig up to 15 pounds and now around 750 plus fish have ascended the ladder with temperatures rising. Roy Longair caught a 15 pounds fish on the fly and Howard Rankin caught a 14 pounds fish on a spinner. The first fish were reported from Loch Faskally with 2 caught on Friday up to 14 pounds for Rod Lumsden and Gary Bruce. Further downstream Dunfallandy and West Haugh also had 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 however the lower water levels will be curtailing sport especially on the Ericht. 

The Earn is starting to see salmon and sea trout arrive in the last few weeks with Lochlane and Laggan reporting a single salmon. 

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 was slow as we saw out May. 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

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