Sunday, March 14, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Report and Prospects second week of March 2010.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Report and Prospects second week of March 2010.

Tay Report for week ending 13th March 2010.
After last weeks 32 spring salmon being reported this week was even better with 38 being reported. A few others were caught as well and not registered making it a good start for March with hopefully better to come.

The river was running at about 1 foot at the start of the week but there was much warmer temperatures this week which eventually started to make the river rise at the end of the week. The river gradually dropped away as the week went on with good conditions for spring fishing then started to rise on Friday. The river temperature rose as well coming up from 34F to 38F by the end of the week enabling salmon to run into the middle and Upper river. On Friday the rise in temperature caused the snow to melt on the hill and river rose to 1 ½ foot on the lower river to create a good day on Saturday with 12
springers registered. This could be good news for next week.

There was a combination of a slight rise in the river at the end of the previous week and higher temperatures, which encouraged a continuation of a run of spring salmon for the week. This week the catches were shared between the lower river and the middle river, which is expected at this time of year with a rise in water temperature. It also carried on into the upper river as well.

The lower river produced 18 out of the 38 spring salmon caught. There were salmon caught on every day of the week with Waulkmill, Ballathie, Pitlochrie and Benchil each catching 3 springers for the week. The Islamouth beat caught a combination of 5 for the week. Ghillie Jock Tait got off the mark for the season with a couple of salmon at the end on the week at Upper Redgorton, which was not registered. Another spring salmon not recorded was an 8 pound fish off the fly only Stormont Angling club water at Rome Croy caught by Peter Backhouse.

Best fish of the week fell to lady angler Charlotte Gifford with a superb 16 ½ pounds salmon on a Blue and Silver 13cm floating Rapala caught casting from the boat on the Pitlochrie beat at Stanley. Ghillie Jimmy Last was back at the helm at Waulkmill after a hand operation to secure 3 lovely springers for the week.

Another notable catch was a first ever for visiting American angler Richard Smith who caught a lovely 12 pound salmon at Ballathie with the aid of ghillie George McInnes.

The middle Tay produced 15 salmon for the week. The milder conditions at the end of the week should encourage fish to run up to the middle river for next week as well. Kercock caught 6 salmon, which included 4 on Thursday, and Coupar Grange continued to produce with 5.

Dunkeld House caught 2 salmon on Saturday and the heaviest spring salmon for the week from the river. Willie Cummins caught 2 for the day including a superb 22 pound beauty.

The Upper River and Loch only reported 5 salmon for the week. The milder conditions have encouraged spring salmon to run further upstream. Dalguise caught a couple and lower Kinnaird caught a 15 pound salmon on Tuesday.

Many thanks for all the pictures everyone sent me of opening week spring salmon and thanks to all who have sent me their individual fishing experiences over the last season on the river. I would be most grateful if you to do the same this season by emailing to be included in this report.

Prospects for week commencing 15th March 2010.

As of Monday the river is settled and running at a better level after last weeks milder spell at the end of the week.

The snow gently melting off the hills giving the Tay more water. This is the view from Glenshee looking back to Perthshire today.
The weather is to remain milder this coming week with a chance of a little rain at the end of the week. There are to be no frosts and day temperatures are to be higher than last week.

The water temperature is 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius and probably set to rise a bit more encouraging salmon to run further upstream. The middle and Upper River should certainly benefit from this.

There is good availability throughout the river so why not have a go.

As to methods, spinning and fly fishing from the bank with larger lures due to the colder water should enable you to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.

Finally you are reminded that the Tay's policy for January - May 2010 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.

To help you follow our guidelines I have included these helpful pointers.

How to SAFELY Release a Salmon
“The best method of releasing a salmon is to leave it in the water
and touch nothing but the hook with fingers or pliers.
“Whatever the method, care combined with speed, will give the fish the best chance of survival.”
Lee Wulff, Atlantic Salmon Journal Winter 1964/65

• Use barbless or pinched hooks
• Retrieve your fish quickly; release it immediately
• Keep the fish in the water
• Use rubber or knotless cotton net, if one must be used
• Cut the leader if necessary
• Remove the hook carefully
• Hold the fish gently in natural swimming position, facing upstream until it revives
• Don’t pump the fish. That is, don’t move the fish back and forth in the water.

How should hooks be removed?
Very Carefully
In quiet water, bring the wild salmon quickly within reach. Leaving the salmon in water and without squeezing it, remove the hook carefully with pliers or thumb and forefinger. If a net must be used, it should be rubber or knotless cotton. If necessary, cut the leader near the fly and spare the fish.

The Science of Live Release
“Peer-reviewed science supports live release as a proven and effective conservation tool.”
Dr. Fred Whoriskey,
ASF Vice-President, Research & Environment

Studies in North America and Europe have shown live release works, and in some instances Atlantic salmon have been angled 2 and 3 times.
Science has shown that virtually all Atlantic salmon will survive when released, as long as the angler uses the proper techniques, refrains from angling in overly warm water, and does not overplay the Atlantic salmon.
Like athletes sprinting on a track, Atlantic salmon build up lactic acid in their muscle tissues when they are being played.
The Key is Oxygen – The fish need oxygen in order to recover and continue their journey.
To recover, Atlantic salmon need:
• careful handling by the angler to reduce stress
• to remain in the water where they can breathe and reduce the oxygen deficit in their tissues
• to be held in an upstream position for water to flow more easily across their gills

Photographing Your Spectacular Live Release Salmon.

Use a photo partner:

* Digital camera: make settings on the camera before you begin fishing or use a point and shoot film camera. Give it to your partner before the angling session.

* Whether a digital camera or a film camera, tell your partner to fill the frame, and take several images.

* If it is a film camera, be sure there is film in the camera. This may seem to be a simple matter, but mistakes do happen...

Let your Partner get into Position:

* Tell him/her what you are going to do. Alert your partner before you take the fish out of the water.

Support the Atlantic salmon:

* Carefully take the barbless hook out of the fish’s mouth. With rod tucked under your arm, move one hand to the base of the tail. With your other hand, support the fish under the forward part of its body. Keep it in the water, with the fish pointed upstream to help its recovery.

* If a third person is present, give him or her the rod to hold, so you can concentrate on the wild salmon.

Take the Picture Quickly:

* With your photo partner warned, raise the wild Atlantic salmon partially out of the water for less than five seconds - or consider leaving it semi-submerged for the photo instead!

Return the Fish to Continue its Spawning Run:

* Support the salmon underwater in a natural position facing the current, handling it as little as possible. Give it time to recover. The goal is for the wild salmon to swim away on its own.

* Digital cameras offer the opportunity to adjust the film speed to suit conditions. In low light, such as evening, morning, heavy cloud, or deep shadow, consider setting the speed to 400, to take care of both movement and the low light. Experiment beforehand on speeds above 400, as many digital images become heavily pixilated at greater sensitivity.

* Remember to adjust the white balance for deep shadow, to warm the image.

* Today’s print films even at 400 speeds are superb. Use 400-speed film at dawn, dusk or in shadow.

* Don’t forget to smile! Your photo is a valuable memory.

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 to be included in this report.

Tight lines.

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Anonymous said...

You have some great photos of really nice fish. Any chance of a photo of the 28 pounder from Pitlochry Dam on Saturday

Robert White said...

Unfortunately that fish does not seem to exist now. There must have been something suspect about it. Shame but i think the Tay will produce a big springer soon. Maybe this coming week.

Anonymous said...

According to the Pitlochry Angling Club website pictures were taken of this fish. Its a shame we cannot judge the fish for ourselves and compare it against the photos you have on your blog of the lovely silver Tay springers up to 22 pounds.

alan wales said...

magic photos,

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