Sunday, March 21, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay report for third week in March and Prospects for next week 2010.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay report for third week in March and Prospects for next week 2010.

River Tay Report for week ending 20th March 2010.

After last weeks 38 spring salmon being reported this week was not quite so good with 31 being reported but there were a couple of spates in the week with rain and melting snow. A few others were caught as well and not registered making it a reasonable March with hopefully better to come.

The river was rising at the start of the week with melting snow and higher temperatures. It then started to drop nicely for Tuesday when 13 salmon were caught but then came flying up on Friday morning with a combination of heavy rain in the west and snow melting from the hills. The lower river was unfishable on Friday but cleared and dropped nicely for Saturday when 9 spring salmon were reported. The river temperature rose as well coming up to around 40F or 5C by the end of the week enabling salmon to run into the middle and upper river. This could be good news for next week.

There was a combination of a rise in the river at the end of the previous week and two rises during the week with 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.

The lower river produced 16 out of the 31 spring salmon caught. There were salmon caught on most of the lower Tay beats during the week.

The largest spring salmon caught on the lower Tay was caught by Perth angler Dennis Robb with a 19 pound beauty from the Waulkmill beat at Scone on a harled Rapala from the Burrhaugh pool.

Another notable catch was Stuart Mulholland catching a couple of springers on Saturday afternoon in the Linn pool at Stobhall on a Devon just above Stanley. Upper Scone also got back on the score sheet with a couple from the Pitlochrie beat on Saturday.

The middle Tay produced 13 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 had the largest salmon with a cracking 19 pound Springer on Thursday.

Newtyle also featured with a 17 ½ pound beauty falling to Allan Rennie caught on the fly from the Plain Tree pool. The Isla continues to produce with Coupar Grange and Islabank catching on a regular basis.

Neil Glencross caught a lovely 10 pounder from Jackie’s Bush on the Coupar Grange beat.

The Upper River and Loch only reported 2 salmon for the week. The milder conditions have encouraged spring salmon to run further upstream. Upper Kinnaird had their first salmon on Saturday. The west end of Loch Tay has been catching a few salmon but not all are reported. Up to the 13th March 33 had been caught with the largest being 25 pounds from the Highland Lodges caught by Joe Grew. This is slightly down on last years catch but with the bigger water on the river and higher temperatures this will improve.

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 the river Tay week commencing 22nd March 2010.

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

The river Tay at Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland on the lower Tay Sunday 21st March 2010.
The weather is to remain milder this coming week with a chance of rain on Monday but more settled for the rest of the week, which should bring better catches. There are to be no frosts and day temperatures are to remain the same as last week.

The water temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 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.

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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