Sunday, April 4, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay report for the first few days in April and last days of March and Prospects for next week 2010.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay report for the first few days in April and last days of March and Prospects for next week 2010.

River Tay Report for the week ending 3rd April 2010.
After last weeks 44 spring salmon being reported this week was much better with 58 with better conditions despite the horrendously cold weather on Tuesday. A few others were caught as well and not registered making it a reasonable first few days in April with hopefully better to come.

The river dropped steadily all week giving good conditions and it encouraged salmon to run up into the middle and upper areas. Saturday turned out to be the best day with 23 caught and evidence of a good run going through the lower and middle beats. A magnificent 30 pounder being landed and returned on the Newtyle beat caught fly fishing from the bank capped this.

The river temperature remained constant at around 40F or 5C for the entire week enabling salmon to run.
This was a 14 pounder caught by Scottish Ghillie Davie Seaton on the Upper Scone beat at Benchil just below Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland.
This was apparent by a number of salmon carrying long tailed sea lice. This could be good news for next week as well and hopefully the run that appeared on Saturday will continue.
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. This was the second week the middle river has had more salmon reported which must be down to the higher river levels and increase in water temperatures.
We have not had a strong run as yet which hopefully will improve. It is absolutely imperative we continue to adhere to our catch and release policy to return all spring salmon to preserve what we have for the future. Thank you all for making this possible so far.

The lower river produced 22 out of the 58 spring salmon caught. There were salmon caught on most of the lower Tay beats during the week. Taymount was the most consistent with 6.

The middle Tay produced 29 salmon for the week. This figure is conservative, as Glendevine, Lower and Upper Murthly would account for another 10 at least but do not report. The milder conditions and higher river levels should encourage fish to run up to the middle river for next week as well. Coupar Grange and Newtyle had a good week with 13 and 8 respectfully.

There was a real Tay beauty landed fly fishing on Saturday weighing around 30 pounds. Kenny Carr was the skilful angler who now has a good entry for the famous Saville’s Malloch Trophy for the largest fly caught salmon in Scottish waters. Other good spring salmon were landed at Newtyle, Dunkeld as well during the week.

Allan Rennie caught 3 in one day on Monday from the boat including an 18 pounder. That is certainly a spring day to remember.

Coupar Grange continued to enjoy good sport with 13 for the week, which included a 17 pounds spring salmon, caught fly fishing by Stanley ghillie Cohn O’Dea at Jack’s Bush.
Lastly Dalmarnoch got off the mark with a 14 pounder on Tuesday.

The Upper River and Loch only reported 7 salmon for the week. The milder conditions have encouraged spring salmon to run further upstream. The Tummel accounted for 5 as the salmon run further upstream.

Steven Watt caught a 7 pound Springer fly fishing on the Pitlochry Angling Club at Portnacraig last Wednesday. Then on Saturday Colin Fairgreive caught 2 beauties at 16 and 10 pounds fly fishing the club stretch, one from each bank. There have not been any updates from the Loch.

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 week commencing 5th April 2010.
As of Monday the river is settled and running at a good level.

The weather is to be reasonably settled with the chance of April showers. Hopefully it will be a settled week, which should bring better catches especially after Saturday’s encouraging catch.

The water temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 degrees Celsius and probably set to remain at that level which will not discourage salmon to run further upstream. The middle and Upper River should certainly benefit from this. Assuming the river continues to run at a consistent level there should be a better catch this coming week.

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, ie 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 it 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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