Sunday, April 11, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay report for the first complete week in April and Prospects for next week 2010.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay report for the first complete week in April and Prospects for next week 2010.

River Tay Report for the week ending 10th April 2010.
After last weeks 58 spring salmon being reported this week was not quite so good with 44 but the catch was virtually only in 3 days fishing. A few others were caught as well and not registered making it a reasonable first complete week in April with hopefully better to come.

The river rose steadily on Monday and with heavy rain and high winds on Monday night was in full spate by Tuesday. On Wednesday the river was still dirty, especially on the lower Tay but started to clear by nightfall. The rest of the week was ideal but it was only the middle Tay that really benefited with some good catches.

The river temperature started to rise as well and was running at 43F or 5.5C by Saturday enabling salmon to run. 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 will continue.
This week the catches were dominated by the middle river, which is expected at this time of year with a rise in water temperature. This was the first week the middle river has had more salmon reported than the lower and upper area together 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 12 out of the 44 spring salmon caught. The catches were sparse on the lower Tay beats during the week.

Scottish ghillie Dave Barwick releases an 8 pound spring salmon from the Upper Scone beat caught by Dr Tony Portno at Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland.
Upper Scone accounted for 3 and Islamouth caught 3 lovely spring fish on Saturday.

A beauty from Islamouth on Saturday.

The middle Tay dominated the catch with 27 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 again faired well with 16 on the Isla. There are also salmon also being caught on the Ericht below Blairgowrie.
There was a real Tay beauty landed again this week on Burnbane. Arnot McWhinnie landed a 27 1/2 pound Springer on Friday from the boat harling a Tomic. Other good spring salmon were landed at Dunkeld House as well at the end of the week.

The Upper River and Loch
only reported 5 salmon for the week. The milder conditions have encouraged spring salmon to run further upstream. The Tummel accounted for 4 as the salmon run further upstream.

Steven Watt, a regular on the Pitlochry Angling Club at Portnacraig caught a 9 pound Springer fly fishing on Saturday and Davie Stewart had a lovely 9 pounder as well on Tuesday as the river began to calm down. 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 coming week.
As of Monday the river is settled and running at a good level.

The weather is to be settled with high pressure for most of the week. Hopefully it will be a settled week, which should bring better catches especially after the last few days of last week with some encouraging catches. Hopefully there will be a few more fish running to let the lower river have a chance.

The water temperature is 43 degrees Fahrenheit or 5.5 degrees Celsius and probably set to rise with the warmer weather and little prospect of a frost, 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 should enable you to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year.

Finally all anglers are reminded that the Tay's policy for Catch and Release in 2010 is that we now recommend every angler should release all spring salmon to conserve stocks for the future . 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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