Monday, May 3, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the last week of April 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the last week of April 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

River Tay Salmon Fishing report for the last week in April 2010.
After last week’s 53 spring salmon being reported this week was a bit better with 61. The odd Sea Trout are starting to run with 6 reported. A few other salmon were caught as well and not registered making it a reasonable week for the last week of April with hopefully better to come.

The river dropped steadily throughout the week with only a small rise in the river on Wednesday giving good conditions for spring fishing. The weather was a bit colder towards the end of the week but the river temperature rose to 48F or 9C by Saturday enabling Salmon to run freely. It is time to get your floating lines out!

This week the catches were dominated by the upper parts of the lower and middle river and a marked increase in the upper river, which is expected at this time of year with a rise in water temperature. 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 61 spring salmon caught. The catches were sparse on the lower Tay above Perth with only 2 salmon caught below the Catholes weir.

Perth and District member Ken Brown with a spring salmon from the Waulkmill beat on Saturday. The Salmon was caught harling in Berhaugh under the guidance of Scottish ghillie Jim Last.
However the beats above Stanley did much better. The Salmon seem to be running hard through the lower stretches and then slowing down above the Catholes weir. Last week signaled the end of the spring fishing on the lower beats with the boats coming off the river. The Islamouth area continues to fish well with a combined catch of 16 for the week with the river dropping to an ideal height for that stretch.

Earlier in the week John Hackney from London had 2 lovely salmon fly fishing from the boat on Tuesday on the Meikleour Estate stretch and on Friday 5 were caught by the other half of the beat.

The middle Tay again continued to catch with 22 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 should encourage fish to run up to the middle river for next week as well. Coupar Grange again faired well with 10 on the Isla. Newtyle and Dunkeld House continue to report salmon on a regular basis. Allan Rennie continues to have a superb spring season on Newtyle catching another springer this past week.

The Upper River and Loch had a much better week reporting 17 salmon. There are others being caught and not reported here as well. The milder conditions have encouraged spring salmon to run further upstream. The Tummel accounted for 9 on the Pitlochry Angling Club Portnacraig beat with Steven Watt continuing to have an unforgettable season.

Steven had a good morning on Saturday with a 12 and 14 pounds salmon from the Portnacraig beat fly fishing. Michel Bouyer caught a cracking 17 pounds beauty from the Upper Farleyer beat also fly fishing on Thursday and on a floating line. Summer approaches! Upper and Lower Kinnard have started to produce the odd salmon as well. There was a 28 pounder caught on Saturday on Upper Kinnaird. Loch Faskally has started to catch as well with salmon going through the Dam at Pitlochry.
There have been no reports from Loch Tay.

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 and Guidelines of the coming week.
As of Monday the river is settled and running at a good level.

The weather is settled this coming week with high pressure and maybe the chance of an odd shower but hopefully this will not affect the river levels. Hopefully it will be a settled week, which should bring better catches especially after 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 48 degrees Fahrenheit or 9 degrees Celsius with warmer weather to come, which will encourage 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.

The first ducklings take to the river.
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. It is time to get the floating lines out. I would suggest using sink tips on the Tay as it is a fast flowing river and this will stop the fly skating on the surface. 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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