Sunday, May 9, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for first week of May 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for first week of May 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for week ending 8th May 2010.
After last week’s 61 spring salmon being reported this week was much the same with 60. The odd Sea Trout are starting to run with 7 reported. A few other salmon were caught as well and not registered making it a reasonable week for the first week of May with hopefully better to come.

The river dropped steadily throughout the week with only a small rise in the river on Thursday giving good conditions for spring fishing. The weather was a bit colder towards the end of the week but the river temperature rose to 50F or 10C by Saturday enabling Salmon to run freely. It is time to get your floating lines out!

This week the upper parts of the lower river dominated the catches with only a few from the middle river and slightly more from the upper areas. 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 37 out of the 60 spring salmon caught. The beats in or just below the mouth of the Isla fished very well. The Salmon seem to be running hard through the lower stretches and then slowing down in the Islamouth area. Last week signaled the end of the spring fishing on the lower beats with the boats coming off the river. Bank fishing continues on the lower Tay with the added interest of Sea Trout as a few were recorded this past couple of weeks. Islamouth, Ballathie and Cargill all fished well this past week with the river dropping nicely. At the start of the week the Meikleour Islamouth beat had 14 for the first 3 days with superb fly fishing conditions. Local anglers Neil Tong and Steven Watt, and

John McElroy all enjoyed good sport landing fresh spring salmon up to 17 pounds. Willie McAdam from Perth caught a lovely salmon on the Tuesday evening making 2 salmon in 2 outings this year. Steven Brown’s party and John Milligan’s party had a good week on Ballathie landing 8 salmon.

A cracking 10 pound salmon caught by former Tay Board Chairman John Milligan.
Cargill also did well with 6 salmon for the week and interestingly all the salmon caught came off the top beat on these stretches.

Martin Ferry had a lovely 14 pounds salmon on Saturday from the Bridge Stream fly fishing from the boat.

The middle Tay did not do so well this past week with 9 salmon for the week. This figure is conservative, as Glendelvine, Lower and Upper Murthly would account for a few more at least but do not report. The milder conditions should encourage fish to run up to the middle river for next week so let us hope for better catch returns. Coupar Grange didn’t do so well either with 4 on the Isla.

The Upper River and Loch had 14 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 5 on the Pitlochry Angling Club Portnacraig beat with John Kane landing the largest estimated at 20 pounds fly fishing from the Pitlochry bank. Upper and Lower Kinnard continue to produce the odd salmon as well. 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 for the week commencing 10th May 2010.
As of Monday the river is settled and running at early summer 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 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 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.

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 would 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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