Sunday, May 30, 2010

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

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

River Tay report for the week ending 29th May 2010.

After last week’s 52 spring salmon being reported this week was a bit better with 66 and 11 Sea Trout but still disappointing. A few other salmon were caught as well and not registered for the last week of May but hopefully better to come.

The river remained at summer level all week despite some heavy showers. The weather was a bit fresher towards the end of the week with the river temperature remaining at around 56F or 14C by Saturday.

This week was again dominated by the upper part of the lower river with few more salmon coming from the middle and 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 29 out of the 66 spring salmon caught. The beats in or just below the mouth of the Isla fished well especially at the end of the week. The Salmon seem to be running hard through the lower stretches and then slowing down in the Islamouth area. 27 salmon were caught in the Islamouth area for the week from the Islamouth, Ballathie and Cargill beats. On Saturday there was 7 salmon landed on Islamouth, which was a superb day for Leif Stävmo of the Guideline Company who had the beat for the last three days of the week. Leif sent me this small report.

“In a short, intense 3-hour spell at Islamouth, Leif landed a great threesome of fresh run silver with his single hand 10' #9 Reaction rod, a Float/Hover/Intermediate head and a small turbo coned Grey&Green tube fly from the Mikael Frödin Series of Salar Flies.
The three fish, all safely and happily released, were estimated at 7, 12 and 15 lbs.
A great last morning before heading off to Edinburgh for the flight back home to Sweden.”

Sea Trout catches continue to be disappointing this past week but hopefully this will improve.

The middle Tay caught 19 salmon for the week and could do with a bit more water to improve prospects and encourage salmon to run. Coupar Grange had 13 Salmon on the Isla.

The Upper River and Loch reported 18 salmon which was slightly better despite the lack of water curtailing sport. There are others being caught and not reported here as well. The milder conditions have encouraged spring salmon to run further upstream but we need more water to encourage more to run. This was the latest news from the Pitlochry Angling Club from Innes Smith.
“Last week we were, again, blighted by very low water. Despite this the run of fish strengthened with some big fish reportedly being seen. Graeme Stewart caught a sealiced fish of around 11lbs on Sawmill on Tuesday and then lost a much bigger fish after a 15mins tussle. On Wednesday Jason Hendry took another sea licer, this time an 8lbs fish off Pitlochry bank and on Thursday Bean McGowan took a 6lbs fish off Portnacraig. It’s going to be tough until we have some decent rain but plenty of fresh fish are running with some really good ones amongst them so if you are in the right place at the right time ...all is not lost. Over 1000 have now run through the fish ladder that is well up on last year at the same time.”
Lower Kinnaid also had a good week with 9 salmon landed up to 18 pounds.

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 summer level.

The Tay just below Stanley.
The weather is to remain showery with heavier rain on Tuesday but get much warmer for the end of the week, which should be better for Sea Trout fishing.
Hopefully there will be a bit of rain to freshen the river and that should bring better catches especially after last week with some disappointing results. Hopefully there will be a few more fish running to let the whole river have a chance. The warmer weather should make it worthwhile to go out for an evening cast for salmon and for sea trout on the lower river.

The water temperature is 56 degrees Fahrenheit or 14 degrees Celsius, which will encourage salmon to run further upstream. Assuming we get a bit of fresh water the middle and Upper River should certainly benefit.
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 if there is enough water.

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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