Sunday, June 13, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the second week of June 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the second week of June 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

The river Tay Salmon fishing report for the second week in June 2010.

After 47 salmon being reported last week, this week was equally disappointing with only 49 but on a more positive note there was 28 Sea Trout reported which was much better. A few other salmon and sea trout were caught as well but not registered and hopefully after the fresher water from last week we should have better sport to come this coming week.

On Friday the Tay held its annual Conservation and Awards Dinner in the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel with Guest Speaker Donald Findlay Q.C. The event was a tremendous success again with a superb location by the river in a Riverview Marquee.

Donald Findlay delivering his speech.
This year the Conservation trophy was awarded to Mike Miles and Steve Keay from the government hatchery and research station at Almondbank for their invaluable work on the Kelt reconditioning project and spring stocking on the Tay system.

Mike Miles and Steve Keay receiving the Ballathie conservation award.

Also at the event was the first presentation of the Savills Malloch Trophy for the largest Scottish salmon caught fly fishing and returned in 2009.
This was awarded to Sandy Walker for his 31 pounds salmon on the river Lochy. The event successfully raised funds for the river Tay Action for Salmon appeal. The funds will go towards removing weirs to enable salmon to progress upstream to vital spawning areas, riverbank habitat works to benefit juvenile salmon, the protection of salmon smolts at small hydro stations, Hatchery improvements and a Fish counter on the Shochie burn to help improve our stocking policy.
It was a truly memorable evening to further the cause of the Tay as this event gets even more popular. Look out for next year’s event.

The river came up during the week with some heavy showers and then dropped away quickly leaving a peaty colour in the river by the end of the week, which curtailed catches. The fresh water cooled the river a bit bringing the river temperature back to around 55F or 13C by Saturday.

This week the catches came for all over the system albeit poor but with fresh water catches hopefully will improve next week. 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 17 out of the 49 salmon caught. The beats in or just below the mouth of the Isla produced the most success with odd fish caught lower down the river just above the tide. The Salmon seem to be continuing to run hard through the lower stretches and then slowing down in the Islamouth area. The Islamouth beat caught 11 for the week.

Tom Helme with a lovely 12 pounds salmon from the Donnits pool on Islamouth on Saturday caught and returned fly fishing from the boat.

A notable 24 pounds salmon was caught at Cargill by Ghillie David Godfrey on a floating devon.

Sea Trout catches have improved this past week throughout the system with hopefully more to come.

The middle Tay caught 12 salmon for the week but again this should now improve with the fresh water and encourage salmon to run. Coupar Grange had 6 Salmon on the Isla.
Dunkeld house had a good day on Monday with 3 salmon landed.

The Upper River and Loch reported 20, which was much better due to the rise in the river. There are salmon now running into the upper tributaries as well. There are now over 1600 salmon through the Pitlochry fish ladder. This was Innes Smiths report from Pitlochry.
“The conditions on all our beats are currently good, although the rivers are now falling back to summer level, and fish are being caught – and lost! Good numbers of fresh fish are still on the move following heavy showers over the past few days. The generally cooler, cloudier conditions are also favorable. On Monday, three salmon were caught on Pitlochry Portnacraig Beat, one of about 14lb on a monkey fly by Jim Kennedy, one of about 12lb on cascade fly by Tony Brown of Edinburgh, and one of about 12 lb on flying C by Pat Phelan of Edinburgh. All three fish were off the Pitlochry bank. Stuart Norris, one of about 12 lb and the other a small fish of only about 5lb, caught a further two salmon on Ruan Ruarie at Soldier’s Leap. On Tuesday, both Ken Scott and his friend lost salmon on Pitlochry Portnacraig Beat, and Ken Scott had a sea trout of about 3lb on a monkey fly. On Ruan Ruarie, John Hamerman had a salmon of about 12lb on fly at the tail of the Viaduct Pool, having lost another fish earlier in the day and Mike Ross lost a fish as he was about to net it on the Grilse Pool, apparently as his leader must have snagged one the sharp rocks close to the edge of this pool. On Wednesday, Donnie Whiteford caught two salmon on Pitlochry Portnacraig Beat, one of about 12lb off the Pitlochry bank and one of about 6lb off the Portnacraig bank and on Ruan Ruarie Beat; Raymond Leary caught two small salmon on the Viaduct Pool. One was on Flying C and the other on zebra Toby. On Thursday, Scott Ferguson caught a salmon of 5 or 6lb and Donnie Whiteford caught a sea trout of about 3½ lb on Pitlochry Portnacraig Beat off the Pitlochry bank on Park shrimp fly. Up on Ruan Ruarie,

Scott Henderson caught a sea liced salmon of 7 lb on zebra Toby on the grilse pool. Yesterday, Friday, Jim Kennedy had a nice fish of about 17lb on Pitlochry Portnacraig Beat on shrimp fly and lost another fish of similar size, both off the Pitlochry bank and

Donnie Whiteford had a small salmon of about 6 lb.”

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 weather is to good for the week, getting warmer by the end of the week and after last weeks rise in water this should be better for Salmon and Sea Trout fishing.

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 55 degrees Fahrenheit or 13 degrees Celsius, which will encourage salmon to run further upstream. With 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 you are reminded that the Tay's policy for June - October 2010 is that all hen salmon, male salmon over 10 pounds and all sea trout should be released, ie the Tay has adopted a policy of 100% catch and release for hen salmon and sea trout. 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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