Monday, August 16, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the Second week in August 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the Second week in August 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the second week of August 2010.

After 253 salmon being reported last week, this week was as encouraging with 245 salmon and 8 Sea Trout which is another good week for the river. A good few other salmon and sea trout were caught as well this week but not registered.

The river was settled and steadily dropped back throughout the week making good conditions for all but with a small rise on Saturday from rain on Friday.

This week the lower river, despite the salmon running hard up the river dominated the catches. There were far more grilse caught as well, which was encouraging. The grilse run should improve, as we get more into August. It is absolutely imperative we continue to adhere to our catch and release policy to return as many salmon as possible to preserve what we have for the future. Thank you all for making this possible so far.

Stuart Ross with a small grilse from the Pitlochrie beat at Stanley.
The lower river produced 163 out of the 245 salmon caught. All the lower beats caught as the salmon ran up the river with lower river levels. The Salmon seem to be continuing to run hard through the lower stretches with more showing now as they start to slow down and catches are improving. The lower river has had more favourable conditions, which has improved catches as well. Almondmouth, Waulkmill, Stobhall, Taymount, Ballathie and Islamouth all had good returns for the past week. The Stormont Angling Stretch at Perth also caught a few fish this week, which are not recorded and mostly caught fly fishing.

A notable first was Victoria Philips catching her first salmon fly fishing on Islamouth quickly followed by her second half an hour later.

The middle Tay caught 29 salmon for the week but this is missing catches from the Murthly area, which would add at least another 20 or so. All the beats in this area of the river have been catching but best beat was Kercock with 16 last week.

The Isla caught 35 for the week all reported from Coupar Grange. Quite a few others are being caught on the Isla and not reported.

The Upper River and Loch reported 18; there is room for improvement with the increase in river levels allowing salmon and grilse to run upstream. The Dalguise beat caught 10 for the week which also included the lagest salmon off the system weighing 20 pounds. There are now over 3500 salmon through the Pitlochry fish ladder which is on a par with the 5 year average.

Many thanks for all the pictures and information everyone sent me in the past (ghillies and anglers) and also to all who have sent me their individual fishing experiences. I would be most grateful if you continue to send me information by emailing me at to be included in this report.

Prospects for the coming week.
As of Monday the river will be settled and back down to summer level, a run of summer salmon and grilse is in progress. There is the prospect of rain this week, which should make this continue and encourage them to run up river. There is rain forecast for the middle of the week but hopefully this will not deter sport on the river by creating unsettled conditions.

Low water at Stanley.
The water temperature remains at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius. 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 summer salmon and grilse. I would suggest using sink tips on the Tay for fly fishing, as it is a fast flowing river and this would stop the fly skating on the surface. When spinning at this time of year a Toby or Flying C spun quickly can do the trick. Cast slightly upstream then wind like mad. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year if there is enough water.

Ian Kettles from Glasgow with a lovely fresh salmon caught fly fishing on the Benchil beat below Stanley. A quick photo is taken prior to release and the salmon is not handled.

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 hen salmon, male salmon over 10 pounds and all sea trout to conserve stocks for the future . i.e. the Tay has adopted a policy of 100% catch and release for hen salmon and sea trout. 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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