Sunday, August 29, 2010

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

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

River Tay Salmon fishing report for the last week in August 2010.
After 326 salmon being reported last week, this week was more encouraging with 385 salmon, which was the best week for the river of the season. A good few other salmon and sea trout were caught as well this week but not registered.

The river was running at a good height at the start of the week. However there was rain during the week unsettling the river on a couple of days and the pressure dropped making life difficult otherwise the catch could have been much better. By the end of the week the pressure started to rise and the river was settled making it a good day on Saturday.

This week the lower river dominated the catches yet again. The grilse run continues but a heartening sign this past week was the start of a few larger salmon. 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.

The lower river produced 309 out of the 385 salmon caught. All the lower beats caught as the salmon ran up the river with favourable 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. There are at last odd resident salmon appearing in most pools and this should improve prospects of good sport in the future weeks. All the lower beats had good returns for the past week with Almondmouth topping the list with 81 and including 19 in one day on Wednesday. Waulkmill and Lower Redgorton also had good weeks. The largest salmon fell to Lower Redgorton with a 26 pounder caught by Charles Stuart-Menteith on the fly.

"This was the 26 pounds fish Charles Stuart-Menteth caught fly fishing from the boat with Scottish Ghillie Stuart Lean on Lower Redgorton. The fish was a cock and covered with sea lice which was carefully returned. He played the fish for 35 minutes and caught on a size 8 cascade on a floating line with a sink tip and by the way his handle fell off his reel while playing a 14lb fish just before he hooked this one, he managed to reel in using the handle counter balance knob plus he landed the 14lb fish too making it a very memorable day for him. The 14 pound fish was his biggest fish ever until he got this beauty." Thank you Stuart for this report.

There were quite a few other good salmon landed from all the beats in the 20 pounds region, which is great news.

This was an 11 pound beauty landed by Dougie Owen from Plymouth on Saturday on ther Benchil beat below Stanley. For good measure it was Dougies 90th birthday as well and what a way to celebrate.

Congratulations from all on the Tay.
The middle Tay caught 48 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. Kercock did well accounting for 21 which included 2 caught by 16 year old Charles Gifford on Saturday.

The Isla caught 11 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 17. There are now over 3700 salmon through the Pitlochry fish ladder which is on a par with the 5 year average and 9000 through the Ericht which is ahead of the 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. The forecast for this week is good with high pressure giving us settled conditions, which should give the river a good week and hopefully more good sport.

The water temperature remains just below 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.

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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