Sunday, October 10, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the first week in October 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the first week in October 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

River Tay salmon fishing report for the Tay on the first week of October 2010.
After 609 salmon being finally reported last week, this week was even better with 659 salmon being reported so far, which was another good week for the river. A good few other salmon were caught as well this week but not registered.

The river was running at about 6 feet at the start of the week and gently dropped back as the week progressed. By the end of the week the river was settled and fishing consistently well with good prospects fro the coming week as well.

This week the lower river dominated the catches and the middle river faired reasonably with the rises in river levels. There is a consistent run of grilse and autumn 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.

Autumn salmon fly fishing on the Tay.

The lower river produced 536 out of the 657 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 through the lower stretches with more showing now as they start to slow down and catches remain consistently good. There are resident salmon appearing in most pools and this should improve prospects of good sport for the last week. All the lower beats had good returns for the past week with a more spread out catch and all posting very good results. The bigger water now should enable the beats further up the river achieve better catches as up until now the beats above the tide dominated the returns.
All the lower beats are enjoying a good autumn that will hopefully continue to the end of the season. Quite a few bigger salmon are being caught as well with fish in the upper teens and twenty’s regularly reported.
The lower river catch has now exceeded the 5 year average which is great news after the disappointing season last year. Long may it continue for future years.

The middle Tay caught 95 salmon for the week, which was much better, but this was missing catches from the Murthly area, which would add at least another 50 or so. All the beats in this area of the river have been catching. A notable day was 18 being caught at Meikleour on Tuesday.

A cracking fresh autumn salmon from the Tay in October.

The Upper River and Loch reported 7. There are now over 4400 salmon through the Pitlochry fish ladder which is on a par with the 5 year average.

The Isla reported 11. There are again a number of other salmon being caught on the Isla and not reported.

The Aberuthven water on the Earn reported 8 last week. There is a good run of salmon and grilse in progress on this river with all the recent rain.

A typical grilse caught by Mick Behan on the Benchil beat of the lower Tay.

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 last 5 days.
As of Monday the river will be settled and at a good level, a run of salmon and grilse continues. The forecast for this week is good with high pressure dominating; hopefully this will give us a great week for the last week of the Tay season with even better catches.

Autumn scene on the Tay below Stanley.

The water temperature remains around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius. There is still some 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. The river temperature has now dropped therefore spinning slower now should bring you success. 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.

Trevor McCann with a lovely salmon from Benchil on the Lower Tay.

* 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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