Sunday, April 3, 2011

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Spring Salmon Fishing Report for week ending 2nd April 2011.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Spring Salmon Fishing Report for week ending 2nd April 2011.

River Tay Spring Salmon Fishing Report for week ending 2nd April 2011.
The last few days of March and beginning of April on the Tay was encouraging despite big water in the middle of the week due to heavy rain and snow melting off the hills with higher temperatures. Conditions were difficult at times for spring fishing but reasonable catches were still achieved.

The river was settled at the start of the week, then unsettled on Thursday but by Saturday it was settling nicely and it gave reasonable conditions for the end of the week, which resulted in limited success throughout the river due to another 4 or 5 inch rise on Saturday afternoon. The river temperature climbed to 44 degrees Fahrenheit or 6 degrees Celsius by Saturday.

48 spring salmon were reported last week, with the best spring salmon for a number of years of 35 pounds being landed at Pitlochrie at Stanley on Tuesday by Ghillie Bob White harling in the boat.

On the lower river 24 fresh spring salmon were caught.
The best salmon of the week was a superb 35 pounds spring salmon from Pitlochrie and Benchil, which was caught by Ghillie Bob White on Tuesday from the tail of the Tarr Tank harling in the boat. This was great news for the Tay to know large multi sea winter fish were returning and were in the system. Quoting an article by Arnot McWhinnie in the Daily Mail “It is vitally important that fish like this are not killed so that the genes which help them to grow to that size will be passed on to their progeny. “The last few years have seen the return of bigger and bigger salmon which the Tay was once famous for which is a wonderful thing for the river and augurs well for the future.”
Stobhall and Taymount were again prominent in the catches on the lower Tay this past week. On Monday Keith Greenwell caught a lovely 11 pounds salmon harling on Stobhall and Jimmy Chim had a cracking 12 pounds springer on the Catholes at Stanley on a Devon in the Woodside pool. Also on Stobhall there was a party of Swedish visitors to the Tay for the week. This was their personal account of their week on the Tay.
“ Champagne for everybody! said Jochen, after catching an 18 pound springer at Stobhall last Tuesday. So our company of four merry fishermen from Stockholm and one from Helsinki enjoyed a glass of champagne at that night’s dinner at lovely Horsey Reach Lodge in Stanley. The main subject for our discussions were of course that great springer salmon - while soaking our sore muscles in the hot tub on the lodge veranda overlooking the Pitlochry beat.
The skillfull ghillies Bob Campbell and Ernie Duff guided us right where and how deep we were to present our flies for the salmon. It was very comforting to learn that our ghillies 'seen it all' - in terms of water and weather conditions i e.
We had a fantastic fishing week at Stobhall / Taymount, thanks to our ghillies and our travel arranger Toni Kakkuri. He was able to bring 3 new rods to borrow on the arriving day, when our rods were misplaced at Stockholm airport. Our rods were delivered first after 2 days to Tayside Hotel.
Our dinners at the lodge had a golden touch because the local butcher, Stevensons, provided us with well-hanged sirloins and fine lamb wracks. We would also like to thank the experienced fisherman Toni Kakkuri from Finland, for arranging this excellent fishing trip that will long live in our memories.
Thanks also to the ghillie at the Benchil and Pitlochrie beat, Bob White, for letting us to try out the new Loomis NRX-rods.”
Thank you Jochen for your contribution and haste ye back.
Islamouth had a good day on Thursday despite rising water with Glasgow lawyer and Tay regular John McElroy landing 3 out of the for salmon for the day including one fly fishing. On Saturday Ian Watson from Stirling landed a lovely fresh 8 pounds salmon from Horsey harling at Stanley and
Graham Brooks had a lovely 12 pounds springer on the fly on Finford Head at Taymount.
Hopefully the river will remain settled and clear this coming week, which should make for excellent prospects.

The middle river reported 10. Kercock, Newtyle, Dunkeld house and Dalmarnock all featured. Others on the middle river caught but have not reported.

On the upper river 7 were reported. Lower Kinnaird reported their first salmon of the season, as did Findynate. Pitlochry continue to catch as well.
At Dalguise on Saturday Bob Barclay caught an 18 pounds Salmon in the morning on a flying bucktail in The Otterstone Pool. Then George Inglis caught a 7 pounds salmon on his first visit to Dalguise in the afternoon on a flying Bucktail in the Otterstone Pool.
There has not been anything officially reported from Loch Tay but I understand there have been quite a few spring salmon landed. Hopefully some details will filter through.

The Isla reported 7 all from mostly Coupar Grange and 1from Islabank.

Many thanks for all the pictures everyone sent me of spring salmon and all who have sent me their individual fishing experiences this and last season on the river.
I would be most grateful if you to do the same this season by emailing me at to be included in this report.

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1 comment:

Robert White said...

This was an interesting email I received today.

Good Afternoon

I’ve been reading with great interest your report on the Tay fishing for the last week and understandably there is much excitement about the 35lb fish taken. I do hope you’re assertion that this capture denotes the spread of multi sea winter fish throughout the system – is a correct one!

I used to fish the Tay back in the seventies and eighties and although at that time the spring runs were starting to decline there were then significantly greater numbers of fish in the river between January and March. And amongst these there was always a chance of a really good one – 30 pounds and upwards!

But in my view Scottish rivers generally have gone backwards since then in large part because of the lamentable approach taken by the Scottish Authorities who seem almost oblivious of the opportunities available from your wonderful resource but constantly pander to netting and salmon farming interests! Down here we have a similar problem under the guise of the EA - charged with improving our rivers and fish stocks they seem far more concerned with the production of scientific data.

Contrast that with the excellent level of practical management of rivers in Iceland, Russia (Kola) and increasingly Canada and Norway – here the nettle is being firmly grasped with commensurate increases in fish stocks. One can’t help but feel that many of the Scottish salmon fisheries (great as they once were) are now sadly living on past glories!

I haven’t fished the Tay for nigh on 20 years but am putting that to rights next month when I and two friends will be taking a beat for one week! I’m looking forward to it very much and if I happen to chance upon one of the multi sea winter fish you mention in your report I shall certainly let you know!

With best regards for the coming season!

Philip Pendlebury

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