Sunday, May 20, 2012

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Prospects for week commencing 21st May 2012.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Prospects for week commencing 21st May 2012.

The river was unsettled at the start of last week due to heavy rain on Sunday and more rain in the middle of the week didn’t help matters however by Saturday the river was settling nicely for the coming week. The forecast is for more settled and at last some warmer weather, which should do the world of good. The fresh water should encourage salmon and sea trout to run and should still give the river a great chance of producing more good sport.
The Tay at Dunkeld.

The weather will be more settled this week with much warmer days and little chance of rain improving prospects of sport on the river. The water temperature is currently around 46 degrees Fahrenheit or 8 degrees Celsius due to the colder snap but this should rise this coming week and improve the fishing. There might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river and hopefully the run will strengthen after fresh water to give us even more success.
Multi sea winter spring salmon continue to be caught as well which is very encouraging and the prospect of a large springer is a real possibility after a few bigger fish appeared last week.
Fly fishing at Islamouth.

As to methods, in settled conditions and rising river temperatures fishing by any method will be varied to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Fly fishing now will be with intermediates or floating line with a sinking tip and smaller tubes or a dressed fly. It is always worth a go with a Sun Ray as well. Spinning from the bank with Devons and Tobies are a good bet. It is even worth a go with a flying C as the fish become more active in warmer water. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year but be warned if cold conditions persist, wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.

Finally you are reminded that the Tay's policy for January - May 2012 is that all spring salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has adopted a policy of 100% catch and release for spring salmon. Spring 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.
Stephen Paterson about to release a spring salmon at Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland.
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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