Saturday, February 9, 2013

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 11th February 2013.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 11th February 2013.

The Salmon fishing season on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland at last had a week of excellent conditions after some extreme weather over the last couple of weeks in the pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The weather eased, the catches started to improve and the good news is that settled conditions should prevail over the next week to maintain good sport.

Currently the river is running at a more reasonable level after better weather and has settled back to a better height (under 4' and falling on the Ballathie gauge). The weather is set to remain settled over the next week and then get colder again which should benefit the river and maintain the chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements.
A superb photo taken by Willie Cummings of the Dunkeld beat.

The weather is to get colder over the next week with possibly more snow earlier in the week and a touch more water. Colder conditions certainly benefit the river at this time of year slowing the spring salmon run down and giving everyone a chance to catch as they run up the river slowly. Milder weather a week ago and plenty of water encouraged salmon to run the river, which has now benefited everyone as conditions have settled. At the end of the week colder weather is set to return which should settle the river back further and give ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature is currently around 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 3.5 degrees Celcius but may drop back. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. The temperature may come back further with the colder forecast at the end of the week ahead but there have been salmon running throughout the system after milder conditions and this resulted in fish being caught well up the system. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. There will no doubt be quite a few kelts about on many beats and possibly some later run fish, which have yet to spawn. Should you require guidance on salmon identification at this time of year please see this link for some help.

As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method will have to be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.

Finally you are reminded that the Tay's policy for January - May 2013 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.

When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended.
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 the reports.

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