Sunday, March 31, 2013

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 1st April 2013.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 1st April 2013.

There has been another very successful week completed on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland with continued cold weather and superb catches despite some inclement bitterly cold weather making it a debateable pleasurable pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The weather was consistently cold for the week with frosts most nights and arctic winds. River levels dropped back during the week to summer levels with no rain. Catches continued at good levels all week, which was very heartening. The colder spell will continue for this coming week, but hopefully this will not stop us maintaining good sport.

Catholes on the lower Tay.
Currently the river is running back at a lower level after more cold weather and there is continued cold weather forecast this week (10” and steady on the Ballathie gauge). The weather is set to remain cold over the next week, which should benefit the lower river mainly and maintain the chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements.

A spring salmon being played at Stanley Mills.
The weather is set to remain cold with frost forecast at night. 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. The river is falling with colder temperatures and will continue to do so until we get rain or a thaw from milder weather. The water temperature is currently around 39 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celcius but may drop back further! These are typical temperatures for this time of year but certainly not in recent years. The temperature may come back further with the colder forecast but there have been salmon running slowly throughout 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 which are now fairly silver as the prepare to return to the sea. They tend to be very thin with large heads and gill maggots and should not be mistaken for a spring salmon. 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.

Spring Fly fishing at its best on the Catholes at Stanley.
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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