Sunday, April 14, 2013

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 15th April 2013.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 15th April 2013.

The best spring weeks catches for the season have just been achieved 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 only on some nights but continued arctic winds. River levels remained at summer levels with no rain. Catches continued at good levels all week, which was very heartening. Mild weather has now arrived and is forecast for this coming week, but hopefully this will not stop us maintaining good sport.

The river at Stanley on Sunday afternoon.
Currently the river is rising rapidly after mild weather over Saturday night with warm winds and rain and this will continue this week (around 10' and still rising on the Ballathie gauge). The weather will be milder over the next week with little or no frost at night. This will benefit the whole river system as the salmon will spread with warmer temperatures and more water and hopefully this will maintain the chance of producing some sport for everyone.

The sharp rise on the Ballathie gauge.
The weather is set to remain milder over the coming week. Colder conditions are now disappearing but milder temperatures will encourage salmon to run up the river. The river is currently rising rapidly from rain and snow melt. The water temperature has risen slightly to around 43.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 6.5 degrees Celcius. These are typical temperatures for this time of year but certainly not in recent years. The temperature may rise further with the warmer forecast and spread the catches throughout the system. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river now with less emphasis on the lower stretches. There will no doubt be still quite a few kelts about on many beats, which are now fairly silver as they prepare to finally 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.

The river at Dunkeld rising quickly.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method with larger lures in the bigger water 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.

Some spring sport from recent days on the river 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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