Sunday, October 6, 2013

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 7th October 2013.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the river Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 7th October 2013.

The Tay in Perthshire, Scotland has autumnal conditions with some rain and still relatively high temperatures for the time of year. Catches improved last week due to small spate that freshened the river up. There was around 4 feet of extra water increasing expectation but generally everyone has to work very hard to gain results. The weather is more autumnal, lower river temperatures and more rain would help for this coming week, which could continue to improve fishing further and draw in a better run of autumn salmon. The catches have spread maintaining sport in the river but continued cooler weather and a large spate would boost it further and help to encourage more fresh fish to run into the river to sustain sport.

Dalmarnock taken by Gordon Pollock.
Currently the river is steady and falling back after the small spate (approximately 2’9 on the Ballathie gauge on Sunday). The weather has been warmer again making the river temperature rise back to 55F or 12.5C at the end of the week. Warmer conditions seemed to have effected catches therefore cooler conditions should help to maintain the chance of producing some better sport for everyone and improve catches further this coming week.

Autumn sunshine.
The weather is looking cooler and settled this coming week with a chance of frosts at night. Hopefully we will get more rain to maintain a reasonable height for the time of year. Rainfall will cool the water and hopefully encourage more salmon to run up the river in larger numbers as we enter October. It seems unbelievable that the river has not had a proper spate since May. Salmon were running last week but not in the numbers expected for the time of year and further cooling temperatures on all fronts this coming week will encourage more fish to run and fill everyone with enthusiasm for supreme sport to come. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river if that temperature comes back a bit.

Autumn colours appearing on the trees.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should enable you to catch the elusive Tay Salmon. The water temperature is cooling making floating lines with the addition of a sink tip being a favoured tactic and using normal dressed flies. It is still worth a go with sinking lines as well depending on water heights and stripping a Sun Ray Shadow is always worth a go. Summer conditions also enable you to try a riffled hitch, which can be very exciting. When spinning, Tay favourites include Toby Salmos, weighted and floating devons, flying C’s and Visons or Rapalas. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year on many beats.

Dunkeld taken by Jim Ferrie.
Finally you are reminded that the Tay's catch and release policy for 2013.
From 1 June to end of Season:
• All hen fish of any size and all cock fish over 10 pounds should be released.
• All coloured and gravid fish to be released.
• No more than one clean fish weighing, where possible, less than 10 pounds should be retained per angler per day.
• Anglers should not use worms in September or October in any part of the district.
Worming in June, July and August
Please adhere to these recommendations and help preserve the long term future of the river and your sport the recommendations. We have had a superb run and catch this season, which may just be down to the majority of anglers returning salmon over the past seasons. Thank you to all anglers who have this season so far returned their spring salmon to maintain our sport for the future, it is vitally important and is a great contribution by individuals who care for their sport and the river. Well done!

An autumn scene at Stanley.
When releasing salmon especially in warmer conditions 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.
I have been using the prospects posts for images of the river and would welcome any contributions. Thank you all, ghillies and individuals who have contributed so far to these posts.

The sun goes down on another day.
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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