Sunday, January 12, 2014

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Opening Day 2014.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Opening Day 2014.

Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Opening Day 2014.

There is now only a few days until the river Tay opens its salmon fishing season for 2014. The excitement is building slowly with anticipated large crowds expected at Dunkeld and Kenmore for the public opening day events.
First Minister, Alex Salmond will formally open the Mighty Tay and perform the first cast of the 2014 season at the Hilton Dunkeld Hotel opening day gathering.

Anglers enjoying their first casts last season.
At Kenmore a traditional opening of the salmon season on the River Tay will also be held with a parade of fishermen to the river bank with the Vale of Atholl Junior Pipe Band, the 1st cast of the season will be made by Provost Liz Grant of Perth City to mark the opening of the River Tay and a speaker will wish the anglers 'tight lines' for the season.
There will also be several other smaller ceremonies on the various beats up and down the river to mark the opening.
Currently the river is running high but falling away following all the rain we have had over the last month. Colder and more settled weather is hopefully on the horizon at long last giving the river a great chance of producing some good sport and some early "Bars of Silver" on the opening day and beyond.

A superb Tay bar of silver.
Full details on the large Opening day events.

On January 15th anglers will be competing for the Redford Trophy, for the heaviest salmon caught and safely released from the River Tay on opening day was first fished for in 1986. It was named after the late Ian Redford of Errol, the then co-owner of the Newtyle beat who tragically died the year before.

The angler who lands the biggest salmon on the day will not only be presented with the Trophy but will receive a £250 tackle voucher courtesy of James Crockart & Sons, the famous Blairgowrie tackle and gun shop.

Anglers who land a witnessed opening day springer should contact Crockarts at 01250 872056 by no later than 5 p.m.

The weather is to be colder and and a bit more settled as the week goes on. The water temperature was high for the time year but has fallen back to just below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.5 degrees Celcius, which is more typical for this time of year but this could change by the end of this week. The temperature may come back further with the colder forecast during the week ahead but any salmon that are running may be spread throughout the system after milder conditions prior to the opening day giving everyone a good chance for the coming week. 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. Spring salmon identification help for those not sure about the different types of fish in the river at this time of year.

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 2014 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. Guidance on good Catch and Release practice.

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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