Sunday, February 16, 2014

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 17th February 2014.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 17th February 2014.

The Salmon fishing season on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland is in February and we have at last seen a relenting of the extreme conditions over the last week making fishing possible and to everyone surprise the spring salmon arrived in reasonable numbers especially on the lower river below the Linn pool. The weather turned much colder enabling this to happen but we are still encountering blips of mild weather and heavy rainfall making life very difficult as river levels have remained very high and unstable making the pursuit of that magical spring salmon near impossible at times. The weather hopefully will continue to ease more as we prey for colder settled conditions and a continuation of this past weeks catches.

Currently the river is continuing to run high despite colder weather over the whole of last week (approx 6’ on the Ballathie gauge). The lower river height did not go below 6 feet last week but the high water pools produced spring salmon around Stanley! There is a thought that these fish are being held up by the cold high water, as the river levels ease the fish will run further and the catches will spread. The weather is set to improve over the next few days and hopefully get colder which should benefit the river and give a great chance of producing some more sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements.
The Catholes Weir.
The weather is at last looking slightly better again this coming week and hopefully gets colder towards the end of the week. The colder temperatures will hopefully mean less rain and snow on higher ground, which should have less of an effect on the river heights and colour. 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 milder weather will certainly give us more water and encourage salmon to run the river. Colder weather would settle the river back to good levels and ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature was around 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 3.5 degrees Celcius. These are higher 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 prior to the opening day and resulted in fish being caught well up the system, the milder weather and increased river levels will continue to encourage spring salmon to run. 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.

The Linn Pool.
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.

Stanley Mill on Pitlochrie beat.
The Tay Ghillies Association has launched a FISH OF THE MONTH AWARD to encourage good catch and release practice on the Tay. Each month the winner will receive 2 personalised crystal Whisky glasses engraved with details of the catch and they will automatically be entered into the fish of the year competition for a Stylish Crystal Engraved Decanter.

• Catch a good Tay Salmon
• Weigh it carefully and photograph it with as little handling as possible.
• Verify with Ghillie
• Safely return the fish with a minimum of handling
• TGA Committee decision is final
Send entries with a photo and verification details to: -
Mike Hay, Sec of Tay Ghillies Assoc.
Mobile: 07762 464407
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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