Sunday, September 28, 2014

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 29th September 2014.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 29th September 2014.

The Salmon fishing season has now reached the end of September on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland and we have been getting more summer conditions and slightly colder weather for autumn fishing. The salmon run has not been strong on the river and catches have been hard to achieve. A big summer spate and other smaller rises freshened and cooled the water some weeks ago to trigger improved sport but we now require more rain to spice things up as the river is now at its lowest level this year. Currently resident salmon are in most of the pools throughout the river but not easy to catch. Expectation is high with an expectation of a further increase in autumn salmon running the river. This past week salmon were caught in reasonable numbers yet again but generally it was extremely tough going. The weather was settled making fishing much better but all in all conditions were still not easy for the pursuit of that magical salmon, an improving run has bolstered catches during recent weeks to more realistic figures on most days encouraging everyone. It has not been a summer and autumn to remember so far but hopefully the autumn run will improve in the days and weeks to come for the better.

Currently the river is steady after a settled week (approx just below 5” on the Ballathie gauge during Sunday). Lower river levels in the coming days should enable the river to be fished easily and hopefully a stronger run will produce some top quality fishing and allow fish to run further to enable catches to continue to spread. The weather is looking settled over the next week with little chance of rain again, everyone has to pray for rain that would change conditions and benefit the river to give a great chance of producing some more sport and some "Bars of Silver”.

The weather is looking settled for the week ahead but hopefully it is wrong and we will get some heavy rain to spark off some better sport in the coming weeks with a strengthening autumn run. The water temperature is now just below 58 degrees Fahrenheit or 14 degrees Celsius. These are now higher than normal temperatures for the time of year and the conditions have seen salmon running throughout the system. Colder weather would bring the water temperature down and make the fish more aggressive to improve catches. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river.

As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should enable you to catch the elusive Tay salmon. The water temperature has warmed up enabling 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. When spinning, Tay favourites include Toby Salmos, weighted and floating devons, flying C’s and Visons or Rapalas. Harling is also a favoured method many beats depending on water heights.

Finally you are reminded that the Tay's policy from June to the end of 2014 Season is that
• 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.

Please help preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the recommendations. The catches this year on most rivers throughout Scotland, Europe and Iceland have not been good so it is vitally important we return as many salmon carefully back to the rivers as possible to preserve the future of our sport.This is your best way to help as an angler and true sportsmen or women.

Guidance on good catch and release.

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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