Sunday, October 12, 2014

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 13th October 2014.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 13th October 2014.

The Salmon fishing season is now well into October on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland and we have been getting at last some rain to raise river levels and slightly colder weather for autumn fishing. The salmon run has not been strong on the river and catches have been hard to achieve in recent weeks but the improved conditions saw catches improve dramatically this past week. A big summer spate and other smaller rises freshened and cooled the water some weeks ago to trigger improved sport but recently more rain was required to spice things up as the river was at its lowest level this year. The good news is that rain has raised river levels and that has triggered off much better sport.

Currently resident salmon are in most of the pools throughout the river but not easy to catch. Expectation is high of a further increase in autumn salmon running the river. This past week salmon were caught in good numbers and hopefully that will continue. The weather was more unsettled at the start of last week causing a dramatic rise in levels overnight on Monday 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 until this last week but hopefully the autumn run will improve further in the days and weeks to come for the end of the season.

Currently the river is steady after settling back last week (approx just below 2’ on the Ballathie gauge during Sunday). River levels in the coming days should remain steady making the fishing better and hopefully a stronger run will produce some top quality sport and allow fish to run further to enable catches to continue to spread. The weather is looking more settled over the next few days that will benefit the river to give a great chance of producing some more excellent sport and some good autumn fishing.

The weather is looking settled for the next few days with some rain forecast later in the week which should maintain sport in the coming weeks with a strengthening autumn run. The water temperature is cooling to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius, which is good news as well. These are now better 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 is cooling slowly but floating lines with the addition of a sink tip should still be 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 on many beats depending on water heights.

Finally you are reminded that the Tay's policy from June to the end of 2014 natural Season on Wednesday 15th October 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.

On Thursday 16th October the river starts the Trial Extension period and the conditions of fishing change slightly.

• The trial season extension is limited to the main River Tay downstream of Kinnaird.
• Fishing is conducted on a strict catch and release basis.
• Fishing will be by fly fishing, spinning or harling only. No form of natural bait is allowed. Only barbless hooks can be used.

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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