Sunday, October 26, 2014

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 27th October 2014.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 27th October 2014.

The Salmon fishing season is finally arriving at the last 5 days of the October extension period on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland and we have been experiencing more 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 throughout the month. Long periods of very low water curtailed sport in September but the good news is that rain has raised river levels and that has triggered off much better catches although it is debatable whether there has been any autumn run of substance. Currently resident salmon are in most of the pools throughout the river but not easy to catch. Expectation is high of a late run of fresh autumn salmon running the river but time is fast running out. This past week salmon were caught in good numbers despite unsettled conditions and hopefully that will continue. The weather was more unsettled causing fluctuations in levels throughout the week making fishing harder but reasonable catches were still attained. It has not been a summer and autumn to remember so far until this last couple of weeks but hopefully the autumn run will improve further in the days to come for the end of the season.

Currently the river is unsettled after heavy rain and strong winds but hopefully settle for the last few days (approx 6’ on the Ballathie gauge during Sunday). River levels in the coming days should remain higher 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 to remain unsettled over the next few days but hopefully not to reduce the chance of producing some more excellent sport and some good autumn fishing.

The weather is looking reasonably unsettled for the next few days and typically autumnal with some rain forecast in the week, hopefully this will not curtail sport in the coming days and we will see a strengthening late 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 of the Tay's policy for the Trial Extension period.
• 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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