Sunday, February 15, 2015

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 16th February 2015.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 16th February 2015.

The Spring Salmon fishing season is now well into February on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland and we have been encountering very cold winter weather but still several anglers have braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon. The weather is looking a bit more unsettled over the coming week, which hopefully may help improve the chances of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements. Catches have been limited so far but as we go deeper into February a change in conditions hopefully may improve runs as happened in the last couple of years.
Currently the river has been steady due to harder weather (around 3’ on the Ballathie gauge) but this may change with milder conditions and increase river levels encouraging spring salmon to run.
The weather is to get milder over the next week with some rain expected which may give us some fresh and snow melt water. 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 forecast however may trigger off more water and encouraged salmon to run the river which maybe what is required to improve the high expectation on the river. Colder weather has settled the river back to a good level and made ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature is around 38 degrees Fahrenheit or 3.5 degrees Celsius. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. The temperature may rise very slightly with overall milder temperatures for 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 colder weather has benefited the lower beats so far but hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. There will no doubt be a few kelts about on many beats and possibly some later run fish, which have yet to spawn. Should you require guidance on salmon identification at this time of year please see this link for some help.
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 – 1st April 2015 is that all spring salmon must be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% mandatory release of all salmon caught under the new Scottish Government Statutory Conservation Regulation. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the release of salmon as it is a now legal requirement during this period even if a fish has died. The Board's bailiff team will be enforcing this new legislation.
The Tay Ghillies Association are continuing their popular 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. Full details of this initiative.
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. Further information on the policy and good 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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