Sunday, July 12, 2015

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 13th July 2015.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 13th July 2015.

The Salmon fishing season has now entered July on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland and we have had reasonably settled summer weather with a dropping river for the pursuit of that magical salmon with some warmer conditions. The weather is to be fairly settled over the coming week with a chance of rain and continue warmer, but hopefully this will not deter the chances of producing good sport and some "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to have a go. Catches improved slightly lat week in good conditions and the quality of the salmon caught remains outstanding and as we go into Summer hopefully conditions will remain favourable and there will be a further improvement in the run to give even more success.
Currently the river is slightly unsettled with recent rain but falling back day by day generally with excellent conditions (around 2’6 on the Ballathie gauge) after a settled week. This hopefully may encourage more salmon to run.
The weather is to continue reasonably settled with warmer weather all week and occasional rain. In other words sunshine and showers to cover all the boxes! We are seeing summer conditions prevail. The tremendous spring run is over but warmer conditions have enabled spring salmon to run hard up the river and spread rapidly with hopefully the arrival of some summer fish to follow and maintain sport. The milder weather forecast at times and recent bigger water triggered off salmon to run the river in improving numbers. Expectation remains very high. The general forecast should continue to drop river levels and hopefully maintain the current excellent conditions and make ideal summer fishing conditions.
The water temperature has risen dramatically with the hot weather and is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15.5 degrees Celsius but may rise with warmer weather during the week. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. The colder weather has benefited the lower beats early in the season but is now holding fish in the middle river as the fish spread so there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river after slowly rising temperatures prevailed last week.
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 slowly enabling floating lines to come out 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 at this time of year on many beats.
Finally you are reminded that the Tay's policy from June to the end of 2015 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. It is vital the river system follows these guide lines to ensure the draconian new Scottish Government Statutory Conservation Regulation rules do not get extended in seasons to come.

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.
Return rates are at an all time low and wild salmon are a precious resource to the Tay and all rivers in Scotland. Handling of fresh salmon in particular is a big issue now if we are serious about successful release to enable as many salmon as possible to survive to spawn.
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 and is bad practice. Further information on the policy and good release practice.
If an area of the river starts to kill salmon to excess the mandatory policy will ultimately increase beyond the spring and maybe for the whole season that would not be a popular concept for our fragile rural economy. Thank you for all who preserve the recommendations and shame on the few who cannot, their shortsighted outlook will bring everyone down and cost jobs throughout Scotland’s river systems.
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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