Sunday, October 11, 2015

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 12th October 2015.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 12th October 2015.

The Salmon fishing season is now nearing the end on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we enter the last few days with settled autumnal weather by and large for the last couple of weeks despite a small spate last week. The rain last week gave us a small spate and improved sport. There has been plenty fresh water prior to the settled period for us in the pursuit of that magical salmon with some occasional warmer conditions.
The weather is to be settled over the coming week with little or no rain, 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 last week in settled conditions after the spate with quality salmon caught and as we go deeper into Autumn hopefully conditions will remain favourable and there will be a further improvement in the run to give even more success.
Currently the river is settled and falling back to summer levels again (below 1’6 on the Ballathie gauge). A bit of rain and colder conditions now would help to hopefully encourage more salmon to run and make the old ones more responsive.
The weather is to be settled for the week with high pressure dominating again. We have been seeing summer conditions prevail recently with low water but could desperately need a change with heavy rain to liven things up for the rest of the season but unfortunately that is not going to happen. The tremendous spring run is long gone and warmer conditions have enabled spring salmon to run hard up the river and spread rapidly but the arrival of summer and autumn fish is improving slowly and maintaining sport after recent rains.
Currently there is also a falling back of older fish in the lower river and everyone is reporting good numbers in their beats. The dramatic rise in river levels last week triggered off much better sport and there was an improvement in catches and hopefully that will continue for the last few days.
Expectation remains very high. The general forecast will settle river levels and hopefully maintain sport and make reasonable autumn fishing conditions. The water temperature is around 52 degrees Fahrenheit or 11 degrees Celsius but may fall and help as well to make the fish far more aggressive. These are typical temperatures for this time of year.
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 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 from the sea 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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