Sunday, January 17, 2016

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing Report for Opening days 2016.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing Report for Opening days 2016.

The river Tay opened last Friday undeterred by the very cold conditions, scores of anglers flocked to the banks of the river Tay to mark the opening of the salmon season with great publicity in the press and on television. The various issues and activities appeared on Television, Radio and Press giving the river extremely high exposure that is invaluable.
There were opening day events throughout the Tay district with the larger ceremonies taking place at Dunkeld and Kenmore. At the Dunkeld Hilton Hotel the Environment minister Dr Aileen McLeod formally opened the river with the symbolic first cast in front of an enthusiastic crowd despite the inclement weather after Tay chairman Bill Jack had raised all the issues and introduced the new season on the mighty river. The ceremony at the Hilton Dunkeld House hotel on Friday morning marked the official start of the 2016 season. It was organised by the Hotel in conjunction with the Dunkeld and Birnam Tourist and Angling Associations and was supported by the Tay Foundation. A good crowd witnessed the event with television coverage by the BBC and STV news plus double page articles in the national press.
Dr McLeod said it was "great" to cast the first fly of the season.
She said: "Scotland is recognised across the world as the destination for salmon and freshwater fishing.
"Game and coarse angling is worth more than £100 million to the Scottish economy and supports almost 3,000 jobs, which shows the importance of maintaining and enhancing the quality of our rivers and fish stocks.
"I plan to launch the next stage of the wild fisheries reform programme shortly, which will confirm this Government's ongoing commitment to manage, conserve and develop our wild fisheries."
William Jack, chairman of the Tay district fishing board, said: "I am delighted that the minister has accepted the invitation to open the Tay salmon season.
"The Tay is the first of Scotland's big salmon rivers to open each year and we really appreciate the minister's interest in this great occasion.
"Salmon angling on the Tay is not just a pastime enjoyed by many from all walks of life but is also a significant contributor to the local economy in this area creating many jobs for ghillies and in the hospitality sector and is rightly deserving of Government support."
Salmon fishing is a major part of the local economy, supporting thousands of jobs.
Bill Jack, chairman of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, has called on anglers contemplating killing spring salmon to look at the bigger picture.
“If we are to be left free to regulate ourselves, then we must make even greater efforts to encourage the release of spring fish and I, once again, urge those few within our river system who continue to kill these precious fish, to think again and put the interests of the whole river before their own,” he says in the board’s annual report.
In 2014 and 2015 the board recommended a policy of 100% catch and release of salmon up to the end of May.
The latest figures available – for 2014 – revealed a compliance rate of 90% which meant the number of spring salmon killed in the Tay district (141) was the highest in Scotland.
The report noted that the release rate should be closer to 100% in 2015 because of mandatory measures that were introduced this year.
The board’s report said they were keen that the dualling of the A9 Perth to Inverness did not have a detrimental impact on the river system.
“The board is particularly concerned that the right decision is taken with respect to the proposed widening of the bridge over the Garry just above Killiecrankie,” says the report.
“The board’s preference is for the new carriageway to be built to the south of the existing one.
“Construction to the north would place a carriageway over perhaps the most important salmon holding pool in the area.”
The salmon season will get under way officially on January 15.
Dr Aileen McLeod, minister for environment, climate change and land reform, will perform the ceremony at Dunkeld with board chairman Mr Jack.
In preparation, Dr McLeod had her first fishing experience in June at Meikleour on the Tay where she joined a ladies’ angling club for a charity day in support of Angling for Youth Development.
Dr McLeod will be accompanied by her team from Marine Scotland who are responsible for the Wild Fisheries Review, which will bring about major changes to how fisheries operate in Scotland and will also have impact on anglers.
In a second opening ceremony, further upriver also in cold conditions, a large crowd of anglers and local residents gathered at the Kenmore Hotel in Perthshire before a pipe band led them to the water’s edge where they waited for the season to be officially opened. Scott McKenzie, poured a dram into the river before the fishing got under way.
The pouring of whisky is a symbolic gesture to keep the salmon “in good health”.
At Meikleour, 92-year-old fly-tying legend and jazz musician Tommy C. Saville along with three-year-old ghillie’s daughter Eilidh McRoberts and Ian Gordon performed the symbolic first cast.
Tommy wasn’t the only accomplished musician on the beat as Perthshire’s Pipe Major Ian Duncan lead anglers to the river just below Kinclaven Bridge. Proud of its 300 years of Franco Scottish connections, the water at Meikleour was blessed with a dousing of whisky and Champagne.
Farlows from London had come up to fish the first couple of days at Stanley and organised a good opening day ceremony with fishing director Brian Fratel fronting the celebrations. Joe Hardy, owner of the Tayside Hotel in the village blessed the water with whisky.

The Opening day saw odd spring salmon registered in the best conditions for years on the river after all the spates and high water throughout December and the two weeks leading up to the opening. Hopefully with more settled conditions over the week to come a good few more spring salmon will enter the river and be landed to get our season off to a flying start.
The Redford Trophy was won by Peter Backhouse landing a 24 pounds fish at Findynate. Further fish were caught at Taymount and Kercock. On Saturday Stobhall registered 4 fish with Glendelvine, Newtyle and Farleyer also figuring.

The Spring Salmon fishing was well and truly underway after all the excitement of opening day’s celebrations. All in all it was a truly memorable opening so let us hope the season lives up to every ones expectations.

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