Sunday, April 10, 2016

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 11th April 2016.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 11th April 2016.

The Salmon fishing season on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland is now into April and we have been encountering some milder weather last week after colder conditions giving excellent conditions for anglers to brave the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon with a settling river to hopefully continue to improve catches.
Spring salmon are running the river and catches have improved over the last month. The weather hopefully will remain settled over the coming week which should help and give the river more settled conditions and benefit the river to give a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements.
Currently the river is settling back with excellent conditions (just above 4’ on the Ballathie gauge) to hopefully encourage more spring salmon to run.
The weather is to remain slightly colder and settled over the next week after the unsettled weather encountered last week. Milder temperatures have given the river more water from snow melt plus the rain. This current week continues more settled and returning to colder conditions with maybe a chance of frosts at night. 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. Colder weather will settle the river back to good levels and make ideal spring fishing conditions.
The water temperature has risen to around 45 degrees Fahrenheit or 7 degrees Celsius but may drop with a colder forecast. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. The temperature has risen slightly with no frosts at night and higher day time temperatures, this may encourage more salmon to run resulting in fish being caught well up the system. The lower river around Stanley seems to be the hot spot currently in the colder conditions and this confirms historical results in the past but as the temperature has risen and fish will run further and catches will spread. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. There will no doubt be quite a few kelts about on many beats even now. 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. 20 pounds main line with a 15 pounds leader plus favoured lures include Devons, Toby Salmos, Vision 110’s and Rapalas, for spinning and Temple Dogs, Tubes, larger flies and Monkies for fly fishing. The Tay is a large river but modern lines such as Skagits or iflights make tuning over and casting larger flies easier and the fish tend to be near the bank in larger waters. 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. 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.
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.
Popular hotels to stay in the area are the Tayside Hotel in Stanley, Ballathie House, The Meikleour Arms, The Anglers Inn in Guildtown, Murrayshall Hotel, Scone and the Royal Dunkeld Hotel.
The Tay in Perthshire is a prime spring salmon fishing destination so why not give it a go?
The Tay's policy for April and May is that all spring salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has adopted a policy of 100% catch and release for spring salmon. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. 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 guides to ensure the draconian rules do not get extended in seasons to come.
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.

Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

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