Sunday, May 22, 2016

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 23rd May 2016.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 23rd May 2016.

The Salmon fishing season on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland is now in mid-May and we have been encountering some lovely settled sunny weather last week giving excellent conditions for anglers to enjoy the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon with a settled dropping river until Saturday when there was a small spate due to heavy rain which hopefully will continue to improve catches. Spring salmon are running the river in better numbers and catches continue to improve from last month giving another reasonable week.
The weather is to remain reasonably settled in 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.
On the nature front the first Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows have arrived, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks have their first broods of young and Sand Pipers are on the river banks. Blue bells a coming out in the woods and the Loopins are starting to bloom, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.
Currently the river is settling back after a small spate at the end of last week (around 3’ 6 on the Ballathie gauge) but will drop back quickly to a relatively low level for the Tay but you are now fishing a river within the mighty Tay and there is always enough water in this vast system to hopefully encourage more spring salmon to run.
The weather has been settled and much warmer over the last week with rising temperatures at long last with a touch of summer. Milder temperatures have given the river some water from snow melt but the river has steadily dropped away to summer levels last week. There was water from heavy rain at the end of the week which may help spice things up. This current week remains reasonably settled. 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. Settled weather will settle the river back to good levels and make ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature has risen back to around 54 degrees Fahrenheit or 12 degrees Celsius by the end of most days last week but may rise with a warmer forecast encouraging fish to run. 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 middle river is currently the hot spot in the warmer conditions and this confirms historical results in the past but as the temperature rise and fish run further the catches will spread. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method will have to be a bit quicker 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 smaller Temple Dogs, Tubes, normal dressed flies and Monkies for fly fishing. The Tay is a large river but modern lines such as Skagits or iflights make turning over and casting larger flies easier and the fish tend to be near the bank in larger waters. Floating lines and sink tips are now on the agenda as we go over the magical 48 degrees. Harling is also a favoured method on the river to cover the lies for the less experienced.
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.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

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