Sunday, May 29, 2016

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 30th May 2016.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 30th May 2016.

The Salmon fishing season on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland is now about to enter June 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 after a small spate due to heavy rain at the start of last week 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 settled in the coming week which should help and give the river more settled conditions and benefit to give a greater chance of producing some sport and some "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements.
On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are all over the skies, 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 as well as all the other wild flowers, 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 last week to a summer height (around 10” on the Ballathie gauge) and will drop back slowly now 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 and this will continue with high pressure this coming week. Look out the sun cream! 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 last week which may helped to spice things up as catches showed in the last few days. This current week remains settled. Settled weather will settle the river back to good levels and make ideal late 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.
Finally, you are reminded that the Tay's policy from June to the end of 2016 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.
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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