Sunday, July 24, 2016

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 25th July 2016.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 25th July 2016.

The Salmon fishing season on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland is now well into July and we have been encountering yet more unsettled weather yet again last week with some rain and varying conditions for anglers with unsettled river levels at times to enjoy the elements in pursuit of that magical salmon. Hopefully that will improve and maintain catches in the coming week. The summer run has started and the prospect of improving catches continue to be maintained from last month giving another reasonable week. The weather is to settle more in the coming days with the chance of some rain which will hopefully not unsettle conditions and continue to benefit and enable 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 broods of young, Sand Pipers are on the river banks and Kingfishers dart past. Wild flowers are still visible but some are over again for another year, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.
Currently the river is slightly unsettled after more heavy showers in the week and continues at a height just above summer levels (Below 2’ on the Ballathie gauge) and hopefully will settle a lower level for the Tay.
The weather has been more unsettled over the last week but should settle down in the coming days with some rain forecast but hopefully things start to calm down again. Some heavy downpours have given the river some water from rain last week but the river should drop back to just above summer levels again with better weather forecast. This current week looks better with less rain forecast. Calmer weather will settle the river back to good levels and make ideal summer fishing conditions. The water temperature is hovering around or just above 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15.5 degrees Celsius week and should remain at that level in the current weather conditions. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. The temperature has risen encouraging 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 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 and into summer. 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?
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.
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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