Sunday, September 25, 2016

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 26th September 2016.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire prospects w/c 26th September 2016.

The Salmon fishing season is now deeper into Autumn on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland as we see the last week of September after more fresh water at the end of last week and varying conditions for anglers with unsettled river levels at times mostly due to torrential rain to enjoy the elements in pursuit of that magical salmon. Hopefully that will improve and maintain catches in the coming week as this has been sought to liven the river up yet again. The summer run has now petered out with grilse sprinkled in amongst some heavy summer salmon and the prospect of improving catches hopefully will be maintained from last month with more autumn arriving giving better sport in the coming week with settling conditions and more fresh salmon running. The weather is looking more settled in the coming days with the chance of a little 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 but departing south one by one, Ospreys gone off south for the winter, Ducks have broods of mature young, Sand Pipers are on the river banks and Kingfishers dart past. Soon we will be seeing the arrival of large skeins of Geese as the temperatures start to drop. Wild flowers are still visible but most are over again for another year, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay. A salmon can be a bonus!!
Currently the river is settling back after fresh water and is above summer levels (Just below 5’ and falling on the Ballathie gauge) and hopefully will remain settled at a lower level for the Tay in the coming week.
The weather has been more unsettled last week but hopefully will settled down in the next few days with good conditions which should improve this coming week. Some heavy downpours have given the river water from rain last week but the river is dropping back again and clearing with better weather forecast. This current week looks better at the start with little or no rain forecast. The feeling on the system with fish all over the beats and only a few fresh fish running is that we could do with a massive spate to stir things up and hopefully encourage more fish to run. That is exactly what has happened so let us see what happens as the river settles down. Calmer weather will settle the river back to good levels and make ideal autumn fishing conditions. The water temperature is now dropping which is good news as well with colder nights causing fish to become more aggressive is currently around or just below 56 degrees Fahrenheit or 13.5 degrees Celsius last week and should remain at that level in the current weather conditions. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. The lower river is currently doing best in the current conditions and this confirms historical results later in the season. 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 salmon. 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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