Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay Salmon fishing review 2016.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay Salmon fishing review 2016.

Tay Salmon Fishing Review 2016.

The river Tay in Perthshire, Scotland has had a disappointing but interesting salmon fishing year by modern standards as the FishTay web site have reported only 4775 Salmon and Grilse being caught for the 2016 fishing season. There was effectively no autumn run. It must be said that salmon fishing catches are no longer easily achieved with this situation being mirrored right across the north Atlantic sea board due to problems at sea with a continued increase in Smolt mortality that is out of the rivers control. In terms of the salmon and grilse catch, the 2016 season total shows an 13% decrease on 2015 and a 24 % decrease on the 5-year average for FishTay beats. It should also be noted that there were no catches in the last 2 weeks of October this and last year due to the extension fishing being stopped in 2014 halfing the October catch effectively and making the 5-year average worse.
Catches reported per month through the season were as follows Jan 18, Feb 158, Mar 323, Apr 531, May 647, Jun 507, Jul 564, Aug 695, Sep 746 and October 586. The spring period from January to May continues to be a positive part of the season, and interestingly it outscored the autumn for the first time in decades. The catch was like 2015 and represents a 7 % increase on the 5-year average. This confirms the trend starting on the Tay 4 years ago with much better spring fishing. The early spring was steady with a better February and the late spring remained positive for the middle river confirming the spring proportion of the catch on the Tay is increasing year on year with this year’s catch being 35 % of the total. We are continuing to see the start of a change in the cycles as in the past and it would have been unthinkable in recent years that there would be more spring salmon caught than autumn fish. Further evidence of this phenomenon was a strong June ending the 2016 spring run. The summer period including June to the end of August decreased by 16 % on a stronger 2015 which was disappointing. The run seemed only to last until mid-August. The autumn period was not good and fell back on 2015 with no real run to speak of, September to October showed a 26.8 % decrease on 2015 in reasonable conditions. The Grilse run was poor again pointing to an improving Spring. Another aspect of the catch was the continuation of larger multi sea winter salmon being caught throughout the Tay system in the 20 to 30 pounds’ class, which the river has been famous for over the years.
To provide some context it should be said the 2016 salmon rod catch was disappointing compared to 2015 apart from another strong spring however no run to speak of in the autumn from Mid-August sent alarm bells ringing with the spring outscoring the autumn. Hopefully there will be improvements to come in 2016 but the question should be asked why and has the autumn run disappeared for the foreseeable future due to cyclical change? The spring was again the big plus which is all ready creating massive interests in spring fishing for 2017 with much anticipation after this year’s autumn failing. The summer was reasonable with the end of the spring run and a steady July to mid-August but the autumn was more difficult throughout the river with a distinct absence of a run possibly due to the north Atlantic problems in the sea and this year we could not complain about a lack of water which is more worrying. Thankfully we have a hatchery at Almondbank to help, this maybe something to further develop for the future with all the weather extremes being thrown at us in recent years.
The river has had a reasonable year with some positives but everyone expects a lot more so every effort must be made to take the river forward to the levels of the past and put the mighty Tay in its rightful position of being the premiere salmon fishing destination in the world. The river has had another good spring run and catch this season, which may just be down to the majority of anglers returning salmon over the past seasons. Thank you to all anglers who have this season returned their salmon and spring salmon to maintain our sport for the future, it is vitally important and is a great contribution by individuals who care for their sport and the river. Well done! It should be pointed out there are several beats that do not report catches on the FishTay website and the full rod catch for the River Tay in 2016 will be a bit higher than shown on the FishTay website.

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

No comments:

Bargain Fishing Books and DVDs