Sunday, March 1, 2020

Salmon Fishing Scotland Stanley beats, Tay, Perthshire Report and Prospects for W/C 2nd March 2020.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Stanley beats, Tay, Perthshire Report and Prospects for W/C 2nd March 2020. 

The past week can be summed up as the "good the bad and the ugly"!
The start of the week was bad with dirty water from yet another 15' weekend flood which took until Wednesday to clear out and make good fishing conditions. By that day the water had dropped back to around 6 1/2 feet but far better clarity do to much colder weather and hard frosts at night drawing the river in.
I had no one one the beats so went out with optimism fishing the fly from the boat in the Back Dam on the Catholes. The conditions were good and I was full of expectation. Sure enough I was soon rewarded with a 16 pounds springer and a big thank you to fellow Ghillie Davie Seaton for coming all the way from Benchil to help me land the fish. Later that day I caught another beauty of about 15lbs from the Woodside and managed to net it myself. What a day, 2 springers and both on the fly.
It was good water on Thursday but alas no contacts. It was good though to see others caught above at Taymount and Burnmouth. On Friday I had out a group of Farmers but alas no success in a very cold day on the river. Down at Benchil a lovely 7 pounds fish was caught on fly by the Upper Scone rods from the high water poll, Aitken Head casting from the bank. Saturday was the ugly day with a slightly coloured water in the morning but by lunchtime the Isla had risen 6' and sent down very coloured water finishing any chance by lunchtime.
Aitken Head pool on Benchil.
Currently there is a spate clearing and from Monday we should be back fishing in ideal spring fishing conditions on the Stanley beats with a colder forecast and a dropping river. The temperature is 39F/4C which is perfect to slow any fish travelling up through the rapids at Stanley to stop and rest in the pools for a brief period and give a great chance of catching that elusive prize.
Tackle advice on Stanley beats. 

As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer.

Fly Rods.
The Tay is a large river especially when running at a normal level and even in lower levels you are fishing another river within the mighty one so therefore a 15 foot fly rod for a 10 weight line is certainly minimum requirement for much of the season. Do not come under gunned.  In some parts of the river where it is especially wide even longer rods are used. It should be noted however that it is better to cast a shorter controlled line than try to cast out with your capabilities and have the lines end up in a mess and decrease your chances. 
Fly Lines.
In early season when the water is cold you need to cast larger flies and get them
deeper in the water to fish them slowly. There is a tremendous choice on the market nowadays which can be quite confusing to many anglers. Any type of Skagit line that can easily cast a 15 foot sinking leader of various depths is a good choice especially to the less experienced. Rio Game Changers plus a tip of choice attached are currently a great bet as these lines enable you to cast a longer line than normal with ease. For more experienced anglers, there are a vast array of shooting heads of different sinking abilities available as well. 
The set up I am currently using, 15' Loomis NRX, Rio Gamechanger float, intermediate, hover, sink 3 and a 20' sink tip 3 to 5 inches a second plus a tungsten turbo tube tied by myself! 

Spinning Rods.

You should have a minimum of a 10 foot rod for casting baits of 20gm to 60gms. 
A main line of 20 pounds in nylon or 30 pounds in braid. You should use a lesser poundage far a cast such as 15 pounds so if you get caught up on the bottom you do not lose a large part of your main line. 
Tobies from 18gm upwards. Toby Salmos are very popular in 30gms. Conventional weighted Devon’s are good especially in the Spring. Rapalas and Vision 110’s are very effective. 
The Stanley beats are steeped in history and this year we have reduced the available rods to 4 giving you far more opportunity and value for money. We are fly fishing friendly as well. Look forward to seeing you on the beats. Feel free to contact us direct on or 07979528134/01738827416. 

Salmon Fishing Scotland - By Robert White

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