Sunday, January 17, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Report and Prospects for January 2010.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay, Perthshire, Scotland Report and Prospects for January 2010.

Tay Reports

Weekly Report for week ending 16th January 2010.

The 2010 Salmon Season opened on the Tay on Friday past with great publicity in the press and on television. The various issues and activities appeared on BBC and ITV giving the river high exposure.
There were opening day events throughout the Tay district with the larger ceremonies taking place at Dunkeld and Kenmore. The largest gathering was at Dunkeld where the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board in conjunction with the Dunkeld and Birnam Tourist Association held its first Tay opening day event to put across the issues of the river and in particular the new Board recommendations of total catch and release in the spring to conserve stocks.

The day started with 3 boats coming down from The Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel with the VIP guests going to the town of Dunkeld for the opening ceremony. Once on land everyone present then marched behind a group of pipers through the centre of Dunkeld to the official opening. The new Tay Board chairman Bill Jack welcomed John Swinney MSP and Scottish Parliament Finance Minister. John Swinney officially opened the river and Bill Jack outlined the issues and objectives of the Tay Board for the coming season as well as wishing everyone success. John Swinney made the first cast of the season and the river was up and running for 2010.

There was also an Evening Gathering, which was well attended to celebrate the Opening Day in the Baronial Hall, Birnam Hotel in aid of the river Tay Projects and the Tay Wheelyboat appeal. There was a supper and a ceilidh with the absolutely exceptional band "Tunna". The Redford Trophy winner for the largest spring salmon caught on the Opening day was also announced.

This was the inaugural Tay Board Opening Day Event, which proved to be a great success with the events, and all the publicity, so I would urge you to put 15th January 2011 in your diary as this event will grow for next season’s opening.
Conditions on the Opening day were not great with a thaw well under way after all the snow we had had since mid December. The lower river was coloured making it difficult. The middle and Upper River was running clear. However despite this a number of kelts and baggots were caught on the various beats throughout the system. There were 3 spring fish reported.

The Redford Trophy was won by a 16 pound spring salmon caught on the Kercock beat by Peter Backhouse who was formerly head chef at Tulchan Lodge on the Spey.

Pipped at the post was Arnot WcWhinnie from Stanley and well known journalist who caught a lovely 12 pound Springer on the Upper Scone Benchil beat just below Stanley harling a Kynoch with scottish ghillie Davie Seaton.

Arnot won the Tayside Hotel Trophy for his efforts.
Michael Wills from Dunblane caught a fresh 7 pound Springer on the Waulkmill beat also caught on a Kynoch with scottish ghillie Jimmy Last who caught a springer last opening day as well for good measure.

On Saturday the river rose and was very dirty which was a shame for all that had come a good distance for the opening days.

Many thanks to all who have sent me their individual fishing experiences over the last season on the river. I would be most grateful if you to do the same this season by emailing me at to be included in this report.

Prospects for the week commencing 18th January 2010.

The river is flowing high after the weekend thaw and very dirty as I write. The colour may take a few days to disappear especially on the lower river.
The weather is to remain milder this week with rain on low ground and snow on the hills.
Hopefully the water colour will improve as the week progresses to allow some sport on all beats.

The water temperature is 35 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius meaning you have certainly to spin or fish a fly slow and deep.

The river is running at a good height and cold meaning the salmon will be running slowly and favour the lower Tay beats conditions permitting.

There is good availability throughout the river so why not have a go.

As to methods, once the river settles fishing by any method will have to be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.

Finally all anglers are reminded that the Tay's policy for Catch and Release in 2010 is that we now recommend every angler should release all spring salmon to conserve stocks for the future . Salmon are an extremely precious resource. Please do what you can to conserve them and therefore produce more salmon for the future.

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 this report.

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