Sunday, July 18, 2010

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the second week in July 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

Salmon Fishing Scotland River Tay Salmon Fishing Report for the second week in July 2010 and Prospects for the coming week.

River Tay Salmon fishing report for the second week in July 2010.

After 98 salmon being reported last week, this week was much more difficult with 65 salmon and 11 Sea Trout after more rain and unsettled conditions with the river being in spate twice in the past week. A few other salmon and sea trout were caught as well but not registered.

The river rose to over four feet twice and the temperature dropped back to 58F or 14C making difficult conditions for consistent sport. We now need more settled weather and lower water levels to improve catches.

This week the catches form the lower and middle river were effectively halved from last week with the unsettled water levels. There was a good proportion of salmon caught as opposed to grilse, which was encouraging. The grilse run should improve, as we get closer to august. We have not had a strong run as yet which hopefully will improve.

It is absolutely imperative we continue to adhere to our catch and release policy to return all spring salmon to preserve what we have for the future.
Thank you all for making this possible so far.

The lower river produced 25 out of the 65 salmon caught. All the lower beats caught as the salmon ran up the river but would have done much better with lower river levels. The Salmon seem to be continuing to run hard through the lower stretches with few showing. These fish must be running to the upper areas, as the fish start to slow down and even stop they will start to show more and more. The lower river needs settled conditions now to improve catches for future weeks. The numbers will increase as the grilse run strengthens but the lower river needs low water to give good sport.
Best catch in a day was on the Miekleour Islamouth on Monday with 6 salmon landed all fly fishing.

Ballathie caught 6 during the week and the largest salmon came from Almondmouth weighing 16 pounds.

The middle Tay caught 26 salmon for the week. Coupar Grange had a much reduced catch of 7 Salmon on the Isla with a few grilse included. Kercock faired better with 7 salmon this past week. The rise in water levels has certainly helped the middle river and this will continue next week.

The Upper River and Loch reported 14, which is an improvement on previous weeks but there is room for improvement with the increase in river levels allowing salmon and grilse to run upstream. There are now over 2500 salmon through the Pitlochry fish ladder which is on a par with the 5 year average.
Many thanks for all the pictures and information everyone sent me in the past (ghillies and anglers) and also to all who have sent me their individual fishing experiences. I would be most grateful if you continue to send me information by emailing me at to be included in this report.

Prospects for the coming week.

As of Monday the river is settling back after last weeks rain, a run of summer salmon and grilse has started and the fresh water should make this continue and encourage them to run up the river.

The weather is to continue unsettled for the week with a chance of some rain showers but hopefully the river will settle to enable the current conditions to improve and enjoy some good sport. A bit of fresh water in the river will again encourage salmon to run and improve sport even to the outer most areas of the system.

The water temperature remains at 58 degrees Fahrenheit or 14 degrees Celsius. There is good availability throughout the river so why not have a go.

As to methods, spinning and fly fishing from the bank should enable you to catch the elusive Tay summer salmon and grilse. I would suggest using sink tips on the Tay for fly fishing, as it is a fast flowing river and this would stop the fly skating on the surface. When spinning at this time of year a Toby or Flying C spun quickly can do the trick. Cast slightly upstream then wind like mad. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year if there is enough water.

Finally you are reminded that the Tay's policy for June - October 2010 is that all hen salmon, male salmon over 10 pounds and all sea trout should be released, ie the Tay has adopted a policy of 100% catch and release for hen salmon and sea trout. Salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please help preserve both them and the long
term future of your sport by following the recommendations.

To help you follow our guidelines I have included these helpful pointers.

How to SAFELY Release a Salmon
“The best method of releasing a salmon is to leave it in the water
and touch nothing but the hook with fingers or pliers.
“Whatever the method, care combined with speed, will give the fish the best chance of survival.”
Lee Wulff, Atlantic Salmon Journal Winter 1964/65

• Use barbless or pinched hooks
• Retrieve your fish quickly; release it immediately
• Keep the fish in the water
• Use rubber or knotless cotton net, if one must be used
• Cut the leader if necessary
• Remove the hook carefully
• Hold the fish gently in natural swimming position, facing upstream until it revives
• Don’t pump the fish. That is, don’t move the fish back and forth in the water.

How should hooks be removed?
Very Carefully
In quiet water, bring the wild salmon quickly within reach. Leaving the salmon in water and without squeezing it, remove the hook carefully with pliers or thumb and forefinger. If a net must be used, it should be rubber or knotless cotton. If necessary, cut the leader near the fly and spare the fish.

The Science of Live Release
“Peer-reviewed science supports live release as a proven and effective conservation tool.”
Dr. Fred Whoriskey,
ASF Vice-President, Research & Environment

Studies in North America and Europe have shown live release works, and in some instances Atlantic salmon have been angled 2 and 3 times.
Science has shown that virtually all Atlantic salmon will survive when released, as long as the angler uses the proper techniques, refrains from angling in overly warm water, and does not overplay the Atlantic salmon.
Like athletes sprinting on a track, Atlantic salmon build up lactic acid in their muscle tissues when they are being played.
The Key is Oxygen – The fish need oxygen in order to recover and continue their journey.
To recover, Atlantic salmon need:
• careful handling by the angler to reduce stress
• to remain in the water where they can breathe and reduce the oxygen deficit in their tissues
• to be held in an upstream position for water to flow more easily across their gills

Photographing Your Spectacular Live Release Salmon.

Use a photo partner:

* Digital camera: make settings on the camera before you begin fishing or use a point and shoot film camera. Give it to your partner before the angling session.

* Whether a digital camera or a film camera, tell your partner to fill the frame, and take several images.

* If it is a film camera, be sure there is film in the camera. This may seem to be a simple matter, but mistakes do happen...

Let your Partner get into Position:

* Tell him/her what you are going to do. Alert your partner before you take the fish out of the water.

Support the Atlantic salmon:

* Carefully take the barbless hook out of the fish’s mouth. With rod tucked under your arm, move one hand to the base of the tail. With your other hand, support the fish under the forward part of its body. Keep it in the water, with the fish pointed upstream to help its recovery.

* If a third person is present, give him or her the rod to hold, so you can concentrate on the wild salmon.

Take the Picture Quickly:

* With your photo partner warned, raise the wild Atlantic salmon partially out of the water for less than five seconds - or consider leaving it semi-submerged for the photo instead!

Return the Fish to Continue its Spawning Run:

* Support the salmon underwater in a natural position facing the current, handling it as little as possible. Give it time to recover. The goal is for the wild salmon to swim away on its own.

* Digital cameras offer the opportunity to adjust the film speed to suit conditions. In low light, such as evening, morning, heavy cloud, or deep shadow, consider setting the speed to 400, to take care of both movement and the low light. Experiment beforehand on speeds above 400, as many digital images become heavily pixilated at greater sensitivity.

* Remember to adjust the white balance for deep shadow, to warm the image.

* Today’s print films even at 400 speeds are superb. Use 400-speed film at dawn, dusk or in shadow.

* Don’t forget to smile! Your photo is a valuable memory.

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.

Tight lines.

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