Sunday, March 11, 2018

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 10th March 2018.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 10th March 2018.

The Tay, Perthshire is now well into March for salmon fishing with higher expectation and we have had another cold weather pattern week but certainly not as extreme witnessed from the week before. Expectation is high on the river for 2018 after a string of successful springs over the last 5 years plus the fantastic news of a 35 pounds fish being landed on the river recently has put the Tay again at the centre of everyone's attention. Hopefully the weather will remain reasonably settled over the coming weeks and give everyone a chance of landing a spring "Bar of Silver" and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.

Beat catches reported
(week ending 10th March)
SALMON & GRILSE: Catholes 1, Pitlochrie 1, Burnmouth 1, Stobhall 2, Ballathie 1, Islamouth 1, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 3, Murthly 1 1, Murthly 2 3, Newtyle 2, Farleyer Upper 1, Loch Tay Fish n' Trips 1, Portnacraig Pitlochry 1.
Total: 19 Largest: Murthly 1 27lbs
SEA TROUT: Delvine Burnbane 1.
Total: 1 Largest: Delvine Burnbane 3lbs

More Spring salmon were landed last week in relatively cold weather and river conditions favouring those who braved the elements in most cases. The river has been unsettled especially on the lower river from melting snow on low ground sending coloured water from the burns and Isla making fishing extremely difficult, however colder nights made the river above the Isla drop further giving good conditions, but this may change in the coming week with slightly milder temperatures melting more snow. The numbers were heartening with nineteen fresh spring salmon recorded last week but it must be said that could have been a lot higher if the lower area had been more fishable. It is early yet with only small runs coming into the river and fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult. Some of the fish that have been caught remain truly memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come.

The Lower river saw a few fish being landed on Monday giving everyone a boost before the water coloured up for the remainder of the week by and large from the Isla.
Stephen Flanagan got the week off to a flyer with a 14 pounds fish on the fly from Cawn Pore on the Pitlochrie beat.
Later that day Mark Wyllie landed a superb 17 pounds beauty casting the fly from the boat in the Black Stones on the Catholes. Burnmouth had a 25 pounds cracker for John Lessels spinning and further fish were caught on the fly from Stobhall and Islamouth on the same day possibly signaling the start of a better spring run at long last. Hopes were dashed on Tuesday by melting snow water on low ground sending horribly coloured water down the lower beats which was to last throughout the rest of the week. Ballathie had a 12 pounds fish on Friday from the clean side of the river on the top beat landed by Phil Burke from the boat.
An even more remarkable fish fell to Iain McLaren on Saturday landing an estimated 26 pounds stunner from the Linn Pool in the coloured water. Keen fly fishers lead by Rae Borras that were destined to fish at Stanley from Thursday decided to fish further upstream in better river conditions, visited Newtyle, lower Murthly and Upper Islamouth for their 3 days enjoying the middle beats, no success but and an enjoyable trip to the Tay.

The Middle river enjoyed good low water conditions throughout the week and fish appeared with the lower river being dirty. Wednesday saw the start of some action at long last.
Meikleour and Upper Islamouth had a memorable day with 3 fish.
Tony and Stephen Flanagan caught a fish a piece on the fly from the Castle Pool weighing up to 17 pounds. That was Stephens second fish of the week having caught at Stanley on Monday!
Further up on the same day Newtyle weighed in with 2 fish which included a superb 20 pounds fish for Ronnie Fraser on the fly from the Cotter. He was to fish on the Catholes that day but due to the river being unfishable, immediately rescheduled to Newtyle and success was had! Not content with one fish he promptly caught another at 8 pounds carrying sea lice into the bargain. Later in the week the picturesque Murthly beats came into the frame with Lower, Stenton and Upper producing good fish. The Murthly beats suit low water and make fly fishing a pleasure.
Friday witnessed blue skies in superb conditions and saw Steven Watt land a lovely fresh fish from the Burn on the Upper beat and Jim Scobie land an absolute beauty on the fly from the Bargie on the famous Boat pool of the bottom beat where the famous 64 pounds fish was caught. It was landed after a big fight and was estimated at 27 pounds conservatively. A truly memorable fish and a possible Malloch Trophy fish.
Saturday saw a further 2 fish caught on Stenton guided by Tony Black with fish caught on the fly.

The Upper area has featured last week as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish. Fish were recorded at Farleyer upper on Saturday.

The Tummel is also seeing limited sport with another good fish caught on the fly from the Angling Club Port-na-craig beat below Pitlochry Dam weighing 7 pounds by Charlie Grosvenor.

This is may be old news now but a worthy subject in recent weeks has seen the Tay Bailiff team planting more eggs and ova into the newly rewatered river Garry from the hatchery at Almondbank this past week weather permitting. After several protracted years of negotiation between various parties with the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board showing a lead, water finally flows in reasonable levels in the river to allow salmon to populate it and help the district thanks to a European river directive. In the winter the Bailiffs helped by Ghillies (who sponsored another brood stock team equipment) from the river helped to attain the fish required to achieve the maximum number of eggs for stripping to augment natural spawning. The hatchery fish are now being used to kick start the Garry and make things happen quicker than a natural repopulation. Brood stock are also being used to repopulate other areas and help underpopulated areas of the river where there is a maximum impact as has been seen over the last few years. Certainly positive news for the future of the river Tay and district.

The Tay is certainly the place to come to for the chance of a fish of a lifetime. The sheer size of the river produces very powerful large salmon and the possibility of a 40 pounds fish must be on the cards now. The food source for atlantic salmon is moving further away from our shores with seas temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer at sea before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish returning. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon.

These are optimistic figures in the past week however the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding and with hopefully with a settled river in the coming week should see improved catches with a settled forecast as well.
The Spring Salmon fishing was well and truly underway after all the excitement of opening day's celebrations. It has been a quiet start but let us hope the season lives up to every one's expectations over the coming weeks and months and when you visit the Tay you catch a fish of a lifetime. Tight lines!

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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