Newsletter - May 2015 Yesterday's Catches, Today's River Levels, Tomorrow's Availability
Welcome to the first spring newsletter for the River Tay and its tributaries which includes everything you need to know if you are planning a trip to Perthshire this year.
The Tay continues its reputation as a 'big fish' river with more 20lb & 30lb plus Spring fish recorded than any other river in Scotland and the largest salmon so far this year. Tom Buchanan, fly fishing on the South Chesthill Estate, River Lyon, caught and released a magnificent 35lb salmon on his own tied fly. Mark Ogilvie’s cracking 35lb fish was taken on the harle using a Blue & Silver Kynoch and released in the gauge pool on Dunkeld House Fishing. You can read more about their stories in this newsletter.
Are you thinking of fishing the Tay this year? Our offices have been busy during the last few weeks with callers from the UK and internationally as far as Australia. Anglers visiting the UK for the Ashes series and the Rugby World Cup are visiting and fishing Perthshire rivers. This month we have been recommending places to stay, appropriate equipment for trout and salmon fishing and guides. This months newsletter includes features on where to stay, top performing flies and lures and the first in our series of featured guides/instructors on the river.
If you need any help with arranging fishing on the Tay then do give Tom a ring in the office on 01573 470612. He can help find the perfect beat for you and your family and can also recommend places to stay near your chosen beat - latest fishing available.
Get ahead of the game this season with the FishPal App, available to use on your iPad, iPhone, tablet or smartphone. You can now keep up to date with the latest Tay catches, and much more, from your phone - read more.
Salmon have been caught throughout the system this past week in reasonable numbers, which is understandable with superb conditions making it ideal. Fish are running harder due to the warmer water temperatures and are spreading throughout the river - find fishing.
Dunkeld House had a superb week with 23 fish that took them over 100 fish for the season so far, including a red letter day of 11 fish. Congratulations to Sandra Robbins who caught the beats 100th fish of the season, an impressive 21 pounds on the fly caught in the Cathedral Stream.
The first of the 30lb plus salmon on the River Tay was caught at Dunkeld House Fishing back in March. Mark Ogilvie’s cracking 35lb fish was taken on the harle using a Blue & Silver Kynoch in the gauge pool. After a 20 minute battle the fish neared the boat, giving Mark and head ghillie Gordon Pollack the first good sight of the fish. It was then that they realised the size of the fish. After quickly weighing it in the new 'fish friendly' McLean rubberised mesh net the salmon was returned - read more about the beat.
FishTay reporter Bob White reports the Isla is starting to see salmon run the river. Coupar Grange reported 10 in the middle of last week, taking them up to 27 fish so far this month. The Ericht is also seeing fish run up the river with 8 reported off the lower river below Blairgowrie last week - find fishing.
The middle river is continuing to show and yield more fish which should carry on over the coming weeks when temperatures start to rise. Many lower and middle beats are seeing fish running, with some beats reporting a frustrating time - hooking fish only to loose them, mostly on fly - find fishing.
In a sport where success can be directly related to the particular weather and water conditions, accurate information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is invaluable. The FishTay prospects page has all the information and links you need to keep up to date with the latest conditions - read more.
FishTay spent a day with the head ghillie of Dalmarnock beat, Colin McFadyen, last month, finding out more about the beat known as the 'big fish beat'. Anglers casting a line on this under-fished water have enjoyed some excellent sport in the last few weeks with a total of 32 fish caught and released.
Located just three miles downstream from the confluence of the Tay and Tummel, with the imposing Ben Vrackie, or "Speckled Mountain", in the distance, this double bank beat is one of the largest on the Tay at just under three miles and offers anglers the opportunity to fish using the fly, spinner or harling in their 2 boats.
Colin recommended we started from the boat so we could see the pools and explained the beat is not heavily fished. There are 15 named pools, very easy wading - mostly on shingle gravel, and lots of bits in between that yield fish - read more.
Dalmarnock fishes in all heights and enjoys deep holding pools during summer lows. Fish up to 30lb have been landed in the past 4 years. A day's fishing starts from £55 per day - find fishing.
The largest fly caught salmon so far this year has been caught by Tom Buchanan on the South Chesthill Estate, River Lyon, a tributary of the Tay.
Tom's red letter day started with a fish of 12lb at the neck of the Gate pool, falling to his homemade fly on his 12ft Daiwa 3 piece single handed rod - read more.
Will the 2015 winner of the FishPal Malloch Trophy – for the best salmon caught by an angler on a fly and safely returned during the year in Scottish waters - return home to the River Tay this year? Find out how you can enter the adult and "new for 2015" junior competition by following this - link.
Depending on which month of the season you fish the Tay, will directly determine the tackle you will need to bring. Malcolm Anderson from Caledonia Fly Company and three respected Tay ghillies share with us their top flies and lures to use. For more information on equipment to bring speak with your ghillie/guide who will give you good advice. Check out the Tay tackle & flies pages listing shops who specialise in salmon and trout fishing on the Tay system.
Fishing prospects are looking very good for this month and with water temperatures fluctuating above and below 50 degrees, salmon are travelling higher up in the water, making them more receptive to the fly. You can now safely move on to floating or hover lines with tips as the fish become more active in the warmer water, says Malcolm Anderson of Caledonia Fly Company.
As I write, the following Caledonia Flies - Raider Cascade, Gold Willie Gunn and Copper Cascade have been the top performers during the last two weeks. Other top fly patterns to try for salmon are tube flies, including Posh Tosh and Cohn’s Spring Willie Gunn. A couple of flies not fished much on the Tay, but favoured by the regulars, are Monkey and Sunray's. The Sunray in particular will fish well when the water levels drop to summer heights.
We asked three respected Tay ghillies (Andy Gunn, Calum McRoberts and Simon Furniss) what are the most popular surface, sub-surface and deep lures this season. The original Scottish lure, Abu Silver/Copper Salmo 30g, is one of the top performing on the river. Rapalas are proving to be popular, in particular the CD11 (size 11cm). The highly versatile, darting, diving action of the Vision 110 is also successful on the river.
We would encourage you to look at the Anglers Guide for salmon which covers unhooking, recovery and recording your catch. It is essential that we all Check, Clean and Dry our equipment and clothing after fishing to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive non-native species which can damage our rivers and waterbodies.
The first in our series is Scottish guide/ghillie & instructor Iain Kirk.
Iain Kirk is the head ghillie on Fishponds beat, River Tay and a guide on Russia's mighty River Yokanga. A fully qualified casting instructor with SGAIC, he is also part of the Mackenzie DTX pro staff and design team, involved in the development and testing of new Mackenzie DTX products.
Anglers fishing Fishponds beat enjoy the added luxury of tuition in the double handed rod for the novice and informative advice on flies/lures/lines etc for more experienced anglers - read more.
If you want to fish somewhere you haven't been to before, then a guide can make all the difference between success and failure - read more.
Due to popular demand Meikleour Fishing have announced more salmon casting tuition dates for the 2015 season. Courses are suitable for the complete beginner to the competent caster - read more.
During the last few years we have been building up an unrivalled selection of places to stay that cater for anglers' needs. We now have accommodation listed along the entire length of the river, offering you a selection of the very best hotels, pubs, guest houses, self catering establishments, including camping and alternative accommodation such as 'Wigwams' - where to stay.
Our featured B&B this month is perfect for anglers fishing the lower Tay. No9 The Guest House in Perth, a 5-bedroom Victorian guest house with secure rod room, is perfectly situated for beats on the lower river near Perth - Guest Houses & B/B's.
For middle Tay beats, Royal Dunkeld Hotel is a friendly, family run 3 Star Hotel in picturesque Dunkeld. All rooms are ensuite. Good food and drink is available in a convivial Bistro and Bar. Free Wi-fi in public areas. Packed lunches are available. Parking, rod storage, drying room. Ideal for the following Tay beats Newtyle, Dunkeld House Fishing. Call them for their latest - Fishermans Accommodation Offer.
The recently refurbished East Wing of Meikleour House is entirely self-contained and is nestled in the idyllic surroundings of the Meikleour Estate. There are five beautifully furnished bedrooms and one apartment, sleeping a maximum of 12 guests. Facilities include a lift to all floors, Wifi, tennis courts, gun cabinets, rod room and drying facilites. A cook is available by request. Guests may also wish to dine at the Estate's country inn, The Meikleour Arms Hotel. The Estate has its own salmon fishing at Meikleour - read more.
The spring is always a busy time for the Board’s staff, especially with hatchery work, but this year even more so because of the new catch and release regulations that were introduced this season. Between 15 January and 31 March it has become an offence to kill salmon throughout Scotland.
In order to make sure anglers were aware of and abiding by the new legislation the bailiffs were active throughout this whole period. Fortunately we are not aware of there having been breaches of the legislation, but that is perhaps not surprising given that most Tay anglers release everything they catch throughout the whole spring anyway - read more.
Once again the Tay Foundation has run a successful Salmon in the Classroom project. In 2015 pupils from seven different local schools took part - read more.
Taymount is one of the most legendary beats on the Tay and is subdivided into two beats, upper and lower, which Taymount anglers fish on alternative days. Week 4 for sale - 6 rods 'in perpetuity'. For more information please contact Jim Ferrie - read more.
A prime Spring Week on Murthly Beat 1 for 5 rods has become available. The beat is subdivided into two one mile double bank beats, fished on alternate days. Week 19 has a 5 year average of 9.3 salmon. Offers over £25,000 - contact Paul Robertson - read more.
This new section from FishPal offers a comprehensive list of timeshares, businesses and fisheries for sale from the UK's leading rural agents. If you would like more information about advertising your fishing for sale, timeshares and leases or looking for investment opportunities and would like to be the first to be contacted then please call Anne Woodcock on 01573 470612 - Fishing For Sale.
The Atholl Gathering takes place this Bank Holiday weekend. This unrivalled spectacle gives locals and visitors alike the chance to participate in a unique Highland tradition that has persisted for generations. The two day Atholl Gathering weekend consists of The Atholl Highlanders' Parade on Saturday followed by the Highland Games on Sunday - read more.
Scone Palace, the crowing place of the Kings of Scotland, is hosting Potfest next month at the Palace. Now in its 18th year in Scotland, the amazing and colourful day out will be held in a tented village within the Gardens of Scone Palace and offers a great opportunity to meet the potters, get inspired and buy direct from the makers - read more.
Meikleour Fishings are hosting a Bruce & Walker Rod Testing Event on Fathers' Day, June 21st. The perfect day out for dads starts at 10am where Brian and Kay will be on hand with the new range of Bruce & Walker rods for you to try. There will also be nibbles and drinks prepared by the Meikleour Arms as well as a raffle draw in support of AFYD (Angling For Youth Development). The event is by invitation only. To receive one, contact the Meikleour Estate.
New for 2015, you can now insure your fishing against flooding disruption, where no fishing at all is possible due to flood conditions on the beat.
For the latest fishing news, photographs and events updated daily, you can also visit our FishTay social media pages, Facebook and Twitter. Please keep sharing your news, stories and photographs for the weekly Tay report to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like more information on fishing the Tay please call our offices and speak with Tom on 01573 470612. He can offer advice on beats, guides, instruction and places to stay.
A voucher to be spent on a days' fishing is the perfect gift to thank fathers, grandfathers and fathers-in-law. Their versatility means that the recipient can choose exactly when and where they would like to go and which species to fish for, be it salmon, trout or sea trout.
Before redeeming the voucher we are happy to discuss with the recipient their needs based on their own fishing experience before making a recommendation that we believe will enable them to get the most from their fishing gift - read more.
Purchase a gift voucher here.