Yesterday's Catches - Today's River Levels - Tomorrow's Availability

Newsletter - March 2016

Expectations are high on the river this season for another good run. In March 2015 anglers caught 307 springers, April 499 and May 699. The spring proportion of the total Tay catch is increasing year on year.

Now is the time to start checking availability as some beats on the Tay are seeing little to no availability for some spring weeks - find fishing.

Thank you to this months contributors to the FishTay newsletter and special thanks to Bob White who writes the weekly Tay report. Bob has just launched a salmon fly website, which sells flies designed by him that have been successful during his many years of guiding/ghillying and fishing for salmon.

New for this month are beat reports, you can now keep up to date with reports from head ghillies on the river.

Please contact Tom in the office on 01573 470612 if you need any help arranging your fishing trip in 2016 along with recommendations on where to stay or guides to use. For the latest fishing availability please follow this link.

Remember the famous saying “you need to have your fly in the water to stand a chance of catching a spring fish” so get yourself out onto the river soon and you just might strike it lucky. You could be the next FishPal Malloch Trophy Winner.

Tight lines
Anne Woodcock

Where To Fish

The river is back to a decent level and is ideal for spring fishing. This month the colder weather is certainly benefitting the angler as fish are moving slowly up the system giving everyone a better chance of catching.

The lower beats are leading the way with these conditions. Beats around Stanley dominated the catches again; Pitlochrie to Taymount and Stobhall landing the lions share during the week - find spring fishing.

Catches should increase in the middle river as temperatures start to rise. Delvine and Burnbane caught a couple of springers last week. Newtyle have caught two springers at 15lb each and Dunkeld House an 18 pounder. Upper Kinnaird caught a couple last week and further up the system Loch Tay Fish n' Trips produced 2 beauties from the Loch at 20 and 18 pounds - find spring fishing.

If you need any help with arranging your fishing trip in 2016, please give Tom a ring in the office on 01573 470612.

Win A Mackenzie FX1 Rod

Follow this link to be in with a chance of winning the ultimate fly rod, a Mackenzie FX1 graphene double handed rod.

Fishing Insurance

I am sure we can all remember days when we were unable to fish because the river was in flood. The “Flooding Disruption” cover that comes with this policy is clearly deemed to be one of the most important features on offer within the policy that will prevent you from losing out financially if the river is in flood and unfishable.

Full policy details can be found on our insurance page or give the office a call on 01573 470612 if you would like a quote to insure your fishing.

Release A Pint.

For each fish released on Meikleour Beat in 2016 anglers can claim a free pint of their very own "Lure of Meikleour". For every pint pulled £5 will be donated to the local charity Angling For Youth Development - read more.

This conservation initiative created by Sam & Claire at Meikleour has been so popular that a fishery in Norway is offering the same incentive to their guests with their own Norwegian brew.

Which Lures For Salmon

There are so many lures, plugs and jerk baits out there at the moment, it is hard to decide on which ones to use and why when fishing for salmon.

Lure experts Angling Active have put together a guide explaining what their staff recommend and more importantly use when fishing for salmon. There are seven popular styles of lure each with their own advantages - read more.

Divine Intervention

Video of Gary Scott talking about Oracle rods.

If, whilst in pursuit of salmon, you are looking for divine intervention, consult the Shakespeare Oracle says Angling Active, Stirling.

This range of rods has caused quite a stir within the salmon fly community. The price point screams out as the main advantage, but we sometimes hear of customers buying them as a backup rod just incase they break their favourite (more expensive) rod and then end up switching to the Oracle because they just love it.

There are 6 rods in the Oracle series range, all differ in action to suit every eventuality. These rods are setting a benchmark that is very attractive to the educated angler - read more.

Tactics For March

We are now coming into one of the most important months on the calendar for the Tay system, as the Spring fish will start to move from the lower beats into the middle beats of the river spreading them more evenly through the system.

Fast sink tips, intermediate lines or even deeper will help you find your quarry, but you will need the all-important fly on the end of your setup - read more.

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.

• Use barbless or pinched hooks
• Retrieve your fish quickly; release it immediately
• Keep the fish in the water
• Use a rubber or knotless net, if one must be used
• Cut the leader if necessary
• Remove the hook carefully
• Hold the fish gently in its natural swimming position.
• Face the fish upstream until it revives
• Do not move the fish back and forth in the water.

Spey Casting Course

One place has become available due to a cancellation, on the popular casting course with World Spey Casting Champion and AAPGAI Instructor Gary Scott.

This 3 day residential course in May is structured to suit all levels of spey casting from the absolute beginner to the more advanced angler.

Delegates will also be fishing for Spring Salmon on one of the most scenic beats on the Middle Tay. Last May (2015) anglers fishing this beat caught a total of 76 Spring Salmon - read more.

Professional Chef

Peter Backhouse is a professional chef to 2 AA Rosette standard, having worked in London and for private sporting estates in Scotland. Peter creates bespoke menus for fishing and shooting parties to suit your requirements, tastes and budget - read more.

Reels on Heels

The popular ladies charity event organised by Claire Mercer Nairne and Anne Woodcock will be held over 2 days this year. Ladies will have the opportunity to fish Newtyle Beat on Friday 24th June and Meikleour Fishing on Saturday 25th June.

The price includes 2 days fishing with tuition and lunch £205. Beginners to advanced anglers are welcome. Equipment is available. Please contact Betty at or for more information and to reserve a place.

FishPal Newsletters

The latest monthly newsletters for the Rivers Dee, Tay and Tweed can be found here.

If you wish to be included in our mailing list to receive our newsletters please go to our subscribe form and tell us which ones you would like to receive. Alternatively contact the office on 01573 470612.