Prospects for coming week

(Last updated: Sunday 20th May)

The Salmon fishing season is now in late May on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland. We have been encountering some much warmer weather a prolonged winter becomes a memory. We have had good conditions last week with good levels and excellent conditions but maybe occasionally a bit bright. The coming week is looking settled with good temperatures again. There has been some more water maintaining the river height from melting snow however that seems to have disappeared now with much lower levels. On the opening months several anglers braved the elements in pursuit of that magical spring salmon but conditions are much warmer now and it is a pleasure to be out on the river. The cold weather hopefully has given a greater chance of producing some sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you were prepared to brave the elements as any fish progress slowly through the system. The changing weather has enabled fish to spread with water temperatures now in the fifties. Catches have been maintained and there is far more optimism after a slow start.
On the nature front the first Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows have arrived, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks have their first broods of young and Sand Pipers are on the river banks. Dippers are darting past getting food for their young and you could see the flash of a Kingfisher if you are lucky. Blue bells are out in the woods and the wild flowers are coming into bloom, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.
Currently the river is running settled and at lower levels at Caputh in perfect condition ( 10") and similarly on the lower river ( 1' 5) on the Ballathie gauge and should remain settled with a good forecast.

The weather is to be settled over the next week with little chance of some rain and milder temperatures continuing to take us out of winter. There will not be any frost this week either. The colder conditions certainly benefit the river at this time of year slowing the spring salmon run down and giving everyone a chance to catch as they run up the river slowly however a milder weather forecast at times will give us more water and would have encouraged salmon to run the river. The water temperature was cold but now at around 54 degrees Fahrenheit or 12 degrees Celsius is warming slowly (midday temperature). These are typical temperatures for this time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river.

Opening Day on the River Tay, Perthshire
Opening day on the 2016 season. Read the tips below on how to ensure the safe release of your salmon.

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.

Opening Day on the River Tay, Perthshire

Live Release Salmon.

Use a Digital camera or phone: 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 and allow 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, and release the fish.

Weather information

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. By regularly checking our links to the sites listed below anglers can be well informed on how the week's weather pattern is developing.

Metcheck (includes sunrise & sunset times)

Tidal information

Seven day predictions from the Admiralty EasyTide site are available at: