Prospects for coming week

(Last updated: Tuesday 17th July)

The Salmon fishing season is now well into July on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland. We have been encountering some very hot summer weather with rain seemingly a distant memory until a few days ago with a dampening of the ground. We have had difficult conditions last week with very hot and bright weather nearly every day although it has now cooled slightly helping matters. The coming week is looking is similar but cooler again giving more optimism however the river is still very low. Catches improved dramatically three weeks ago probably due to rain giving far more optimism following disappointing catch figures, that was then dashed by the current hot spell but we are now seeing a break in very hot conditions to hopefully trigger off some more summer salmon and grilse to run the river.
On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are in the skies, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks, Dippers and Sand Martins have broods of young on the river banks and you could see the flash of a Kingfisher if you are lucky. The wild flowers are out in bloom with outstanding displays of Lupins on the banks recently, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay and a salmon would be a bonus.
Currently the river has fallen right back to low summer levels. It is at Caputh (2") and similarly on the lower river (2") on the Ballathie gauge.
The Weather is to continue settled over the coming week with some bright days but cooler and some chance of rain. The warmer temperatures would have encouraged salmon to run the river and get into the upper areas as fish continue to shoot through the ladder at Pitlochry. The river has cooled slightly helping matters with a current river temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius most days. These are not typical temperatures for this time of year but hopefully rain will come soon and help cool it further and improve sport. 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: