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(Last updated: Sunday 20th May)
The Tay, Perthshire is now in late May for salmon fishing with disappointing results in recent weeks and now with a far warmer forecast. Expectation is still optimistic on the river for 2018 after a string of better weeks in April, fish are starting to be caught in better numbers although this month has been disappointing so however the fantastic news continues with 20 pounds plus fish being landed on the river week in week out which 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 "Bar of Silver" and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.Spring salmon were landed last week in warmer weather and river conditions were generally excellent although a few may have complained about the bright sun at times. The river has been settled despite some melting snow from high ground due to higher temperatures but that should be at an end now. The numbers were again disappointing for May with around 50 fresh spring salmon recorded last week making it another similar catch to the previous week. The spring season is in its later stages now and frustratingly only small runs are coming into the river but fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult however as the fish travel slowly upriver most beats are catching. 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.
Taymount and Stobhall were the lowest beats to record a fish on the Lower river catching 2 fish between them in a disappointing week. Cargill and Ballathie failed to record a fish however the water height is much better for their beats now so hopefully that will change quickly. The jewel in the Tay crown, Islamouth had a much better week especially in the last 3 days as the water dropped. They finished with 13 in the week on the fly with 6 on Saturday up to 14 pounds. Sir Alan Parker's party caught 11 for their three days and only fished until lunchtime on Saturday! Sir Alan arrived late on Friday but managed a couple of fish in three hours fishing. Beat ghillie, Billy Campbell remarked on the sheer quality of the fish caught as superb. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had one for their week caught on the fly from the Castle pool by Chris McCarthy weighing 5 pounds.
The Middle river enjoyed excellent water conditions throughout the week and fish continued to appear as they moved steadily up stream. On Kercock a single fish was recorded on Saturday meanwhile the Murthly beats recorded 5 in the week including a couple of 20 plus pounds fish on fly. Friday saw one of Tony Blacks rods catch a super 25 pounds fish from the Tronach. In the previous week one of Tony's rods lost a fish of a lifetime estimated at over 30 pounds. Dunkeld House had an 8 pounds fish on Saturday and reported a few fish showing as have all the beats from Murthly upwards which is heartening. Dalmarnock had a more productive week with 3 fish including a 10 pounds fish from Clachantaggart. Dalguise reported one fish for the week which was 22 pounds and the Kinnaird beats had 4.
The Upper area has featured last week as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish, 6 fish were recorded from Edradynate, Findynate, Lower and Upper Farleyer beats.
The Lyon has been seeing a run of spring salmon recently, however there was no news form the area.
Loch Tay is also seeing sport with a single fish reported last week form Fish n' Trips.
The Tummel was also seeing sport with 6 reported last week form the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch at Portnacraig up to an impressive 21 pounds and odd fish, around 100 plus fish have ascended the ladder with temperatures rising. The week got off to a flyer with fish caught on fly and spinner up to 16 pounds for Jim Lapsley and Curtis Brunker. Curtis then caught a superb 21 pounds fish on Thursady while Kenny Horne finished the week off with an 8 pounds fish on the fly on Friday. Further downstream Dunfallandy and West Haugh didn't record a fish last week. East Haugh and the Lower Tummel must be getting some action as well with fish making their way up to the dam.
The spring salmon are now going up the Isla with fish caught recently and on the lower Ericht the Blairgowrie Angling Club water has been reporting fish.
The Earn is starting to see salmon and sea trout arrive in the last few weeks with a sinle sea trout recorded last week on Lochlane and Laggan.
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 sea temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer away in the ocean before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish finding its way back. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon.
These are encouraging signs in the past week or so however the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding and with hopefully a settled river in the coming weeks should see improved catches with a settled forecast as well.
The Spring Salmon fishing is picking up slowly as we enter May and hopefully some warmer weather. 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 email@example.com to be included in the reports.Catches reported to us were: