(Last updated: Monday 20th October)
The river Tay in Perthshire Scotland had another better catch last week in settled conditions until rain brought the river up at the weekend. Currently there has been a run of autumn salmon and grilse over the
last few weeks on the river but there is a higher expectation of further improvement in the last few days to come with more fish running after the big spate last week and at the weekend. The weather has at last
changed and this could trigger off further improvements. The catches have been disappointing and tough to achieve recently but more water has given hope and renewed optimism for the coming weeks assuming more
fish enter the system. Most beats are reporting reasonable numbers of fish in residence but catching them is proving difficult.
This past week saw the water levels fall after very heavy rain to much better levels and sport improved throughout the river. The fishing can be supreme and the scenery is not bad either. The autumn colours are supreme and you could see a skein of Geese crossing, an Otter or a Kingfisher darting past while you are in mid cast! It is true what they say, “ a salmon is a bonus!” That has certainly been the case this year!
The autumn fishing has been hard on the lower river with limited fish running but the increase in water levels have continued to see big improvements. Sea Trout have been an added bonus this summer but a strengthening autumn run is hoped for in the remaining days of the season to come. The lower beats below Stanley caught fish this past week in better numbers. The river dropped away all week until Saturday seeing fish run and move throughout the river. The rise has not benefited Almondmouth and the Stormont Angling club as fish ran the Almond in numbers. Waulkmill continued its improvement with another good week with 15 fish and Lower Redgorton caught 9. Luncarty had improved sport and reported good numbers on the beat waiting to run the Shochie and Ordie. Ian Kettles party landed 15 fish for 3 days up to 16 pounds with Ian, Danny Fulton, Dougie Wangert, John Lessels and John Mollison all having success. Fishponds had success on most days with some good fresh fish caught. Upper Redgorton also had another steady week with 12 fish. Upper Scone did well with over 20 fish landed in the week with quite a few sea liced, which was good to see. At Stanley on Pitlochrie and Benchil fish were landed on most days including some cracking fresh fish as well. Steve Booths party enjoyed a good 3 days with Adam Booth landing his first salmon weighing 8 pounds, Jim Woodriff caught 2 up to 10 pounds and John Sturt landed a fresh grilse at 5 pounds from the Woodside. Later in the week John McCallum landed 2 lovely fresh salmon up to 13 pounds on Benchil and James Holder caught a superb sea liced 14 pounds fish in Cawn Pore on a Toby salmo. Stobhall had fish on most days but Taymount had an excellent week with around 40 fish up to 21 pounds with Graham Mayes party fishing from Plymouth. Ballathie and Cargill continue to fair well. David Godfrey reported that Cargill had a “ much better start to the week with settled water and co operative fish. Two visiting Dutch angers accompanied by Jock Monteith had a fantastic three days landing 20 salmon up to 24lbs with lots of fish lost as well. Clive Downhill had 3 good fish on the Devon minnow and Ollie Holt had good sport on the fly in the Pot Shot. David Sands from Milnathort fished the Tay for the first time on Friday and had great sport on the fly landing three salmon up to 16lbs. The big coloured flood on Saturday curtailed sport but we still have a lot of fish lying with us, 30 salmon caught for the week all returned.” Islamouth had an excellent week with over 30 fish caught on fly. This included an 8½ pounds rainbow trout on a one inch Willie Gunn caught by Chris White in the Longhead. Chris also caught good salmon at 17 and 14 pounds as well. On Meikleour and Upper Islamouth Calum McRoberts reported "A great start to the week with six fish up to 20lbs on Monday with Mr Massie doing particularly well. We picked away for the rest of the week with further fish up to 19lbs, but then unsettled river conditions made things difficult. Currently the river is rising again, but as it settles we should finish the season on a high as we've plenty of fish with us at the moment"
The catches further upstream have improved with the rise in the river at long last. Gary Harkin reported from Kercock that they “had 13 for the week with Robert Sneddon catching fish at 10 and 8 pounds, Billy McInnes caught fish at 8, 12 and 15 pounds, Steve Gamlen, Bob Burns, Norrie McLeod, Colin Chisholm, Steve Wright all had success and John Murray had the biggest fish off the beat weighing 18pounds.”
Glendelvine and the Murthly beats had reasonable weeks with fish on most days. Newtyle reported a few fish with Chris Bullman landing 2 on the fly up to 9 pounds and Tony Sheeham completed the same but with a superb 20 pounds fish from the Deans Burn on Park Shrimps. Dunkeld House reported reasonable fishing last week with fish caught up to 28 pounds. Calvyn Howells caught his first ever salmon weighing 7 pounds, Philip Barlow caught on fly and Ian Dorian did well with 2 on fly up to 10 pounds. 15 year old Adam Dorrian had a superb start to his salmon fishing career with an incredible 28 pounds fish on a salmo from the Mouse Trap. Alan Dorrian also caught. There was another first for Carol with another impressive salmon weighing 18 pounds. Dalmnarnock reported odd fish as did the Kinnaird beats. Dalguise regular Malcolm Bennett caught a sea liced 15 pounds fish from the Guay pool on a copper tube.
This area has been quiet recently but the fresh water has livened up sport with Farleyer and Edradynate beats reporting fish in the week.
It has been a much better week on the Tummel system with improved catches and fish have been running through Pitlochry Dam with the count around 4600. The club site reported that the “Pitlochry Angling Club waters ended on a high with eight fish caught in the last two days of the season. On Tuesday Alan Conroy got things going at the dam with a 12lbs fish on a Rapala from Port-na-Craig bank. Further upstream Ruan Ruarie regular Dave Wilson had an excellent day with fish of 16, 12 and 10lbs. On Wednesday Dave was joined by his father William and between them they added another four - two for Dave at 14 and 8 lbs and two for William at 8 and 5lbs.”
Isla & Ericht.
Salmon have been running the Isla and Ericht in recent weeks the recent water should have improved matters. Keithick Mains reported a couple on Monday.
Fish are now running the river with increased flows. Fish were reported in better numbers from Lower Aberuthven and Lochlane and Laggan.
The 2014 salmon season in Scotland, Europe and Iceland has not been one to remember so far. Atlantic salmon stocks are relatively low so the importance of Catch and Release is vital to continue our enjoyment of this superb sport for the future. Currently on the Tay the majority of anglers with odd exceptions are achieving this. We had a superb spring run and catch last season, which may just be down to the majority of anglers returning salmon over the past seasons. This year catches have fallen dramatically so emphasizing the importance of catch and release is absolutely crucial. Retaining hen salmon is a strict no no and any angler doing so should not be allowed on our rivers.
Thank you to all anglers who have returned their spring salmon to maintain our sport for the future, but this should be extended to the summer and autumn now as catches have dropped to new lows, it is vitally important and is a great contribution by individuals who care for their sport and the river. Well done!