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(Last updated: Monday 27th July)
The salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire has slowed down after an excellent period for some time especially in the middle river with improving conditions for fishing and reasonably settled water levels have prevailed to give the river an excellent late spring period with the river equaling last years catches so far and improving on the 5 year average. The current trend continued in June but has slowed up in the last couple of weeks with slight signs of improvement. Recent heavy rain causing a massive summer spate last week, has triggered off an improvement in the summer run. The spring period has ended but steady conditions have spread fish throughout the system in the last few weeks, this may be the catalyst for even better catches which hopefully will continue over the next few weeks as we go deeper into summer. This past few weeks seemed to have confirmed the end of the 2015 spring run but the river is holding a good stock of fish especially in the middle areas. We now await a good summer run of salmon and grilse. Expectation remains high on the river for 2015 after consistent catches recently and hopefully favourable conditions may trigger off improving runs as we go into Summer to give everyone a chance of landing a Tay “Bar of Silver”.
Late spring and summer salmon were landed last week in better numbers due to fresh water earlier in the week. We recorded an improving catch as the week went on and hopefully that will bring even more success this week. There was good cloud cover and it was warm. Fish were landed daily from all over as the river level receded and the quality of the salmon caught remained outstanding with fish caught in the late teens and early twenties. Rain during last week may just spice things up for the coming week. Grilse are starting to run with odd ones caught and in excellent condition. Sea trout are making an appearance as well with some top quality fish caught. On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are all over the skies, Ospreys are being seen, Kingfishers dart past, Ducks have their second broods of young and Sand Pipers are on the riverbank. It is a magical time of year with the wild flowers coming out everywhere with Rhododendrons and Azaleas in bloom and Lupines everywhere as well as many others. It is true what they say, “ a salmon is a bonus!”
Salmon have been caught throughout the system this past week in steadily improving numbers and conditions at times making it ideal as fish run harder due to the warmer water temperatures and fish are spreading
throughout the river. Bigger and fresh water may have encouraged more to run. The mandatory government catch and release restrictions have ended however the river would ask everyone to observe the TDSB
recommendations to preserve what we have for future years. Return rates are at an all time low and wild salmon are a precious resource to the Tay and all rivers in Scotland. Handling of fresh salmon in
particular is a big issue now if we are serious about successful release to enable as many salmon as possible to survive to spawn. When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as
possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended and is bad practice. If an area of the river starts to kill salmon to excess the
mandatory policy will ultimately increase beyond the spring and maybe for the whole season that would not be a popular concept for our fragile rural economy. Thank you for all who preserve the recommendations
and shame on the few who cannot, their shortsighted outlook will bring everyone down and cost jobs throughout Scotland's river systems.
The Lower Tay below Stanley are seeing more fish recorded this past week and Sea Trout are about, also the beats just above the Stanley area were showing signs of improvement in warm water temperatures as fish race up the system. Almondmouth continued to see odd fish caught with 4 and fish have been caught on the Stormont Angling club water. Lower and Upper Redgorton also recorded a couple of fish apiece. Waulkmill and Fishponds also registered fish in the week. On Upper Scone David Mitchell caught a salmon from Horsey. On Stanley 9 fish were caught during the week with 4 being landed from the Pitlochrie beat on Saturday. The fly seemed to be the answer as Danny Fulton and Bob White landed a couple of fish apiece on the fly from Horsey and the Woodside. Earlier in the week Calum King caught a 12 pounds fish from Pitlochrie pool in bigger water on a flying C. Taymount and Stobhall had improving weeks with 18 fish between them. Brian Giles was one of the successful rods on Taymount on Thursday when 6 fish were landed. Ballathie and Cargill had a steady week with 11 fish.
On Ballathie Dave Cochrane caught an 11 pounds fish in the boat with George McInnes. Cargill were rewarded with 5 lovely fish up to 20 pounds in weight. Roy Frost had two on the worm both safely returned and lost another two. Nick Allen had three crackers, all fresh fish, up to 20 pounds. Pat Ingram hooked fish on the fly as did Vic Frost and Simon Murphy. Islamouth accounted for 6 fish in the week but should see more action as the water drops. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had 8 cracking fresh fish up to 17 pounds. It was particularly encouraging to greet the arrival of the grilse on Saturday, with their rods landing three long-tailed sea-licers up to 4 pounds in weight. Particular mention should go to Mr. Michael Freeman who landed his very first fish at his very first attempt at fishing!
The Middle river is fishing reasonably well with consistent catches but experienced a quieter week mirroring the rest of the river. Kercock had a superb week with 16 fish. Amongst their successful rods were Matt Blake with a 14 pounds fish and James Lang with a 21 pounds cracker. Murthly and Glendelvine had a reasonable week recording 9 fish from all the beats. Newtyle had 4 during the week. Dunkeld House also recorded 4 fish in the week up to 16 pounds. Dalmarnock had one and four came from the Kinnaird beats.
The Tummel is continuing to produce fish but in far lesser numbers as fish make their way up to Pitlochry dam and through it with the counter is now showing in excess of 3300 with rising temperatures, which is ahead of last years total at the same time. All the beats below the dam including East and West Haugh have been producing fish over the last week or so, which has been good news. It was a much quieter week on the Pitlochry Angling club stretch as fish escape through the dam in numbers. Martin Wilson and Paul Carter caught on the fly and Peter Stewart landed a 6 pounds fish at the dam. Rab Crowther caught further fish down at the Sawmill stream on the fly as well. Loch Faskally reported a couple of fish With Campbell Dixon catching 2 on a Zebra Toby up to 11 pounds in weight.
The Upper areas are seeing fish on their beats. Six salmon were reported from the Farleyer and Findynate beats during the week as they run up to Loch Tay.
On Loch Tay fish are running and must be staring to go up the Dochart but nothing was reported last week.
The Isla is starting to see salmon run the river with no fish registered.
The Ericht is also seeing fish run up the river in bigger water with 10 reported.
The Earn were also seeing salmon and Sea Trout run with 7 sea trout being reported last week from Lochlane and Laggan due to the increased water levels.
The Spring Salmon fishing season is now over as we now into summer and expectation remains high after great catches recently and poor overall catches last year. Late spring catches have been tremendous and June continued to encourage everyone after fish were caught in the system in continuing better numbers. Recent rain and fresh water is encouraging more salmon to run the river so let us hope with improving conditions and the upturn in catches will continue. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the reports.