(Last updated: Monday 25th August)
The river Tay in Perthshire Scotland continued to improve last week and caught more salmon in better numbers after some rain and a stronger run. Currently there is a developing run of summer salmon and grilse on the river with a higher expectation of further improvement with signs of more fish running last week. Rain last weekend continued to freshen and brought water temperatures down further in the river and the weather is to be reasonably settled and cooler with a chance of some rain this week that may trigger off further improvements. The catches have been disappointing recently but catches have increased substantially this past week giving renewed optimism for the coming weeks assuming more fish enter the system.
The summer fishing is improving on the lower river with fish running the river at last. Sea Trout have been an added bonus this summer but a strengthening run is appearing which hopefully will develop into a good autumn run. The lower beats below Stanley caught fish in far better numbers this past week and Almondmouths catches improved strengthening the feeling fish are starting to run in stronger numbers. This beat is seen as a barometer for the river as it is the first beat at the head of the tide therefore improving catches there would hearten everyone and mean more fish are at last entering the river. They had fish all week and finished with 36. Waulkmill and Lower Redgorton also saw improvements with fish on most days. Fishponds, Luncarty and Upper Redgorton caught more as well as fish ran the river. On Fishponds the fly was doing well with grilse and salmon landed up to 11 pounds. Tara Burnside landed a cracking 11 pounds fish from the boat at Lodge End. On Upper Redgorton Holland House Electrical finished the week off well with 3 fish up to 15 pounds considering the lack of fish recently on the first five beats above the Almond. Peter Morrison got the week under way with a lovely grilse on a pink and white Tay lure. The beats around Stanley caught on most days with great effort. Callun King caught his first salmon on Benchil then followed it up with 4 the following day from the Pitlochrie beat. Not a bad start for an inspiring young ghillie. Stobhall had a better week for John Apthorpes party including 7 fish on Wednesday with one weighing 20 pounds. Taymount also had a reasonable week with fish every day. Ballathie and Cargill are still performing well with over 40 fish from the beats in the week. On Cargill Robert and Bill Dawson started an eventful week off; Paul Gallagher caught 8 to his own rod up to 15 pounds on Tuesday, Makoto Kushino from Japan caught his first ever salmon on the fly from the Cradle weighing 15 pounds, Steven Cardnow caught 3 fish on the fly from the Bridge stream, Michael Alves caught his first Tay fish weighing 18 pounds and visiting angler from Chicago, Richard Hunt had success on the fly. Islamouth had a much better week with good success for fly fishers. Tim Greenfield caught a superb 23 pounds fish casting from the boat. Meikleour and Upper Islamouth started the week with 10 year old Alex Bolens from USA landing a good fish. Several other fish were landed in the week up to 21 pounds.
The catches further upstream improved, as conditions continue to change and salmon ran freely up the river with improving runs and more water. Kercock finished with fifteen for the week. Antti Saastamoinen had a grilse and a 13lb salmon on the fly, Mark Evans caught a grilse on a G.P, Ian Reid landed 2 fish of 4 & 9 pounds on small tube flies, Dougie McLean had three grilse all at 5 pounds and Robert McFarlane landed a 5 pounds grilse. The Murthly beats caught fish on most days. Newtyle had a visit from cricketer Freddie Flintoff and Rob Penn and Rob Crockart caught a couple of grilse on the fly from the Boil and the Deans Burn. Dalmarnock caught the odd fish in the week and on Dalguise there was a better weeks sport with Johnathan Digwall kicking things off with a 15 pounds fresh run fish from the tail of the Bridge pool on a Flying C. Glenn Baikie had a grilse and Stefan Cheeld caught his first ever salmon weighing 4 pounds. John Cross also had a 7 pounds fish from the Bridge Pool. The Kinnaird beats had a much better week landing 10 salmon.
This area has started to fish again with the recent rain. Fish were caught from the Farleyer beats.
It has been a very quiet week on the Tummel again with odd catches but fish have been running through Pitlochry Dam with the count approaching 4000. Loch Faskally reported odd fish.
Isla & Ericht.
Salmon are now freely running the Isla and Ericht with rising water levels however nothing was reported last week. Dougy Morrison has reported salmon and grilse running the Ericht with several fish caught. There was a notable catch for a 7 year old Richard Lenehan his first salmon on the Ericht.
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!