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(Last updated: Monday 29th June)
The salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire has been excellent for some time now 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 has continued in June so far. 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 week seems to have
signaled the end of the 2015 spring run but the river is holding a good stock of fish especially in the middle areas. 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 lesser numbers in reasonably settled conditions. We recorded another good weekly catch in the current prolific period. There was good cloud cover and it was warm. Good numbers were landed daily signaling another consistent late spring and early summer week from all over as the river level receded and the quality of the salmon caught remained outstanding with fish caught in the late teens. 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 reasonable numbers, which is understandable with the superb conditions at times making it ideal as fish run harder due to the warmer water temperatures and fish are spreading throughout the river. Bigger water in the previous week 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 has seen more fish recorded this past week and Sea Trout are about however on the beats just above the Stanley area catches remained reasonable despite warm water temperatures as fish race up the system. The boats are about to go back onto the beats at Stanley and below in July for summer fishing. Almondmouth continued to see odd fish caught with 4 in the week and fish have been caught on the Stormont Angling club water. Lower Redgorton recorded a fish at the end of the week as water heights suited their Bleachings pool. Danny Fulton had more success at Benchil landing a sea liced 7 pounds fish on the fly from the Long Shot and others were seen with odd ones lost. Taymount and Stobhall continue to catch constantly as do Ballathie and Cargill with 6 salmon landed up to 15 pounds in weight. Cargill started the week of with a small fish for Stewart Scott from the Pot Shot. Alan and Jill Hunter both managed fish from the upper beat, as did Lotte White from Bermuda. The river is dropping to its lowest level of the year slowly which should suit the beats and an old legend Colin Leslie used to say that the grilse started running when " the buds were bursting on Ballathie" well all the Rhododendrons are out in bloom so hopefully the grilse will start in good numbers soon. Islamouth had another consistent week with 15 fish landed on the fly. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour landed five salmon up to 12 pounds with David Wasilowski after three years of trying, doing well to catch his first ever fish and then his second on the fly.
The Middle river is fishing well with consistent catches and continuing good results this past week that hopefully should continue over the coming weeks. Kercock had a quieter week with 3 fish. Murthly and Glendelvine had another good week recording 18 fish for the week. Newtyle did well with 11 fish during the week. Douglas Heeks landed 3 up to 10 pounds from the Cotter and the Steps. Jon Amos caught 2 fish on the fly from the Boil, then 18year old Calum Cook from Canada landed his 1st ever salmon, an 8 pounder from the Cotter and Andy Gunn managed to have a cast for himself on the beat to land several fish up to 13 pounds. On Saturday Andrew Gifford landed a 7 pounds fish on the fly from the Trap. Dunkeld House had a quieter week with 6 fish but are still seeing a lot of fish in the beat. Dalmarnock managed 3 during the week as did the Kinnaird beats.
The Tummel is continuing to produce fish but was much quieter as fish make their way up to Pitlochry dam and through it with the counter is now showing in excess of 2200 with rising temperatures. 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 quieter week on the Pitlochry Angling club stretch as fish escape through the dam
in numbers. Robert Crowther landed the only fish from the dam weighing 9 pounds but several fish were caught on the clubs Sawmill beat further down stream, amongst the successful rods catching on the fly were
Gordon Nichol, Jimmy Ross, Steven Watt and Andy Khakoo with his first ever salmon weighing 8 pounds on the fly. Loch Faskally reported 6 fish in the week with successful rods including Greg McLelland with 4 fish
on Monday up to 15 pounds on Tomics and Rapalas. Mark Edwards and Greg Russell on Tobies caught further fish.
The Upper areas are seeing fish on their beats. A total of 2 salmon were reported from the Farleyer beats during the week as they run up to Loch Tay.
On Loch Tay fish are running but nothing was reported last week.
The Isla is starting to see salmon run the river with odd fish registered.
The Ericht is also seeing fish run up the river with 1 reported off the lower river below Blairgowrie.
The Earn were also seeing a late spring salmon and Sea Trout run however no fish were reported last week possibly due to the water levels dropping.
The Spring Salmon fishing season is now over as we now go into summer and expectation remains high after great catches recently and poor overall catches last year. Late spring catches have been tremendous and June has continued to encourage everyone after fish were caught in the system in continuing better numbers. 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.