(Last updated: Monday 15th September)
The river Tay in Perthshire Scotland had a reasonable catch last week in settled conditions that were more like summer but is looking for a far stronger run. 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 weeks to come with more fish running hopefully. The weather is to remain settled this week that may
trigger off further improvements. The catches have been disappointing recently but catches have increased substantially giving renewed optimism for the coming weeks assuming more fish enter the system. Most
beats are reporting good numbers of fish in residence but catching them is proving difficult.
This past week saw the water level drop to summer levels with sport maintained throughout the beats. The fishing can be supreme and the scenery is not bad either. The Ospreys have now gone back to Africa but you could see 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 is improving on the lower river slowly 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 this past week and Almondmouths catches were reasonable but unpredictable and this was reflected on the river in general. 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 35 that included 2 days of double figures. The Stormont angling club water is also producing a similar catch but this is not registered. Waulkmill and Lower Redgorton also caught fish on most days but in disappointing numbers for the time of year. Lower Redgorton had a better week with regular fly fishers having better success especially on Monday. Dougie Wangerts party caught a fish on Luncarty on Friday. On Upper Redgorton “The Sly party had a 4 fish week, with the biggest fish weighing 8 pounds caught by Walter Russel. 50% of the weeks catch was on the Fly whilst the spinner accounted for 2.” The rods on Upper Scone worked very hard for their 8 fish during the week. The Stanley beats of Benchil and Pitlochrie had a quiet week with only one fish caught by Alan McCaig on the fly from the Long Shot. Stobhall and Taymount had a good week with an outstanding 19 on Monday from Taymount. On Taymount “Bill Lucis caught a 20 pounds salmon on a flying c from Lower Eels Brigs and Bill also had a 23 pounds fish from the same pool on Monday which was part of 3 for his day. 10 of the 19 were on fly, 4 on flying C, 4 on worm and 1 on salmo. Great day with fish being caught all over the beat !! Other successful anglers were Dennis Stanton, Phil Neary, Mark Bowie, Mark Jackson, Mark Stewart, John Derry & Andrew Collier.” Ballathie and Cargill continue to do well. Cargill had “a week of tough conditions and un cooperative fish. They did battle on though and ended up with 16 for the week up to 22lb in weight which given the time of year is quite poor for Cargill. There are lots of fish on the beat so somebody is going to have a bonanza before the season is out. Successful anglers were Alan and Scott Pryce, Jason Whiteford had a couple, Stewart Scott got a nice 11 pounder and Chris Chalkers Party ended up with three up to 15 pounds.” Islamouth had a quieter week that included Sigfus Ingimundarsson from Iceland landing a 14 pounds fish from the New Shot on the fly. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had success with the fly proving effective for Mr Mitchell and Philip Swinstead catching fish up to 10 pounds.
The catches further upstream have improved but again are not easy to achieve. Kercock “had a mixed week with plenty of fish about but hard to catch. Brian Bayne had three Grilse on a green highlander all about 5 pounds, Mark Tucker caught a 10 pounds fish and Norrie McLeod caught 7 fish for four days, the beats biggest fish was caught by Jane Rutherford at 15 pounds.” Murthly 2 had a good week with 13 fish. At Newtyle “on Monday 89 year old regular Jack Hopper had 2 fish, 7 &11lb on the fly from the boil and a grilse was also caught in the Ferry Pool. On Tuesday Cornish angler David Chapman landed his 1st Scottish Salmon, a fly caught 8lb fish from the Boil. On Friday Bill Bates from Wales caught a 12lb fish from St Mary's, his 1st Scottish Salmon. On Saturday another Welsh angler Craig Evans landed his 1st Scottish fly caught fish, 11lb from the Boil.” It was quieter further up river with water levels dropping. A couple of fish came from Dunkeld house with Bill and Adah catching fish up to 15 pounds. The Kinnaird beats had a fish from each beat.
This area has been quiet again and needs more rain. A fish was caught from the Edradynate beat.
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 just over 4100. Chris Oliver caught his first ever fish from the Port-na-craig beat weighing 7 pounds on the fly.
Isla & Ericht.
Salmon have been running the Isla and Ericht in recent weeks but more water would improve matters. Nothing was reported last week. On the Ericht David Sands gave himself a birthday present of a days salmon fishing with Dougy Morrison above Blairgowrie. He caught a 7 pounds and an 8 pounds fish on a small fly using a 10 foot trout rod.
Nothing was reported last week.
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!