(Last updated: Monday 1st September)
The river Tay in Perthshire Scotland continued the improvements last week and caught more salmon in better numbers after some rain and a stronger run. Currently there is a developing run of summer/ autumn salmon
and grilse on the river with a higher expectation of further improvement with signs of more fish running. Rain last weekend continued to freshen and brought water temperatures down further in the river and the
weather is to be 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.
This past week saw the water level drop and settle after more rain and sport improved and spread more evenly throughout the beats. The fishing can be supreme and the scenery is not bad either. Currently there are numerous wild flowers blooming on the river banks. Ospreys visit the river on a daily basis but will soon disappear back to Africa and 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 summer/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 until Thursday when they seemed to stop 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 23. Waulkmill and Lower Redgorton also caught fish on most days but in disappointing numbers. Fishponds and Upper Redgorton caught more as well as fish ran the river. On Upper Redgorton Jim Duffield caught on the fly from the Craigs and the Millar/Williams party had success at the end of the week. On Upper Scone some good fish were landed in the week for Dowie Morris's party. On Stanley a party from Wales fished hard for 4 days with the highlight a superb 14 pounds sea liced fish for Allan Bancroft on the fly from the boat in the Long Shot at Benchil. Becci Murray also caught a lovely fresh grilse from the same pool on the fly. Stobhall and Taymount continue to work away consistently. On Taymount the Cottrill party enjoyed success on most days landing fish up to 22 pounds. Ballathie and Cargill continue to set the pace with yet another good week as conditions suit the beats. The Erns from Switzerland had good success on Ballathie. On Cargill Hector Rawson's party enjoyed some excellent sport landing fish up to 20 odd pounds. Islamouth consistently caught on most days with fly. On Upper Islamouth and Meikleour odd fish were caught with Davie Taylor's party having success.
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 nine for the week. Jim Lamb caught the largest fish from the beat at 16 pounds. Other successful anglers included Danny Gough, Robert McFarlane, Simon Rutherford and Jane Rutherford. Glendelvine and Murthly had 5 fish between them. Fish were caught at Newtyle with Stuart Oglesby landing a 10 pounds salmon from the Boil on the fly. On Dunkeld House James Davenport caught a 7 pounds salmon from the Ivy Tree pool. Dalguise had a much better week with a few fish. Mark Goddard caught a grilse from the Island. On Saturday Keith Harrison landed and safely returning a 10 pounds hen salmon. Although a Tay regular, this was Keith's first visit to Dalguise and he enjoyed his first fish of the season, on a 30gm Silver Salmo from the Burn Mouth, up in the Guay Pool. The second, third and fourth for the day fell to ex-Tay Ghillie, Colin McFadyen, the first a cracking fresh 14 pounds hen from the Tail of the Bridge Pool, followed by a 13 pounds hen from the Bridge Pool, then a 5 pounds Grilse, also from the Bridge Pool.
Fish were caught from the Farleyer and Edradynate 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. David Wilson had a 3 pounds grilse from Ruan Ruarie.
Isla & Ericht.
Salmon are 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. John Thompson's party had good success landing several fish. George Baxter caught his first ever fish on the fly and also caught on a spinner. Ross Smith caught a cracking 13 pounds fish on a trout fly rod.
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!