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(Last updated: Wednesday 20th July)
Spring salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is now at an end as we encounter the start of a summer run in July after another steady June. The river has had fresh water and is hovering around or just above summer levels despite some heavy localized rain giving reasonable conditions at times for fishing plus warming temperatures are seeing catches maintained. Expectation is high on the river for 2016 with now over 2000 fish recorded so far and after successful springs in 2015, 2014 and 2013 plus hopefully settled weather will continue with an improving run in July to give everyone a chance of landing a Tay “Bar of Silver”.
Salmon and now odd grilse were landed throughout last week with more unsettled weather and catches have continued to spread with higher river temperatures. It was another steady productive week with around 100 fish landed and the biggest one recorded was just under 20 pounds. Spring has now transferred into summer and steady runs are coming into the river plus better weather is making fishing easier with lower water and a bit of fresh water last week may have encouraged more fish to run the river as the summer run develops. The fish that have been caught so far have been superb quality and of a good size overall and now summer awaits.
On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are all over the skies, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks have broods of young, Sand Pipers are on the river banks and Kingfishers dart past. Many wild flowers are in bloom but a good few are now past their best for another year, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.
The majority of the salmon were caught in the lower river in early spring, which is understandable with the cold conditions but that has changed with warmer water allowing fish to run further giving improving results up the river including fish from Loch Tay, Loch Faskally and beyond now as fish spread in the system. The middle river is now the barometer for the runs as water temperatures rise to around 60F, however more fish are now starting to be caught in the lower river with the start of a summer run.
This past week saw a more fish from the lower river scattered throughout the beats encouraging everyone as a summer run starts to develop in earnest. The beats at Stanley and below are seeing improving sport as a summer run enters the river. The area just above the tide started to produce fish on a regular basis with Almondmouth, Lower Redgorton and Waulkmill catching around 20 fish between them. Fishponds recorded on fish. Benchil continues to produce fish with John Lessels catching a superb 16 pounds fish on Monday on the Upper Scone ticket, meanwhile Francis Jennings had further success on the fly from the Long Shot on the Stanley rota. Saturday saw further success with Donny Gow and Malcom Anderson landing further fish up to 15 pounds on fly casting from the anchored boat in the same pool. Francis Jennings had further success from the Pitlochrie beat catching a small grilse in Kirkie on fly. Stobhall had a quiet week however Taymount fared much better with fish everyday including 6 on Wednesday. Cargill and Ballathie continue to fish well with 11 between them. On Cargill Jillian and Tom Hunter caught early in the week and Graeme Ritchie had success. The unsettled water saw Islamouth have a quieter week with 11 fish but still consistently catch each day. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had a single fish in the week.
The middle river has slowed down with rising river temperatures over recent weeks but the recent rain must help in the weeks to come. Kercock had a superb week with 17 fish as a good run of summer fish arrived in the beat. This included 7 on Saturday with Jim Lamb landing a superb 16 pounds fish on the fly. Delvine and Burnbane had a couple in the week and Murthly 2 had a better week with 9 fish. Up at Dunkeld House Andrew Kasprzycki enjoyed a visit to the hotel and landed a 15 pounds fish from the Cathedral stream in the boat. Dalguise and both the Kinnaird beats managed 2 each during last week.
The Tummel is continuing to see limited sport from the Port-na-Craig beat administered by Pitlochry Angling Club with 2 landed last week and there is now over 4750 fish through the Dam resulting in fish being recorded in Loch Faskally and fish are running the Garry. This is a high figure in recent years caused by the temperature coming up quickly earlier in May and encouraging the fish to run. Recent water saw success for Alan Booker, Gordon Nichol and Andrew Khakoo from the Sawmill on the fly from the Pitlochry beat but there has not been a lot of rods fishing recently.
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 email@example.com to be included.
The upper river was seeing sport with a fish caught on the Farleyer beat and recent fresh water should improve activities in the weeks to come.
The Isla are seeing salmon run up the river and progressing to the Ericht with 4 fish being reported last week from the Keithick Mains and lower Ericht.
Fish have been reported running the Lyon as well but low water levels have curtailed sport. No news from that part of the river last week.
Fish have also been running the Earn but no fish were reported.
The Spring Salmon fishing season is now over as we enter into July and expectation of a summer run. Last week's catches were again heartening and more fish are running with warmer weather and some fresh water.
Let us hope this is a sign of an upturn in catches as we go into July. It has been a reasonable start with well over 2000 fish recorded so let us hope the season lives up to every one's expectations over the
coming weeks and months. Tight lines!