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(Last updated: Thursday 30th June)
Spring salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is now nearing an end as we encounter the start of a summer run in July after another steady June. The river is hovering around 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 June to give everyone a chance of landing a late spring “Bar of Silver”.
Spring 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 19 pounds from Islamouth. Spring is disappearing with a transition 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 run strengthens. The spring fish that have been caught so far have been superb quality and of a good size overall.
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 start to 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 few fish from the lower river scattered throughout the beats with Islamouth again proving the best beat as fish hesitate at the mouth of the Isla. The beats at Stanley and below are seeing improving sport with Almondmouth and Lower Redgorton recording 9 fish between them. Fishponds had an 11 pounds fish on Saturday with Mr Bothwell being the successful angler. Just above Stanley Taymount and Stobhall have been having success most days last week with 14 fish between them. Further up Ballathie and Cargill had 15 in the week. Cargill had another consistent week catching fish up to 16 pounds and the odd early grilse. The highlight of the week was 91 year old Tom Kenyon catching a lovely 8 pounds fish on the fly. Other successful rods included Jill and Janette Hird, Ian Jardine and Arthur Quayle. Islamouth continues to do well with another superb week of 28 fish. Earlier in the week Andrew Roskell enjoyed 3 great days on the beat and Jean Norton landed the largest fish off the river last week with a superb 19 pounds beauty. Later in the week Patrick Hanley's party enjoyed success as well despite some unsettled conditions for fly fishing. On Upper Islamouth and Meikleour Mr Robertson enjoyed success in the March pool landing a 10 pounds fish on a floating devon. The beat also hosted a Ladies day on Saturday after a similar day at Newtyle the day before. 14 Women took part raising an incredible £2000 for Youth Angling Development which aims to get younger people involved in the sport.
The middle river is continuing to fare better with rising river temperatures over recent weeks and the rain has helped this past week. Kercock saw a better week with 5 fish which included a cracking fish on the fly for Ken Mackie. Delvine Burnbane had 3 fish in the week with Robert Harvey catching 2 in a day on the fly at the tail of Sparrowmuir. Murthly had a much quieter week with only 4 fish recorded. Newtyle had a quiet week as well but enjoyed a great Ladies day on Friday. Dunkeld House had a far better week with 8 fish which included Alan Dorrian landing 3 in a hour up to 12 pounds on Saturday morning, not bad going! Dalmarnock had 3 in the week with all of them caught on Saturday. Matthew Cox caught an 8 pounds fish in the Ram's Horn on a Toby and Ian Willis caught 2 fish up to 18 pounds on the fly from the Glide and Clachantaggart. Kinnaid had a much quieter week with a fish a piece from both beats.
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 in the reports.
The upper river was seeing steady sport with fish caught on the Farleyer beats and Findynate and recent fresh water improved activities in recent weeks.
The Tummel is continuing to see limited sport from the Port-na-Craig beat administered by Pitlochry Angling Club with 1 landed last week and there are now well over 4150 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 Martin Wilson catch the only fish of the week from the Pitlochry beat but there has not been a lot of rods fishing recently.
The Isla are seeing salmon run up the river and progressing to the Ericht with 2 fish being reported last week from the 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 showing signs of drawing to a close 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!