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(Last updated: Tuesday 18th October)
The salmon fishing season on the Tay in Perthshire has now ended for 2016 with the weather not being ideal at times but we are now in Autumn and there has been a very weak run in the past few weeks however catches have improved mainly due to colder conditions. The river has had settled water from a reasonable spate last week after some heavy rain giving excellent autumnal conditions for fishing plus cooling temperatures are seeing catches maintained despite the lack of fresh fish. Expectation was high for the last few days plus settled weather in early October gave everyone a chance of landing a Tay Salmon.
A few autumn salmon have been running and landed throughout last week with excellent conditions for autumn fishing and catches have continued to spread with more water and dropping temperatures making the
resident salmon more aggressive. It was another steady week with excellent conditions with around 280 fish landed and the biggest one recorded was in the mid-twenties from several beats. Spring transferred into
summer and steady runs came into the river plus better weather was making fishing easier with lower water however plenty fresh water in recent weeks encouraged more fish to run the river with summer disappearing
as Autumn came in however no run developed. Traditionally large fish are caught at this time of year which was in evidence again last week.
On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows have been all over the skies but departing south one by one, Ospreys have gone off south for the winter, Ducks have broods of mature young, Sand Pipers are on the river banks and Dippers and Kingfishers dart past. We are now seeing the arrival of large skeins of Geese as the temperatures start to drop. The splendid autumn colours are here again for another year with turning leaves due to the colder nights, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay. A salmon can be a bonus!!
Friday night saw the Tay Ghillies Association hold a race night in the Tayside Hotel in Stanley to raise funds for the river. There was a good enthusiastic attendance of fishers and locals generating £2676 which will go towards a project involving the Hatchery at Almondbank. Thank you to all who attended and the generous donors giving prizes to make the night a tremendous success.
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 lower river has been the barometer for the runs as they enter the river with water temperatures
falling to around the low 50's F. Fish were starting to be caught in greater numbers due to cooling water temperatures plus recent spates should have encouraged more salmon to run and shake the residents up as
This past week saw a more fish from the lower river scattered throughout the beats encouraging everyone however the summer run disappeared and an autumn run did not develop. The beats at Stanley and below were seeing steady sport with small runs entering the river and now earlier run fish have dropped back towards their final destinations of Almond, Shochie and Ordie which can only help sport in this area. The beats just above the tide continue to produce fish on a regular basis with Almondmouth, Waulkmill and Lower Redgorton catching 51 between them in a better week. Luncarty had a couple in the week with Canadian Craig Cook landing a 6 pounds fish on a Toby. Fishponds had 8 for the week with some heavy fish caught up to 18 pounds and including the odd fresh run beauty. Upper Redgorton had a corporate week of guests and managed a couple. Upper Scone had a reasonable week with experienced rods doing well which included 7 from Benchil on Monday. Jack Fryer caught a superb 18 pounds fish on the fly in Horsey on the Pitlochrie beat, Chicken Bob Shaw had a great week with several fish with colleague Gary Blanco Perks. Tim Greenfield and Charles Savage enjoyed success on the fly from Benchil landing fish at the same time up to 18 pounds. Later in the week Marc Herman caught a 13 pounds fish from the same beat in the Plain Water on the fly as well. This week at Stanley we have been remembering the late Neill John Williams who sadly passed away from a long illness late last year. Neill fished on the Tay over several years.
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.
Burnmouth had 3 on Monday above Catholes Weir and Robert Galbraith landed a superb 16 pounds fish from the tail of the Black Stones on the Catholes on the fly. Taymount had a good last week with around 30
fish meanwhile Stobhall had a much quieter week with Ray Baileys party. Ballathie and Cargill had good last weeks with 45 between them. Cargill good success with fish landed up to 22 pounds in the week. The fly
proved successful for many anglers with Neil French doing well again and Ian Jardine landing the beats 300th fish of the season. Towards the end of the week the Muir party had fun which included Diana Boreland
landing her first ever salmon and hooking several others. Islamouth finished their season with several fish taking their tally for the year close to 500 making it the most successful beat on the river and most
were caught on the fly with only odd fish caught spinning in high water. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had a good week with 18 culminating in a great last day with 9 including a fish at 25 pounds. The last day
saw Scott Sykes landing 3 to 11 pounds, Matthew Allin caught a 24 pounds fish and Andrew McCaig caught his first ever fish weighing 19 pounds. His brother Oliver them landed a 25 pounds fish and Gordon Bissett
and John Baillie also had fish.
The middle river has slowed down over recent weeks and were praying for rain and a late run to liven things up. Kercock had a good last week with 14 fish which included Sam Datta and Tomas Lundquist. Delvine and Burnbane finished with a few fish which included Sandy Pringle and Jamie Cumming catching fish up to 12 pounds. Fish were caught on the Murthly beats and up on Newtyle Steven Cope caught his first ever fish on the fly. On Dunkled House Brian Joseph managed a 16 pounds fish on the last but one day. Dalmarnock had a quiet end with a single fish however further upstream Dalguise had a good end with 7. The Kinnaird beats fared better with 20 fish including a beast at 25 pounds on the last day.
The upper river was seeing sport with odd fish caught and recent fresh water has improved activities with fish recorded on Findynate and Farleyer beats.
The Tummel is continuing to see limited sport from the Port-na-Craig beat administered by Pitlochry Angling Club and there is now over 6350 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.
The Isla are seeing salmon run up the river and progressing to the Ericht and 6 fish were reported last week from the Keithick Mains and the Lower Ericht. Further up the Ericht above Blairgowrie Michael Preedy ventured down for a last cast of the season on Saturday and managed to catch 5 grilse sized fish, all on the fly within the space of 4 hours, one of which was straight out the sea, the others being slightly to very coloured. Not a bad last few hours on the 2016 season!
Fish have been reported running the Lyon however there was no news from that part of the river last week.
Fish have also been running the Earn with Lochlane and Laggan reporting 3. Other fish are being caught now throughout the river but they are not registered on Fishpal.
The Spring and Summer Salmon fishing seasons are over as now the Autumn with the last few days of the season in October with great expectation. Last week's catches were more encouraging however trough be told there has been no autumn run to speak of. There is now clear evidence of a cyclical change towards the Spring. Hopefully as we now look forward to spring 2017 there is an increasing run. See you on Monday 16th January 2017.