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(Last updated: Monday 16th April)
The Tay, Perthshire is now in mid April for salmon fishing with higher expectation in recent weeks and we have had a cold weather pattern generally however that is slowly disappearing now with a far milder forecast. Expectation has gone up on the river for 2018 after a string of successful springs over the last 5 years, fish are starting to be caught in greater numbers plus the fantastic news of a 35 pounds fish being landed on the river recently plus numerous 20 pounds plus fish being caught week in week out has put the Tay again at the centre of everyone's attention. Hopefully the weather will remain reasonably settled over the coming weeks and give everyone a chance of landing a spring "Bar of Silver" and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.Spring salmon were landed last week in continuing greater numbers in relatively cold weather and river conditions favouring those who braved the elements in most cases. The river has been settled despite some melting snow from high ground due to slightly higher temperatures, however colder nights made the river not rise dramatically to give good conditions. At the end of last week even milder weather melted snow on high ground but that has not upset things. The numbers were heartening with around seventy fresh spring salmon recorded last week making it another consistent week. It is early yet with only small runs coming into the river and fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult however as the fish travel slowly upriver most beats are catching. Some of the fish that have been caught remain truly memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come.
The Lower river had another reasonable week with clear water despite some gradual snow melt which continues to keep the water temperature favorable for the lower beats. Benchil was the lowest beat to have success with George McKinlay landing a 7 pounds fish from the Long Shot. Upper Scone had a reasonable week with 4 fish off the Pitlochrie beat which included a lovely 10 pounds fish from Horsey on the fly. There was a single fish caught on Catholes by Cairan Canney with a Devon casting from the boat weighing an impressive 18 pounds. Burnmouth had one in the week as well. Taymount caught 5 for former ghillie on the beat, Geordie Maitlands week. Ballathie had one with Cargill landing 3 during the week for successful anglers, Gavin Mason, Simon Smith and Danny Steele. Just upstream Islamouth had an excellent week with 12 up to the lower twenties in weight with Bill Jacks party having good success early in the week mostly on fly. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour continue to do well with another 4 fish last week with Pete Grose catching 3 up to 18 pounds.
The Middle river enjoyed good water conditions throughout the week and fish continued to appear. Kercock had 2 for their week with John Kitchenman landing a 12 pounds beauty and then Kenny Milne caught a superb 20 pounds fish on Saturday. Delvine Burnbane had a better week with 3 fish up to 20 pounds and also a lovely fresh fish on the last turn of the boat on Saturday for Perth and District member Dennis Robb. The Murthly area seems to be holding a few fish with 14 off the area last week for Glendelvine and the 2 Murthly beats. Newtyle had a superb 17 pounder for Fishmaster owner Jouni Rauha from Finland casting the fly in the Cotter. He brought a party of keen fly fishers over from Finland for the weeks fishing, but he was the only one to have success. Dunkeld House had 2 and Dalguise had 1 during the week. The Kinnaird beats finished with 3 between the two beats.
The Upper area has featured last week as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish, fish were recorded on the Farleyer beats and Edradynate.
Loch Tay is also seeing sport with Fish n' Trips recording 1 last week caught by Alan Brown weighing 8 pounds.
The Tummel was also seeing sport with five reported last week form the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch at Portnacraig up to an impressive 26 pounds. The successful anglers included Jimmy Robertson with a 9 pounder, Jim Fisher with one at 17 both on fly, then later in the week 2 superb fish of 21 and 26 pounds were caught again on fly by Ally Gowans and Steve Watt. Further fish were also caught just downstream on the clubs Sawmill Stream beat as fish arrive in the Pitlochry area in numbers and gather below the Dam. Dunfallandy and West Haugh didn't report any last week. East Haugh also had a few last week with Steve Watt landing 2 up to 22 pounds and Malcolm Andersons party having a couple up to 24 pounds.
The Tay is certainly the place to come to for the chance of a fish of a lifetime. The sheer size of the river produces very powerful large salmon and the possibility of a 40 pounds fish must be on the cards now. The food source for Atlantic salmon is moving further away from our shores with sea temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer away in the ocean before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish finding its way back. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon.
These are encouraging figures in the past week however the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding and with hopefully a settled river in the coming week should see improved catches with a
settled forecast as well.
The Spring Salmon fishing is picking up slowly as we enter April and hopefully some warmer weather. It has been a quiet start but let us hope the season lives up to every one's expectations over the coming weeks and months and when you visit the Tay you catch a fish of a lifetime. Tight lines!
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.Catches reported to us were: