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(Last updated: Monday 19th March)
The Tay, Perthshire is now into mid March for salmon fishing with higher expectation and we have had the cold weather pattern return but certainly not as extreme witnessed from a fortnight ago. 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 and continuing larger 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 far greater numbers in relatively cold weather and river conditions favouring those who braved the elements in most cases. The river has been unsettled especially on the lower river yet again from melting snow on low ground sending coloured water from the burns and Isla making fishing extremely difficult, however colder nights made the river above the Isla drop further giving good conditions, but this may change in the coming week with slightly milder temperatures melting more snow. The numbers were heartening with thirty eight fresh spring salmon recorded last week but it must be said that could have been a lot higher if the lower area had been more fishable loosing at least 3 days. It is early yet with only small runs coming into the river and fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult. 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 saw a few fish being landed earlier in the week giving everyone a boost before the water coloured up for the end of the week by and large from the Isla. The beats around Stanley started to catch with Ed Slaven landing an 8 pounds fish on a Toby from Erics on the Catholes and Upper Scone landed a fresh fish from the boat on the Pitlochrie beat at Stanley Mills. Further upstream Stobhall had a good few days with 4 fish up to 21 pounds. Taymount had a similar score but had 3 in one day for the Robbins party. Hugh Robbins caught 2 of the fish from the Linn Pool landing his best spring fish ever weighing over 18 pounds. Just upriver Cargill also had 3 on Tuesday with Neil French landing a lovely fish on the fly from the neck of the Pot Shot. Other fish were landed from the boat by Paul Brian and David Thompson. Islamouth had 3 fish in the week and continue their excellent start to the season. Upper Islamouth and Meikelour had a good week with 4 fresh salmon up to 21 pounds in weight. The week started with Cohn O'Dea landing a 13 pounds fish on a Salmo from the Boxwood then Fraser Marshall caught a superb 21 pounds beauty from the Castle pool. Further fish of 18 pounds were caught by Paul Kelly and 13 pounds by Reiss White.
The Middle river enjoyed good water conditions mostly throughout the week and fish appeared with the lower river being dirty. It was good to see Kercock catching a couple with James Caulfield landing a lovely 15
pounds fish. Glendelvine got back amongst the fish with 3 on Saturday including 2 fish for John Dewar up to 22 pounds. Steve McIrvine reported to me that on Tuesday they lost another monster exactly out of the
same lie that the 35 pounds fish came form after 20 odd minutes. Apparently, the air was blue, and the lady angler was distraught! Murthly 2 fished well during the week with 4 fish and the fly proving the
popular choice. Newtyle caught a fish on Monday with Alistair Dunbar landing a good fish from the Cotter on the fly. Dunkeld House had a great week as well with 5 fish up to 24 pounds mostly from the boat
harling. Much further upriver Dalguise got a good fish on Saturday with James McKay landing a cracking 18 pounds fish on a Devon from the bank. Lower Kinnaird also had fish with 2 landed on Monday.
The Upper area has featured last week as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish, however nothing was reported last week.
The Tummel was also seeing limited sport however yet again nothing was reported last week.
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 optimistic figures in the past week however the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding and with hopefully with a settled river in the coming week should see improved catches with a
settled forecast as well.
The Spring Salmon fishing was well and truly underway after all the excitement of opening day's celebrations. 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.