(Last updated: Monday 13th May)
The conditions last week were good on the Tay in Perthshire, Scotland with much milder weather and a falling river after heavy rain caused a large spate on the previous Saturday, superb catches were maintained
during the week filling everyone with continued optimism for the coming weeks. The weather is now much milder again and there is a reasonable forecast for this week that hopefully will continue to give us great
prospects and will maintain early spring sport on this marvelous river and spread it throughout the whole river.
The Spring Salmon fishing is never easy but when settled conditions prevail the sport can be magical as has proved this season so far with some outstanding catches and numerous spring salmon registered in the Tay system above expectation. This past week sport was again superb with good catches. The catches have been heartening mainly due to the cold weather but there is certainly a feeling now that there has been a far better run. Could this be down to most anglers' efforts to return spring salmon over the past few seasons? Spring salmon were caught all week up to 20 pounds in weight and throughout the river as temperatures rise, which was tremendous news. The catches for the season so far have increased by 73% up to the end of April. It is simply amazing news for the river. The Tay is fishing currently very well and is certainly a good destination to catch your first spring salmon of the season. The river offers a variety of possibilities for all standards of anglers with ghillies only too keen to teach the novices and this mighty river can produce a memorable salmon for the keen fly fisher. Levels and temperatures have now risen hopefully to encourage more salmon to run the river and spread out. Pools can be easily covered from bank and boat with modern technology. Why not have a go and sample this magical river. The fishing is supreme and the scenery is not bad either.
Spring salmon have been caught throughout the system this past week encouraging everyone and there is a continuing emergence of some larger multi sea winter spring salmon up to just above 20 odd pounds, which is superb news. Sea trout and odd Grilse are also starting to appear. The Upper reaches are now encountering more fresh salmon as warmer conditions appear. The Upper river registered 7 spring salmon from Upper Kinnaird, Farleyer and Findynate. On upper Kinnaird Nick Hodges and James Shade were amongst the successful anglers landing salmon up to 13 pounds on fly.
The Tummel system registered 27 spring salmon. Currently the Tummel is fishing very well with superb conditions and a build up of fish at the Dam. All the salmon came from the Pitlochry Angling stretch at the Dam and Loch Faskally but other spring salmon were caught on the Tummel system but not registered. Loch Faskally is starting to produce as salmon slip through the dam at Pitlochry. The Angling club stretch at Portnacraig continues to fish very well. Early in the week Steve Watt had a day to remember landing 5 salmon on the fly and spinner up to 16 pounds. Also successful were John Walker and Charles McGhee catching fish of 18 pounds on Tobies. Neil MacLellan caught 3 on Tuesday up to 12 pounds with fish also falling to Gordon Nichol, Alan Greene, another for Charles McGhee, Ally Gowans and Innes Smith. Regulars Mark Currie, Rory MacNab and Matthew Currie all caught fish on Friday. On Saturday Davy Stewart caught two crackers up to 20 pounds on fly and Les Dargie and Iain Wood completed the week with salmon making it another one to remember. West Haugh, East Haugh and the Lower Tummel have also been catching and not reporting.
On the Middle river 71 spring salmon were caught this past week, which was a continuation of a marked improvement as temperatures came up and salmon ran after the big water. On Upper Kinnaird salmon were landed up to 14 pounds during the week. On Dalguise Mike Stanners caught a lovely 15 pounds fish fly fishing in the Flats and Mark Findlay landed his first ever salmon from the boat weighing 12 pounds. On Saturday Claudio Pennacchi landed a 10 pounds fish on the fly from the tail of the Otterstone. Dalmarnock had a good week with 9 spring salmon weighing up to 16 pounds. Terry Wood showed the way landing 2 salmon in a day that included her first ever salmon. A notable other first was John Wheatley catching his first salmon on his first ever days salmon fishing weighing 14 pounds. Dunkeld House also had a good week with 11. Amongst the successful anglers were Ian Hogg, Patrick Fotheringham and Tom Deacon catching on fly and spinner. Newtyle continued their good season with several salmon. Jack Hopper, a mere 88 landed a superb 14 pounds salmon on Monday, Ed May from New Jersey caught his first Atlantic salmon and Hans Abrahamsson caught his first spring salmon from the Tay having been impressed with the Tay last October. Johnston Stewart and David Andrew were also successful on the beat.
The Murthly and Glendelvine beats had good weeks landing several salmon. At Kercock it was a quieter week but Ally Wilkie had a 12 pounds fish from Boatlands fly fishing.
The Lower River had good catches as the tremendous run continued through the beats with 40 spring salmon for the week. Hopefully the catches will be maintained these coming weeks as most of the boats come off the river below Stanley for the summer but reasonably priced bank fishing is still available. The beats around Islamouth caught consistently as did Ballathie and Cargill but a lower river would help them more. Taymount and Stobhall had reasonable weeks with 6 fish each. At Stanley the Summer Permit holders and day rods have been having success with Perth angler Mel Lackie landing 2 superb salmon up to 18 pounds. Visiting for the first time, Swiss angler Jean-Pierre Muller caught his first ever salmon weighing 6 pounds on a Toby at Benchil. Ed Slaven had a good morning on Catholes catching 3 salmon one after another on a Devon in Erics which included a small grilse about 3 to 4 pounds. Andy Kerr caught an 8 pounds fish on Saturday from Luncarty on a Toby Salmo.
The Isla registered 23 salmon mostly from Coupar Grange for the week with Islabank also registering a couple. It was a good week of sport at Coupar Grange with 21 fish. The biggest was a 15 pounds salmon caught on Monday by Andrew Ritchie on the fly from the Gate Pool, he finished with 4 for his day. Wednesday saw 6 fish landed for Simon Dutton's party with 4 on the fly. Friday saw Jim Hunter land 3 and Basil Kinch managed 4 for his three days fishing.
It was certainly another superb spring week to remember with some great stories, at last some warmer weather and springers caught with good conditions but now as we entering May with warmer weather and good river levels the spring catches will hopefully be maintained over the coming weeks assuming the run continues and spread throughout the entire system. Please maintain the Catch and Release code for the river to protect our sport for the future.
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 in the reports.