Islamouth at the peak of grilse time in July - a fine fly water
The Almond is essentially a spate river entering the Tay at Perth and is suitable for lighter fly fishing tackle. Given water fishing can be good at anytime from about July onwards.
Rivers Isla and Ericht
The River Isla is an excellent salmon river in its own right. Its main tributary, the River Ericht, is a wonderfully productive salmon river. Based on a fish counter, in recent years this river boasts a run of 8000 to 13,000 fish annually. The first fish tend to arrive in February or March, with good runs in April and May, water depending. The main grilse run arrives in July. If the water is low the Isla benefits from these early runs and some of the best spring catches in the Tay system are made on the Isla. The main run
of fish which will spawn in the Isla itself come in the autumn. Through the
summer excellent fishing can then be had on the Ericht and its tributaries,
escpecially the Blackwater, as fish push on upstream. However this is small
river fishing and water helps. The Isla is very much a lowland river, with
wide sweeping bends and sluggish lazy pools. Spinning and bait fishing are
often resorted too, but some local exponents can make excellent catches in
low water by riffling tiny tube flies across the surface film on windy days;
a very exciting form of fishing!
Rivers Tummel, Garry and Tilt
The Tummel is a major spring salmon tributary joining the Tay near
Pitlochry. The hydro dam at Pitlochry acts as a barrier to salmon until the
water reaches 10 degrees Centigrade causing fish to accumulate in the lower
Tummel in spring. Spring fishing on the Tummel can be very good and is best
between March and May. The lower Tummel is generally swift and is excellent
for the fly being easily covered by wading, except in high water. Good runs
of grilse ascend the dam in July but you have to be there at the right time
to catch them. From the late spring onwards salmon and then grilse push into
the River Garry and the Tilt. These are small spate rivers with tumbling
varied rocky pools and swift runs, but again providing great fun throught
the summer months with light fly tackle amid spectacular mountain scenery.
Anglers should please be aware that the River Tummel may be subject to a rapid rise in levels owing to operations at the hydro electric power station at Faskally Dam.
If anglers are in the water and the river level starts to rise they should immediately leave the water and quickly climb up the banking as the river can, on occasion, rise several feet in a very short space of time.
Life vests should always be worn when fishing on the River Tummel beats.
Rivers Lyon and Dochart
The Lyon is a major tributary of the upper Tay flowing through some of the
grandest scenery in all of Scotland. There is a varied mix of water -
tumbling gorges with rocky cauldrons of pools, swift runs and long slow
reaches. The Dochart by contrast above the spectacular Falls at Killin flows
through a much flatter glen and has more of the latter type of water. Fish
enter the Dochart and Lyon from about March onwards, even earlier in the
Dochart, but the first real runs nowadays tend to be in April or May,
depending on water. Grilse arrive in June/July depending on water. From
August onwards runs of fish might continue but most by that time are
coloured. The Lyon is well suited to fly fishing, though some of it has to
be spun. Spinning and bait fishing account for most fish on the Dochart. Both the Lyon and the Dochart are noted for producing some particularly big fish.
The Eden is a small river which rises to the south of Perth and flows east through the Howe of Fife entering the sea through a broad estuary near the historic town of St Andrews. Though not strictly a tributary of the Tay it falls within the salmon fishery district of the Tay.
The Eden is truly unlike any of the other rivers described in this website. The catchment is generally low lying and on fertile volcanic rocks. The catchment is all highly fertile farmland, the Eden's floodplain being perhaps one of the most fertile and intensively cultivated parts of Scotland.
The waters of the Eden are rich and young salmon and brown trout grow quickly. It actually resembles the chalkstreams of Hampshire. The banks are reed fringed and stands of water crowfoot provide refuge for an abundant fly life. Salmon enter the river from summer onwards but the best of the fishing is in the autumn. The season closes on 31st October.
The river is small and salmon fishers require a very different approach from the Tay. Fish are often tucked in under reed draped banks and often can only be winkled out with a spinner deftly flicked under the swaying reed stems or with a worm. However, in some spots with some water in the river fish can also be caught on the fly. There can also be good sea trout fishing in the lower reaches of the river and the estuary in the summer time. Further upstream the brown trout fishing can also be very good.
Most of the Eden is controlled by angling clubs and can be accessed easily at modest cost.