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(Last updated: Tuesday 19th June)
The Tay, Perthshire is now well into June for salmon fishing with disappointing results in recent weeks and now with a far warmer forecast and even some rain. Expectation is still optimistic on the river for 2018 after a string of better weeks earlier, however May was poor but fish are starting to be caught this month after a bit of fresh water from thundery rain. The most positive news has been the multi sea winter fish being landed on the river week in week out especially in the spring which 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 "Bar of Silver" and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.
Salmon were landed last week in warmer weather and river conditions were generally excellent apart from the last couple of days when some heavy rain unsettled the river. The river has been settled and at lower levels now due to the lack of rain however the rain at the end of the week has given some fresh water and an increase in levels. The numbers were again disappointing with just around 40 fresh salmon recorded last week making it a poor week for the time of year. The spring run is probably over now, and frustratingly only small runs are coming into the river, but 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 as we enter the summer period.
The Lower river saw its share of catches last week with the river gently dropping away until Friday. Almondmouth continued to catch odd fish with the lower water levels helping their cause. It was beat ghillie Alex Mitchell that caught. Taymount had a much better week with 5 fish catching most days. Ballathie and Cargill continued to work away with 5 between them. At Ballathie one of the first Grilse of the season was caught by Bob Watson weighing 4 pounds and Rodger Birnam caught a salmon in the week. On Cargill Duncan Stirling landed an 8 pounds fish on Saturday. It was a quieter week on Islamouth with 8 fish. David Mayhew's party did well at the start of the week with fish on each day and then Brad Gill finished the week with 2 on Friday. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had a better week with a couple of fish which included a 12 pounds fish for Roger Jackson and George Staniforth catching a 6 pounds fish on the day of the horrendous winds.
The Middle river enjoyed excellent low water conditions with exception of the end of the week when rain unsettled the river a bit. Kercock continued their better spell with 3 fish in the week including a superb
fish weighing 25 pounds caught on the fly by Ken Mackie from the Cottage Stream. A further fish was caught on the fly by Peter Cardosi on a Willie Gunn. Further upstream Murthly 2 had a reasonable week with 6
fish. Newtyle caught one in the week as did Dunkeld House where John Clark landed an 11 pounds fish on the fly from the Cathedral stream on Saturday. Lower Kinnaird also had a fish from the Ash Tree pool on the
The Upper area has featured recently as fish moved up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish, however only one fish was recorded from Findynate last week probably due to the lack of water.
The Lyon has been seeing a run of spring salmon recently, however there was no news form the area.
Loch Tay is also seeing sport but nothing was reported last week.
The Tummel was also seeing sport recently form the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch at Portnacraig with 2 reported last week which included a 9 pounds fish for Pat Phelan on a spinner and on a positive note there are now around 1230 plus fish have ascended the ladder with temperatures rising. No fish were reported from Loch Faskally.
The spring salmon are now going up the Isla with fish caught recently and on the lower Ericht the Blairgowrie Angling Club water has been reporting fish however the lower water levels will be curtailing sport especially on the Ericht.
The Earn is starting to see salmon and sea trout arrive in the last few weeks but 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 encouraging signs in the past week or so however the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding and with hopefully a settled river in the coming weeks should see improved catches with a
settled forecast as well.
The Spring Salmon fishing was slow as we saw out May. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the reports.Catches reported to us were: