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(Last updated: Wednesday 26th July)
Salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is in late July with excellent summer conditions for fishing in warm weather and settling lower water levels plus catches are improving after a slow start to the season
with a summer run now in progress. Expectation and optimism are high on the river with summer arriving as spring has disappeared to give everyone a chance of landing a “Bar of Silver”.
On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are all over the skies, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks have broods of young, Sand Pipers are on the river banks and Kingfishers dart past. Many wild flowers are in bloom but a good few are now past their best for another year, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.
June was steady with more salmon landed in milder weather and river conditions have improved as the weeks have gone on favouring those who braved the elements in some cases. Settling river levels after rain recently should hopefully continue to improve catches over the next few weeks with a summer run now well in progress. The lack of rain had dropped the river to summer levels however salmon are still running due to the Tay's sheer size as you fish another river within it. Recent rain has helped to spice things up. It was a consistent week with around 130 fish landed and the biggest one recorded was 20 pounds from Benchil on the fly. Spring is now certainly over for 2017 with hopefully a healthy summer run continuing to build in the coming weeks. Some of the fish that have been caught are memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come as the run develops further.
This past week saw more fish from the lower river scattered throughout the beats with a spread in catches throughout the beats especially at the start of the week as fish run into the river in numbers. The beats at Stanley and below are seeing better sport and the rise in water levels in recent times may just have spiced things up by encouraging summer salmon and sea trout into the river. The very lower part of the river is now producing more fish with Almondmouth, Waulkmill and lower Redgorton all catching in the week consistently. Summer salmon are certainly entering the river in numbers with Almondmouth producing 9 in the week including salmon and grilse caught by Arnot McWhinnie, Bill and Sandra Robbins. Waulkmill and Lower Redgorton also had 9 between the beats. Upper Redgorton and Fishponds had 7 between them with Miceal Bothwell landing a 12 pounds beauty in the Craigs on the fly. Benchil had a superb week with 12 which mostly fell to the fly up to 20 pounds in weight. Alistair Sheach had 4 in the week including 3 on Monday morning up to 17 pounds from the Long Shot. Ian Muir also had a morning to remember with 3 on Wednesday casting the fly from the boat and losing a further 2 as well. Jamie McCulloch was successful later in the week wading the Long Shot landing a 12 pounds beauty. Sharon Rice had a 14 pounds fish also from the beat on a Toby in the Plain Water. Pitlochrie has been lean however a grilse was landed from Kirkie on the fly on Saturday. Stobhall had a steady week with 13. Ballathie and Cargill have had consistent weeks recently and that was the same last week until Cargill managed a superb day with 14 fish on Friday with Ian Muir having an excellent day. It was an amazing end to a great week with other successful rods including Graeme Ritchie, Alan Hunter and Alan Thompson. Islamouth had a quieter week with 11. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour were finding it tough as well with only one in the week.
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The middle river is disappointing with rising river temperatures over recent weeks and more water not producing good sport however there have been exceptions. Kercock had 4 with a grilse for James Redmond and
Robert McFarlane caught a 16 pounds cracker. Newtyle and Dunkeld House had a fish a piece meanwhile Dalmarnock had 6 in the week including a Pacific one! The Kinnaird beats continue to have a reasonable time
with 6 between the beats.
The upper river was seeing steady sport with fish recently however nothing was reported last week.
The Tummel was continuing to see sport from the Port-na-Craig beat administered by Pitlochry Angling Club and there are now well over 3000 fish through the Dam resulting in fish being recorded in Loch Faskally.
The Isla are seeing salmon run up the river and progressing to the Ericht however again no fish are being reported.
The Earn has seen a run of salmon and sea trout progress up the river.
The Salmon fishing season has had a quiet start but has started to show signs of picking up with improving catches and some outstanding fish landed so far so let us hope the season lives up to everyone's expectations over the coming weeks and months. Tight lines!