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(Last updated: Monday 19th February)
The Tay, Perthshire has now seen a month of the salmon fishing season as mid-February arrives and we have had a cold weather pattern continue settling the river back to good water levels and excellent conditions
for fishing although cold. Expectation is high on the river for 2018 after a string of successful springs over the last 5 years plus the fantastic news of a 35 pounds fish being landed on the river recently has
put the Tay again at the centre of everyone's attention. Hopefully settled weather over the coming weeks will give everyone a chance of landing a spring "Bar of Silver" and even possibly a fish of a lifetime.
More Spring salmon were landed last week in cold weather and river conditions favouring those who braved the elements in some cases. The river has been settling back nicely for the coming week with a slightly milder few days to come then returning to a colder forecast by the end of the week. The numbers are slowly coming up with fourteen fresh spring salmon were recorded last week but again it was the size of some of them that really stood out. 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 are truly memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come.
These typical Tay fish continue to grace the river with 3 days of 20 pounds plus being the heaviest weight in the past week. The lower river tends to dominate the catches early in the season with river temperatures being very low, however fish are being caught further up the system as well.
The Lower river saw a few fish being landed last week with Catholes registering its second for the season, a lovely fresh 7 pounds fish caught by Ronnie Fraser casting a fly from the boat in the Woodside. Taymount and Stobhall featured as well with 2 fish a piece gently improving optimism for things to come. The fish on Taymount fell to Craig McFarlane with a 15 pounds fish and Stuart Voce landing a 9 pounds fish. Ballathie had a superb 22 pounds fish on Saturday from the boat landed by Ian Mitchell and guided by veteran George McInnes. Islamouth had a good early part of the week with Richard Muir's party landing 3 fish in the teens.
The Upper area has featured last week as fish move up the system giving everyone hope of landing one of these memorable fish. On the Tummel 3 fish were caught at the Dam on the Pitlochry Angling Club stretch all
by Steven Watt. On Monday he landed a couple up to 21 pounds on the fly then later in the week caught another good fish spinning. East Haugh also had a fish last week caught on the fly by Andy Khakoo weighing
approximately 14 pounds.
Loch Tay saw a couple of fish caught this past week with Grant Tigwell landing a 20 pounds fish then Craig McFarlane catching a 15 pounds fish on Saturday.
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 seas temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer at sea before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish returning. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon.
These were disappointing total figures however the sheer class of the fish caught has been outstanding but with a settling river the coming week should see improved catches with a good 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the reports.
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