Newsletter - January 2015   Yesterday's Catches, Today's River Levels, Tomorrow's Availability

Dear Angler

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2015 and the start of the salmon season.

This months newsletter features the opening of the Tay salmon season, where the first salmon in the UK for 2015 has been caught and released. We have been out and about asking guides and ghillies what spring flies and lures they will be using this year.

The office has been busy with calls from anglers booking their fishing holidays. Tom Carter is currently working with owners and informs us that more availability will be coming onto the system in the next 2/3 weeks. To keep up to date with the latest availability we would recommend you book a Rod Alert.

The Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) is reminding anglers that it is now a legal requirement that all salmon caught before April in Scotland are released back into the water. It is now illegal to kill a salmon between January and March. This follows the Scottish Government’s Conservation Order to protect early-running spring salmon through mandatory catch and release, which became law on 9 January.

We would encourage you to look at the Anglers Guide for salmon which covers unhooking, recovery and recording your catch.

If you are out fishing for salmon and grayling this month keep sending in your news and photographs to

Tight Lines.


Marketing Director

Annan Grayling Days

The next grayling day on the River Annan is January 25th. Your catches and information from these events is used by the Annan Rivers Trust. There is no need to book as they have lots of water available - read more.

Dee Availability

March fish on the Dee

The River Dee is famed for its spring salmon fishing and remains the best river to try for an early run springer on the fly. Traditionally, given a cold winter, the best of the early spring fishing is to be had in the lower and lower-middle beats - Find Dee Fishing.

Where To Stay on the Dee.

Tweed Availability

March fish on Tweed

Spring fishing opens up on the River Tweed on the 1st of February and although not for the faint hearted, this month can offer the salmon angler a good chance of catching a Tweed 'Springer' - Find Tweed Fishing.

Trophies are awarded for the first fish of the season on the Tweed and Teviot, this is organised by Tweedside Tackle.

Where To Stay on the Tweed.

Spey Availability

River Spey Salmon

The early Spring fish on the Spey average around 10 pounds and as the Spring run increases the fish get larger, with 20 pounders expected in May - Find Spey Fishing.

Where To Stay on the Spey.

Fishpal App

FishPal App

The FREE fishing app from FishPal is popular with ghillies and boatman who use it because the information is constantly updated. River levels and latest catches are their favourite pages.

Follow the link to find out more, including how to download the FREE Fishing Information App - read more.

Multiple Bookings

When making an online booking you can add more rods, days, beats on the same order. Simply press ADD ANOTHER REQUEST to increase your order. Don't worry if you make a mistake - just simply delete or edit the rods before you make your final purchase - find fishing.

February Course

Bywell Course

The Farlows group are pleased to offer you two new salmon course dates at Bywell on the famous river Tyne in February. This is their fourth season at Bywell and the fishery has become a firm favourite in their courses calendar - read more.

Where To Stay on the Tyne.

New Legislation

Anglers please note that new legislation which came into effect last week (9th January) requires all salmon caught by anglers in Scottish waters before April 1st are to be released back into the water to continue their journey - read more.

Tay Salmon Courses

Meikleour Fishings

Upper Islamouth and Meikleour Fishings are excited to offer a series of fly casting courses throughout the 2015 season. Hosted by fly casting specialist Tom Brown who teaches with Ian Gordon - read more.

Where To Stay on the Tay.

Holidays Abroad

Banish those winter blues and join Sportquest for both fishing and shooting holidays - read more.

River Tay Salmon Season

Redford Trophy Winner

Anglers undeterred by the dreich conditions were out in force to witness the start of the Tay salmon season last Thursday when Paul Young, fishing broadcaster and celebrity, formally opened the river with the symbolic first cast in front of an enthusiastic crowd - latest availability.

Bill Jack, chairman of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board, said "It is encouraging to note that the provisional figure for salmon reported caught on the Tay by anglers to the end of March in 2014 is the highest since 1986". David Summers, board director, said: "We have been greatly encouraged by the improvement in spring salmon catches in the last couple of years, so there is a great sense of anticipation as to what the spring fishing of 2015 is going to be like" - latest availability.

Willie Cummings (pictured) fishing Dunkeld Fishing on opening day caught and released the heaviest salmon and is the winner of the coveted Redford Trophy. Sam Datta fishing Dalmarnock beat caught the first spring salmon on the Tay, which is also the first salmon in UK for 2015.

Anglers enjoyed mixed sport with rising and falling water during the first three days of the Tay season. A total of 11 spring salmon up to 22lbs were caught on beats across the system from Lower Kinnaird down to Stanley - read more. More rods have been added for Stobhall, Murthly, FishPonds, Newtyle and Cargill for the 2015 season - find fishing.

Places to stay on the Tay who cater for anglers - where to stay.

As a result of Government regulations, it is now the law that from 2015 all salmon must be returned to the water between 15 January and 31 March. Tay & District Salmon Fisheries Board - Catch & Release Regulations and Code - read more.

 FishPal Malloch Trophy

Winner of the Mackenzie Rod Competition

Mackenzie Rod Winner

Carlos Garza Fernandez from Spain is the winner of the Mackenzie Autumn rod competition. Fishing the Pipe pool on Dochfour Fishing and using his favourite fly an ‘Ally´s Shrimp’ he hooked into a fresh run 21lb fish - read more.

FishPal contacted Dochfour Fishing’s Head ghillie, Grant Sutherland, who said “The party fished with me at the beginning of September and enjoyed plenty of activity during their two days with four fresh fish 5lb, 10.5lb, 18lb and 21lb. The salmon is a fish of a lifetime for Carlos – “I have not seen anyone as chuffed to catch a fish as Carlos was that day in a long while”.

Win A Mackenzie Rod Spring 2015

The Mackenzie rod competition has been so popular that we will be running the competition during 2015. Share with us your story, photograph or video of a salmon caught and released on the fly in Scotland this Spring and in doing so be in with the chance of winning a Mackenzie fly rod. Please send your entries to

Win A Mackenzie Rod

Conserving Scottish Wild Salmon

Conserving Scottish Wild Salmon

Ian Gordon and the Salmon and & Trout Association (Scotland) are asking for maximum restraint in any exploitation of salmon in response to very poor runs of salmon into Scottish rivers, particularly in 2013 and 2014 - read more.

There is a particular concern in Scotland over the impact of coastal netting on the health of the spring or early-running component of wild salmon stocks. It is widely recognised that this component now extends to the end of June. While the extent of active net coastal Mixed Stock Fisheries in Scotland has declined, there remain a large and undefined number of inactive netting stations in Scotland, for which the netting rights still exist. Worryingly, there has been significant activity in the market for those dormant stations leading to serious concerns that a large increase in unregulated exploitation of salmon at sea may be about to occur in Scotland. Please sign the Petition.

Spring Salmon Flies & Lures

Spring Salmon Flies

The first in our series of flies to try in Spring we have asked ghillies, boatman and anglers what are their favourite spring salmon patterns and lures - read more.

Insure Your Fishing

Insure your fishing

We are delighted to be able to report that after a successful trial period through the month of November, you will be able to take out cover on all bookings for the new season. The policy provided by Towergate Insurance and only available through FishPal covers Trip Cancellation by tenants due to unavoidable events beyond their control. Flooding disruption where no fishing at all is possible due to flood conditions on the beat - read more.

Spring Salmon on the Esks

Spring salmon on the Esks

Spring salmon are evident in the middle and lower beats of both rivers from the opening day. Whilst it is possible to spin, there is ample opportunity to fish the fly. Milder winters coupled with major improvements in the dykes at Kinnaird (South Esk) and Morphie (North Esk) have resulted in early springers penetrating further upstream in recent years - find fishing.

New Beat For 2015

Canterland is situated about 3 miles from the sea with the Morphie beat at its lower end and the Gallery beat at the upper and is one of the most productive beats on the North Esk offering a delightful balance of fly and spinning water dependant on water height - find fishing.

Places to stay on the Esks that cater for anglers - where to stay.

Spring Salmon on the Ness

Spring salmon on the Ness

Although the River Ness season opens on 1st February, the loch and the other rivers within the system open in early January, anglers braved the weather and enjoyed opening day on River Moriston (see pictures).

New Beat For 2015

Inverness Angling Club is fortunate to have the rod fishings for some three miles of water from the estuary to the Clachnahagaig Stone at the top of the Red Braes. The lower beats, in the centre of the city, are dominated by the picturesque Inverness Castle from which Flora Macdonald’s statue gazes west to the Isle of Skye - Find Fishing.

Check,Clean and Dry

It is essential that we all Check, Clean and Dry our equipment and clothing after visiting a river to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive non-native species which can damage our rivers and waterbodies - read more.