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The weather was settled across much of Scotland including Perthshire last week. It was mainly dry and as the week progressed, the easterly wind dropped, and it felt warmer. Water levels on the river were settled for much of last week and there were some lovely fish caught and a number of these were sea liced.

Over the weekend there was some rain on Saturday with Sunday being drier. The weather is set to remain settled next week with high pressure in charge. It will be mainly dry during the first half of the week with a chance of a few showers on Wednesday. As we head towards next weekend there is a chance conditions will become more changeable.

With the river currently at a good height for many beats hopefully, there will be some May magic in the days ahead!

Catches on the Tay system were again well spread last week from Loch Tay down to Taymount. There was also fish caught on the River Tummel. Many of the fish were sea liced indicating that the fish entering the system are now running hard. There is a good chance of picking up a fresh fish almost anywhere on the main river next week as the spread of recent catches would suggest. Loch Tay is also a good option as well as the River Tummel.

With some lovely spring salmon being landed daily and plenty of options to choose from to suit even the most discerning of anglers’ tastes, why not wet a line on one of Scotland’s most prolific and productive salmon rivers next week? You might just have that May day to remember!

Good luck to all those anglers fishing on the River Tay next week.
Tight lines,
Samantha & Sandy Datta
River Tay Fishing Reports 2022

Tactics For The River Tay During The Early Spring Period (April to May)
Fly Fishing
During April and May water temperatures usually begin to rise on the river. The fish also start to become a bit more active. As river levels start to drop and water temperatures rise often heavy sinking lines and big tube flies are no longer needed. Instead, sink tip lines or even floating lines coupled with a sinking polyleader can be more than adequate.
As the Tay is a big river usually a powerful fifteen-foot rod with a ten-line rating will cover almost any eventuality. In terms of lines whether that be a full Spey line or Shooting head system a floating line coupled with a selection of polyleaders of various sink rates can work well. In higher water, an intermediate or full sinking line may be required to produce the best results.
Make sure that your fly reel has got an adequate backing capacity and a good reliable drag system. On the River Tay when that line tightens the fish could turn out to be that one of a lifetime. It is also important during the early spring period to use leader material with an adequate breaking strain. Usually, a breaking strain between fifteen and eighteen pounds is ideal.
In April and May depending on the water height and temperature smaller tube flies of various weights can work well. If the water temperatures are low, weighted copper, brass or even tungsten tubes will allow your fly to get well down. Usually by late April and into May depending on the water height dressed flies can also be considered a good alternative to the tube.

A powerful spinning rod between ten and eleven feet is usually more than adequate to cover the River Tay. The rod should be able to comfortably cast lures weighing anything from eighteen to forty grams. A good fixed spool or multiplier reel with a reliable drag system is perfect for the River Tay. The reel should be able to accommodate a large amount of either nylon or braided line with an adequate breaking strain.
In terms of lures, spoons like the Toby, Salmo Toby and Blair variety work well on the river. These can range in weight from eighteen to forty grams. Devon Minnows can also be effective on the River Tay. In April and May, the Floating Devon can also work well. The Vision110 lures have also got a good reputation for producing fish on the river. These lures can be excellent during the spring months. Once the water temperature rises sufficiently the Flying C is also a great lure and one which can produce the goods.

Harling is a method unique to the River Tay which involves fishing from a motorised boat. This method is employed on many beats and can be highly effective during the early spring months.
Usually, two or three rods are placed in rod holders with various lures and then the ghillie skilfully combs the water by moving back and forth in the boat, whilst gradually dropping downstream, covering the likely lies on the beat. Harling is a method that is very much water height dependent and is practiced at the beat ghillie’s discretion.

TDSFB Conservation Policy

All anglers fishing on the River Tay system are reminded that the TDSFB’s policy from January 15th to 1st of April is that all spring salmon must be released. This means that the TDSFB has a 100% mandatory catch & release policy for all salmon caught. This is in line with the Scottish Government Statutory Conservation Regulation. Even if the fish dies it must still be returned to the river.

It is also worthwhile remembering when releasing fish to keep them in the water for as long a period as possible and to use minimal handling. Please also give the fish plenty of time to recover before releasing them. It is important that anglers treat their quarry with the utmost respect at all times.

Good luck to all those anglers fishing on the River Tay next week.
Tight lines,
Samantha & Sandy Datta

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