River Tay - Scotland

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★★★★ (2)

1 mile double bank, boat and bank ghillied fishing with a comfortable hut and wc just below Stanley.
Streamy water, pools and rapids with an emphasis on traditional anchored boat and bank fishing. Fly fishing friendly.

In 2020 Benchil is fished on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The beat is situated about five miles from the top reaches of the tidal water in Perth. During spring, in lower water temperatures, the salmon tend to have their first stop in these waters because of the increase in gradient and the faster streams slowing the fish down. In summer and autumn, it is a fly fisher's paradise with lovely streams and glides.

On the Benchil beat we have been looking hard at modern fishing trends and how they can improve the experience of visiting anglers. As a result we have decided to reduce the number of rods fishing our beats at any one moment from 6 to 4. This will increase the time that individual fishers spend on the productive pools, give our fishers more time in the boat and give the pools more time to rest. We are confident that these measures will increase the catches per rod per day and elevate the experience of fishing our beats to a new level. Fishing is increasingly an escape from the pressures of the modern world and the reduction in rod pressure has been greeted with great enthusiasm by our regular rods.

Benchil is situated just below the village of Stanley. It is one of the most attractive and picturesque beats on the River Tay. The beat is five miles above the tidal reaches and offers many different types of pools to fish, especially for a fly. This beat can fish well in low water conditions during the summer and early autumn for grilse and larger summer salmon. It is also an ideal beat for sea trout fishing during May and June.
Benchil offers an excellent opportunity for fly fishing in the lower water from bank and anchored boat especially in the attractive classic pools such as the Long Shot and Lundie. The beat fishes six rods, has two boats and a fishing hut with views down the Long Shot. It has 10 named pools including Skellies, Aitken Head, Plain Water, Ship Linn, Long Shot, Tail of Shot, Ewelundie, White Craigs, Little Shot and Todholes.

Spring Fishing
Benchil can be fished on an alternative day basis, (with Catholes), until the end of April for parties wishing more than one day. This is a good combination in early spring on the river. The last few years have seen an upturn in early spring catches as the river seems to be changing back towards a historic spring performance. The classic spring pool is Aitken Head, just below the Skellies rapids, especially in bigger water. A boat and ghillie is available for 2 rods to share and bank only rods are available without a ghillie.

Summer Fishing
During the months of May and June day lets are available for bank fishing from the Stanley bank. There will not be a Ghillie present except first thing in the morning to show you the beat.

Autumn Fishing
Daily lets are available with 1 ghillie and 2 boats. The beat can be fished on an alternative day basis with Pitlochrie. In this period the beat is best fished from bank and anchored boats encouraging fly fishing on this classic water.

Bob White has 40 years experience in angling for Atlantic salmon and has extensive fishing knowledge on the Tay. Bob can offer tuition in overhead and Spey casting techniques and is a G Loomis pro guide. Tackle can be supplied.

The owners are anglers and support the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Boards conservation measures and consequently would encourage all tenants to follow these guidelines.


Salmon & Grilse

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Wild Trout

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Sun 4th October

It has been a busy end to September and early October with over 20 salmon caught on the Stanley beats. The weather has played a large part in determining the catches. Initially in September we were praying for water and a drop in temperatures. We witnessed a spate mid September but that did not really trigger off great sport but by the end of the month the river temperature dropped substantially after a couple of early frosts and although the water level dropped the older fish became more aggressive and catches improved dramatically. In the last week 15 fish were caught on very small flies on our 3 main beats of Benchil, Pitlochrie and Luncarty.

This weekend has seen very heavy rain causing a massive spate which may just bring in some more fresh fish which have been sadly lacking over the autumn period so far. Once the river settles back during the coming week we hopefully will have a good few last days of this current season.

Fresh water, cooler river temperatures, all you need to do is add fish!

September started off quietly with only odd fish caught. Tim Greenfield caught one in Luncarty on a floating Devon. As the month started to draw to an end the water temperature dropped and the fish became more aggressive. Alan Robertson and Charles Martin had a good day at Luncarty with 4 fish between them up to 8 pounds on Tobies.

In the last week including a few days in October 15 were caught, all on the fly from Benchil and Luncarty in low water and all on very small flies. David Brand caught a 10 pounds fish from Luncarty on a Micro Tube then towards the end of that week Graham Reid caught 5 fish to 18 pounds from Benchil and Luncarty on a Geordie Fly. Alistair Boomer caught 2 fish up to 16 pounds from Luncarty on a Black Shrimp. Ann Emsens enjoyed more success with an 18 pounder from the Long Shot on Benchil and Jim McLanaghan caught an 8 pounds fish on the Pitlochrie beat at the top of the Woodside. 

All in all it was a great week with hopefully a last flurry to come in the last 10 days of the season. 

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