We entered into the metrological summer last week and said goodbye to spring. However, the weather was far from summer like. Low pressure dominated the weather during the first half of last week and there were heavy showers for most and it also felt quite cool at times. It was drier as we moved towards the weekend and temperatures also rose to more seasonable values.
Catches were up on the previous week and it was good to see a few grilse coming off the river, hopefully, this is the start of a good summer run. Anglers will now be hoping for a settled spell of weather coupled with steady river levels which should give them the best chance of making contact with that Tay silver tourist.
Looking ahead to the weather next week the first half of the week is set to be dry and settled with light winds. However, from midweek onwards conditions are set to become more unsettled with low pressure dominating our weather with showers or longer spells of rain.
Catches on the Tay system were again well spread last week from Upper Farlayer down to Almondmouth. Many of the fish caught were sea liced indicating that the fish entering the system were running hard. Grilse are now also being caught on a more regular basis which gives anglers some optimism for the summer season. There is a good chance of picking up a fresh fish anywhere on the main river next week as the spread of recent catches would suggest. Probably the best chance could be anywhere on the middle or lower river. The River Tummel could also be worth a cast.
As always, the River Tay offers anglers fantastic value for money with a wide range of salmon fishing to suit all tastes. There is decent availability in the upcoming days on some fantastic beats, so why not wet a line on one of Scotland’s most famous and iconic salmon rivers? There could be a big Tay salmon with your name on it!
Good luck to all those anglers fishing on the River Tay next week.
Samantha & Sandy Datta
River Tay Fishing Reports 2022
TACTICS FOR THE RIVER TAY DURING THE SUMMER PERIOD (JUNE-AUGUST)
During the summer months, water temperatures usually begin to rise on the river. The fish also start to become a bit more active. Often river levels are low but on the River Tay, they are never too low that fresh fish cannot run the system. At this time of year, full floating lines coupled with polyleaders of various sink rates can often work well.
As the Tay is a big river usually a powerful fourteen or 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 is perfect for the job at this time of year. In higher water, during the summer months, a sink tip or intermediate 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 summer period to use leader material with an adequate breaking strain, as there are some big summer salmon that run the Tay. Usually, a breaking strain between twelve and fifteen pounds is ideal.
During the summer months depending on the water height and temperature smaller dressed flies can work well. Small bottle tubes are also well worth a go. Don’t forget how effective flies like the Sunray Shadow can be at this time of year. These flies fished close to the surface can really do the business especially if the fish are keen on chasing a fly and in an active mood.
A powerful spinning rod between ten and eleven foot is usually more than adequate to cover the River Tay. The rod should be able to comfortably cast lures weighing anything from eighteen to thirty 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 thirty grams. Devon Minnows can also be effective on the River Tay. During the summer months, the Floating Devon and Flying C can be particularly productive. The Flying C lure can be fished upstream especially when water temperatures start to rise and often salmon will chase the lure before taking it. The Vision110 lures have also got a good reputation for producing fish on the river. These lures can be excellent during the summer months.
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.
Tackle Shops and Outfitters on Tay
Guides and Instructions on the River Tay
Where To Stay on Tayside and Perthshire.
Where To Eat on the river Tay.
Fishing Permits for the River Tay and its tributaries.