(Last Updated: Monday 18 October)
THE 2021 TAY SEASON FINALLY DRAWS TO A CLOSE
(River Tay weekly report week ending 15th October 2021)
The River Tay finally closed its banks to anglers on Friday. The weather had been quite unsettled last weekend with some heavy rain on Saturday. Thankfully there was very little rain during the final few days of the season so river levels were steady which was good news. The last day of the season dawned bright, cold and crisp with a light frost in some sheltered spots.
There were decent numbers of fish caught from the river last week but again the vast majority were older models. There does seem to be a distinct lack of genuine fresh autumn salmon again on many of Scotland’s rivers and not just the Tay. This has been the worrying but all too familiar trend over the past few seasons. The water temperature last week was 53.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 11.9 degrees Celsius.
On the upper river, there were fish caught on both Bolfracks beats as well as both Farleyer beats last week. At Edradynate it was good to see a couple of fish caught on Thursday including a nice thirteen pounder from the Church Pool.
Mr David Taylor caught a fifteen pounder on the fly at Portnacraig on the River Tummel on Tuesday. The fish was caught from the Pitlochry bank. He also managed to land a Sea trout weighing two pounds. A good days sport in anyone’s book!
Further downstream it was a fantastic day at Lower Kinnaird on Tuesday when six fish were landed which was great to see. Four of the fish were caught on the fly, the weapon of choice being a Willie Gunn tube. On Thursday there were four fish landed from the beat including an eighteen pounder from the Guay Pool. There were also five fish lost.
Mr David Gardner caught a fish from the Steps Pool on the fly at Newtyle on Monday. Mr Jon Amos was next on the scoresheet at Newtyle when he caught a fish on the fly from Trap on Wednesday. On Thursday Mr Paul Carter had a good day at Newtyle landing an eighteen pounder from the Trap and fifteen pounder from the Steps. Both fish were caught on the fly. There were two more fish caught at Newtyle on the last day of the season.
It was good to see fish caught every day last week at Kercock including four on Monday. Kercock regular Mr Robert McFarlane had a productive few days on the beat landing six salmon for his three days weighing up to ten pounds. Other successful anglers at Kercock last week included Mr Scott Sykes and Mr Ernie Donnell who landed a fifteen pounder on Thursday. On Friday Mr John Dewar landed a lovely sixteen pounder and there was also success for Mr James Redmond and Mr Dougie McLean.
It was a happy Monday at Meikleour with four fish landed from the beat including a magnificent twenty two pounder. There were a further two fish caught from the beat on Wednesday and Thursday. Other beats on the middle river that produced fish last week included Dalguise, Dalmarnock and both Murthly beats amongst others.
At Islamouth Mr David Mayhew’s party were fishing during the last few days of the season. They landed eight fish up to eighteen pounds. The good sport at Ballathie continued last week with plenty of happy anglers. There were seven fish caught from the beat on Tuesday with nine more on Thursday.
There have been excellent numbers of fish caught at Cargill in recent weeks and last week was no different. There were three landed by 11 am on Monday morning. On Tuesday there were five fish caught at Cargill. On Friday Mr Anthony James caught his first ever salmon which was great to see. Other successful anglers last week included Mr Neil French and Mr Shane Elder amongst others.
The Taymount and Stobhall beats finished with eleven fish and twelve fish for the week respectively. At Catholes the last day of the season yielded a twenty four pounder which was caught from the Black Stones.
It was a memorable day for Ms Linda Carling at Benchil on Monday, when she caught her first ever salmon. The fish was caught from the Long Shot. Well done…you never forget your first! This was one of two fish caught from the beat on Monday.
It seemed to be a week of first salmon at Benchil when on Wednesday Mr Chris Drake caught his first ever fish from Aitken Head. The fish gave a great account of itself before it was safely landed and returned. Well done Sir!
Mr Mark Ogilvie caught a hard fighting eight pounder from the Craig’s Pool on a Salmo lure at Fishponds on Thursday. The last day of the season saw three more fish landed at Fishponds. Anglers at Waulkmill got their rods bent regularly last week with four fish landed on both Monday and Tuesday. The good sport continued throughout the week. Almondmouth finished with six fish for their week.
So, the curtain was drawn on another Tay season on Friday. Hopefully it will be a productive spawning year and all of us will have our fingers crossed that there will be no devastating floods through the close season. We would like to thank all the ghillies and beat owners on the River Tay system who have contributed to this report throughout the season by providing their time and information as the weekly report would not be possible without your help and support. The next weekly report will be published in mid-January 2022.
Samantha & Sandy Datta