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(Last Updated: Monday 18 September)

A MORE AUTUMNAL FEEL TO PROCEEDINGS!

(River Tay weekly report week ending 16th September 2023)

We moved deeper in autumn last week and the signs were there for all to see. The weather had a distinctly autumnal feel to proceedings and the heatwave of the previous week was thankfully a distant memory. Temperatures were in the mid-teens and there was a grass frost in some sheltered Perthshire glens on some mornings. This made salmon fishing a much more pleasurable experience. Heavy overnight showers last Sunday led to a small lift in water at the beginning of last week. There was also some rain on Wednesday night and on Friday over the catchment area.

 

On the Upper river, it was good to see a fish caught at Upper Farleyer on Saturday. It was a happy Monday at Lower Kinnaird where there was nice fish landed from the beat. This was followed by another fish caught from Lower Kinnaird on Wednesday.

 

It was a great start to the week at Dalguise where a lovely fifteen pounder was caught from the beat on Monday. There was success at Dalmarnock on Wednesday. There were a couple of fish caught during the first half of the week on the Dunkeld Beat and another fish landed on Friday. On the Murthly 2 Beat, there were some nice fish caught through the course of last week.

 

At Kercock on Thursday Mr John Dewar landed a nice fish. There was more good sport to be had on the beat on Saturday when there were three fish caught. First on the scoresheet was Mr Magnus Gloak who caught a lovely grilse in the morning. Kercock regular Mr Scott Sykes landed a powerful fish in the afternoon and there was also success for Mr Paul Jack. All in all, a great day had by all on the beat.

 

Anglers enjoyed some great sport on Monday at Meikleour where a total of four fish were landed from the beat. There was more success at Meikleour on Thursday and Saturday.

 

At Cargill, Mr Andrew Edge caught a nice fish on the fly from the beat on Tuesday. Mr Gavin Mason caught a lovely fish on the fly on Wednesday. It proved to be a productive day at Cargill on Wednesday with a total of eight fish hooked and five landed with the best tipping the scales at twenty pounds. Other successful anglers at Cargill last week included Mr John Hartrup, Mr Paul Gallagher and Mr Stephan Gian Dombaj.

 

There was some decent sport to be had at Taymount last week, especially on Tuesday when six fish were landed including a magnificent twenty pounder. There were three more fish caught from the beat on Wednesday. Taymount finished with thirteen fish for the week.

 

Further downstream it was good to see a fish caught at Upper Scone on Thursday and Saturday and there was success at Benchil on Wednesday. On Saturday there was a fish caught from the Luncarty Beat. It was a productive day at Waulkmill on Friday when four fish were landed from the beat.

 

On the River Earn last week there were fish caught from the Crieff Angling Club Beat as well as at Lochlane & Laggan where a magnificent twenty two pounder was caught on Friday. There were also fish caught from the Tay system last week on beats who do not wish to be mentioned in this report.

 

With only around four weeks of the season remaining why not book a day's salmon fishing on the famous River Tay next week? You might just have that autumn day to remember!

 

We would like to thank all the ghillies and beat owners on the River Tay system who have contributed to this report by providing their time and information as the weekly report would not be possible without your help and support. If you would like to share any interesting stories or pictures from your time fishing on the River Tay for the purposes of this report, please free to contact us at [email protected]

Good luck to all those anglers fishing on the River Tay next week.

Tight lines,

Samantha & Sandy Datta

 

Beat catches reported (For beats wishing to be included in this report only)

(week ending 16th September)

SALMON & GRILSE: Upper Farleyer 1, Lower Kinnaird 2, Dalguise 1, Dalmarnock 1, Dunkeld 3, Murthly 2, 5, Kercock 4, Meikleour & Upper Islamouth 6, Cargill 20, Taymount 13, Upper Scone 2, Benchil 1, Luncarty 1, Waulkmill 4, Crieff Angling Club 2, Lochlane & Laggan 1

Total: 67

Largest: Lochlane & Laggan 22lbs

 

UNSETTLED WEATHER ON THE WAY?

(River Tay salmon fishing prospects week commencing 18th September 2023)

It was much cooler last week than of late which was welcomed by anglers with temperatures mostly in the mid-teens compared to the high twenties during the previous week. This made salmon fishing a much more pleasurable experience. There was a small lift in river levels at the beginning of last week following heavy overnight rain last Sunday. There was further rain on Wednesday and Friday over the catchment area.

Over the weekend it was mainly dry on Saturday with the odd light shower on Sunday. Looking ahead to next week the weather is set to remain quite unsettled with low pressure influencing our weather. Monday and Tuesday will see some showers or longer spells of rain. It will also be very windy from time to time. The unsettled weather will continue from midweek onwards with spells of rain some of which could be heavy. Temperatures will be mostly in the mid-teens.

Last week, on the main river, fish were caught from Upper Farleyer down to Waulkmill with the bulk of the action on beats situated on the lower river. There were also fish caught on the River Tummel and River Earn. Probably the best chance of success next week would be on some of the beats located on the middle and lower river.

Good luck to all those anglers fishing on the River Tay next week.

Tight lines,

Samantha & Sandy Datta

Tactics for the River Tay during the autumn period (September and October)

The ghillies on the River Tay are all highly experienced and have an intimate knowledge of their beats. Their advice and guidance are key to success. Please contact your ghillie for up to date advice on tactics and what tackle to bring prior to visiting the River Tay.

Fly Fishing

During the autumn months, water temperatures usually begin to fall on the river but much depends on the weather. The weather and water conditions can vary greatly during the autumn months with hot weather and low water coupled with high water temperatures especially if we have an Indian summer. Conversely, it can be quite cool with regular spells of wind and rain and even night time frosts. The fish also start to become a bit more aggressive especially when they turn their thoughts towards spawning. At this time of year, full floating lines coupled with polyleaders of various sink rates can often work well especially if conditions are more akin to the summer months.  

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, colder water a sink tip or intermediate line may be required to produce the best results.

Make sure that your fly reel has got 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 autumn period to use leader material with an adequate breaking strain, as there can be some large fish around towards the end of the season. Usually, a breaking strain of around fifteen pounds is ideal.

During the autumn months depending on the water height and temperature smaller dressed flies can work well if river levels are low and temperatures are high. Small bottle tubes are also well worth ago. If there are frequent night time frosts and high water, tube flies of various lengths and weights may be the order of the day.

Spinning

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 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 autumn months, the Floating Devon and Flying C can be particularly productive.

The Flying C lure can be fished upstream especially when water temperatures are higher 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. In high cold water, it can often be more about fishing the lure that bit slower and at an adequate depth.

 

Harling

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. 

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. Often during the autumn months, good conditions arise on many beats for harling, especially in higher water. Harling is a method which is very much water height dependent and is practised at the beat ghillies 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 of 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 of respect at all times.

 

 

Beat catches reported

(Last week)

Beat Catches
Almondmouth Salmon - 9, Sea trout - 0
Waulkmill Salmon - 4, Sea trout - 2
Luncarty Salmon - 1, Sea trout - 0
Upper Redgorton Salmon - 0, Sea trout - 2
Fishponds Salmon - 0, Sea trout - 1
Benchil Salmon - 1, Sea trout - 0
Upper Scone Salmon - 2, Sea trout - 0
Stobhall Salmon - 6, Sea trout - 2
Taymount Salmon - 13, Sea trout - 1
Ballathie Salmon - 10, Sea trout - 1
Cargill Salmon - 20, Sea trout - 5
Islamouth Salmon - 7, Sea trout - 0
Meikleour and Upper Islamouth Salmon - 6, Sea trout - 3
Kercock Salmon - 4, Sea trout - 0
Murthly 2 Salmon - 5, Sea trout - 2
Dunkeld Salmon - 3, Sea trout - 0
Dalmarnock Salmon - 1, Sea trout - 1
Dalguise Salmon - 1, Sea trout - 0
Lower Kinnaird Salmon - 6, Sea trout - 0
Farleyer Upper Salmon - 1, Sea trout - 0
Crieff Angling Club Salmon - 2, Sea trout - 0
Lochlane and Laggan Salmon - 1, Sea trout - 1
East Haugh Salmon - 1, Sea trout - 0

There was an autumnal feel last week

There was an autumnal feel last week

Mr Scott Sykes lands a nice fish at Kercock on Saturday

Mr Scott Sykes lands a nice fish at Kercock on Saturday

A powerful fish being played at Cargill

A powerful fish being played at Cargill

A big deep Cargill salmon caught on Wednesday

A big deep Cargill salmon caught on Wednesday

Returning a big Cargill salmon

Returning a big Cargill salmon

Mr Andrew Edge lands a nice fly caught salmon at Cargill

Mr Andrew Edge lands a nice fly caught salmon at Cargill

A fine Cargill salmon caught on Thursday

A fine Cargill salmon caught on Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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