Tackle to bring
The tackle required depends on the time of year and where you are fishing. If fishing on the lower or middle Tay stout tackle will be required in spring or autumn, or even in summer if there happens to be a flood. For flyfishing in the spring or autumn 15-18ft rods will be required coupled with fast sinking lines, but bring the sinktip just in case of a mild dry day. Weight forward or even shooting heads can be worth bringing, as a longer cast may make all the difference on some beats. Your ghillie will advise.
Many anglers opt to spin in high water. A good 10ft spinning rod will be required with a large capacity fixed spool reel or even a multiplier with 15lb line. Popular baits for bank fishing include devon minnows, especially wooden 'floating' devons fished with a lead weight, toby salmos, blair spoons and Flying C's. For harling from the boat many ghillies will supply you with rods and the appropriate plugs.
In summer on the Tay a 15ft fly rod will still be necessary with floating line or sink tip. A decent rod is also required on the Tummel but on other tributaries a 12 or 13ft rod will be more than ample. On some stretches even a single handed rod will suffice.
Most Tay and Tummel beats require wading, so bring chest waders, unless you only fish from the boat. This is an option available to disabled anglers which may be denied to them on many rivers. You are advised to wear an inflatable lifejacket for safety, whether fishing from a boat, the bank or wading. Many beats will supply you with one, but to be safe, bring your own. Please remember it is important to have these serviced regularly. A stout wading stick will also aid safe wading, but ensure it has a rubber cap on the end to minimise disturbance.
Flies to bring
Again fly choice will depend on the time of year. In the spring and autumn weighted tube flies may be required, but if the water is low flies tied on larger doubles or trebles will be sufficient. In summer bring doubles and trebles down to a size 10 or even smaller on some tributaries. On the River Isla for example microtubes with 14 or even size 16 trebles might be all that is required. The most popular patterns nowadays tend to be variations on the shrimp fly theme. A long tail is guaranteed to produce many a longer tale! Your ghillie will advise on the most appropriate patterns.
Spring flies for the River Tay
Aurora Cascade Feeler
One of my spring favourites for the Tay and it will fish all the way through the season. It’s a cascade variant and is looked upon one of the best spring cascade patterns. It just catches fish and is one of my favourite double patterns for the spring. It’s a fly worth having in your fly box when visiting the Tay in spring.
This Tweed classic fly was designed by Iain Wilson but as we all know it catches fish everywhere. We are now on the MK III version with Iain updating the original every few season, it’s an astonishing black and yellow pattern that you will fish anywhere, with its mirage body jumping out and a beautiful waving black and yellow wing is a must for any Salmon looking for movement in front of them, this pattern is one of the outstanding Salmon patterns that you should have in your fly box.
Cohn’s Spring Willie Gunn
Quite simply one of the most deadly Salmon patterns that has been designed by Cohn Odea from the Taymount beat on the river Tay. When fished in spring you will need to fish it deep in the faster runs using 1” to 1 1/” tubes.
Cohn’s Blue Pearl
This illuminating tube pattern was designed by the head ghillie Cohn O’Dea from the Taymount beat on the river Tay its colours were taken from one of the most successful spring lures the pink pearl Kynock. Fantastic Spring Fly for any water conditions, it has been designed to catch the eye of a spring salmon with its bright colours are its striking mirror flash throughout the wing. It comes on a 1” aluminium tube for movement and we recommend you use your fast tips to get it down.
The Blue Angel was designed by Jimmy Last who was a highly regarded ghillie on the Lower Scone beat of the river Tay. The Blue Angel is not a secret to Tay regular Danny Fulton who has it firmly as his top spring pattern. The proof is in the pudding normally and Danny over the year has proved this with some fantastic catches when those around him look on and wonder how he manages to be so consistent.
Gold Willie Gunn
Quite simple one of the most deadliest Salmon patterns that has been around since the 1940’s and still going strong today, even though we have touched it up here and there with modern materials its one you must fish on the river Tweed. When fished in spring you will need to fish it deep in the faster runs using 1” to 2” tubes.
Anglers are able to hire tackle from these local shops:
*James Crockart & Son 28 Allan Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6AD Tel 01250 872056 For the shop Click here
*Kate Flemming 26 Allan Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6AD TEL 01250 873990 For the shop Click here
NEW IN SAGE X ROD - Salmon & Trout. We have a huge variety of flies, fishing tackle, fly tying equipment, country clothing and outdoor equipment including Vision, Rio, Snowbee, Sage and Hunter. Tackle hire and delivery service - waders, flies, rods single and double handed. Salmon and trout permits for local Angling Clubs can be purchased from the shop. The shop is just 6 miles, 10 minutes from the Tay at Meikleour. Grayling permits for the Ericht and Isla.
Kate Flemming 26 Allan Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6AD
TEL 01250 873990
For the shop Click here
James Crockart and Son
We stock an extensive range of rods, reels, clothing, flies, lures and accessories for salmon and trout fishing. Our Tackle Hire Service includes all items required to fish for both salmon and trout. Delivery by arrangement. Salmon and trout permits are sold for local rivers.
James Crockart & Son 28 Allan Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6AD
Tel 01250 872056
For the shop Click here