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Tackle advice

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. 

Posh Tosh 

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.      

Blue Angel 

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.

Tackle Shops

Hiring Tackle

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 

Kate Flemming  

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




Summer flies for the River Tay

Raider Cascade 

Surely one of the iconic summer double patterns that catches fish after fish on most Salmon rivers, designed by head ghillie Robert White from the Stanley beats on the river Tay this pattern has proved its worth on so many occasions on so many rivers and to so many anglers it is just one pattern you should not be without. A firm favourite with the Tay fly fraternity for good reason.

Pump House Shrimp 

This 10mm loop tube feeler pattern was developed for fresh run summer salmon and has caught many a fish on one of my favourite places in the summer months to fish on the Tay at Meikleour and Upper Islamouth beat. Great all round pattern fishes in most conditions will give you great sport. Floating line with a 1.5 clear tip is all you will need. 

Cotter Shrimp 

Designed by Ron Fraser who spends many a summer day at the Newtyle beat where head ghillie Andy Gunn is kept busy with his landing net. A great little fly for low to medium water conditions and a firm favourite with Andy and his customers.   

Sunray Shadow patterns  

Yes it’s that time of year when fish will chase and boil at your sunrays and of course engulf them like there is no other fly worth taking. The sunray style is truly a must for the Tay in the summer months whatever the height of the water. We have developed and improved this style creating a very long sunray pattern. You sometimes just can’t go long enough.  Truly a wonderful way to fishing through the summer months, remember you do not have to start with the sunray but if all else is proving to get a nil reaction then get it on. Used with floating lines normally but on sunny days well worth a go on a hover or intermediate line.       

Posh Raider Shrimp 

Malcolm Anderson has redesigned the raider cascade for those sunny days where you want to give a little kick of colour and brightness to your fly and he found that this little beauty work well on days like this. Fishing it on a floating line with clear tip in a fast or slow stream will give you action up and down the river. Also works well on the river Tummel and the river Earn which are tributaries of the Tay

Autumn flies for the River Tay 

Gow’s Shrimp 

One of our feeler range on brass loop tubes, this red and orange pattern was designed by Don Gow from Crieff for a famous stream on the river Tay at Meikleour. The stream fills up with fish at the back-end and this pattern is a favourite of ours due to the amount of sport we get. A true all river autumn fly that you should carry around in your fly box. It has regularly caught fresh fish at this time of year and of course the odd crocodile!    

Tronach Shrimp

The famous Tronach pool on the Murthly II beat on the river had to have a very good pattern as it had to keep up the reputation of the pool and its catches. Who else to design the fly but Tony Black head ghillie on the beat. Great colour combinations in this stunning Tay shrimp pattern.

Lady Meikleour Shrimp 

Fantastic autumn pattern many thanks to Claire Mercer- Nairne for the design, this is just what you need to show these backend aggressive fish. There is a lot to be said about red and orange patterns at the backend but pink patterns certainly have their place and this pattern is up at the top of my list. The older fish that have been sitting around for a few months or weeks like something new to entice them. 

Copper Devil 

One of the top autumn patterns on the river, with its copper body and red/orange wing. It can be fished in clear or coloured water on a double or on a copper tube depending on water heights. A firm favourite with me, I normally start with this pattern at the start of the day in September & October. It works on most of the river systems at the back end in all colours of water. 

Red Bobby Shrimp 

Designed by Robert White head ghillie of Stanley Fishings on the river Tay. Great backend pattern for those territorial fish, the feelers give the pattern that extra movement and a great attraction to the autumn fish.  



An angler Choosing a fly. 

Trout flies for wild trout.

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