The conditions last week were good on the Tay in Perthshire, Scotland with much milder weather and a falling steady river, superb catches were maintained during the week with more multi sea winter salmon filling everyone with even more optimism for the coming weeks. The weather is now much warmer and there is a reasonable forecast for this week that hopefully will continue to give us great prospects and will maintain early spring sport on this marvelous river and spread it throughout the whole river.
The Spring Salmon fishing is never easy but when settled conditions prevail the sport can be magical as has proved this season so far with some outstanding catches and numerous spring salmon registered in the Tay system above expectation, it will certainly be one to remember in years to come. The press and TV have even been acknowledging our success this past week. The catches have been heartening mainly due to the cold weather originally in the early part of the season but there is certainly evidence now that there has been a far better run. Could this be down to most anglers’ efforts to return spring salmon over the past few seasons? Thank you to all anglers who have this season so far returned their spring salmon to maintain our sport for the future, it is vitally important and is a great contribution by individuals who care for their sport and the river. Well done! Spring salmon were caught all week up to an impressive 22 pounds in weight and throughout the river as temperatures rise, which was tremendous news. The catches for the season so far have increased by 73% up to the end of April and now May is looking as productive with an approximate 90% increase on last year. Final figures for May and the season so far will be posted later this week. It is simply amazing news for the river. The Tay is currently fishing very well and is certainly a good destination to catch your first spring salmon of the season, you will maybe catch a fish of your dreams after the emergence of these monster salmon. The river offers a variety of possibilities for all standards of anglers with ghillies only too keen to teach the novices and this mighty river can produce a memorable salmon for the keen fly fisher. Levels and temperatures have now risen hopefully to encourage more salmon to run the river and spread out. Pools can be easily covered from bank and boat with modern technology. Why not have a go and sample this magical river. The fishing is supreme and the scenery is not bad either.
Beat catches reported
(week ending 25th May)
SALMON & GRILSE: Lower Redgorton 1, Benchil and Pitlochrie 1, Stobhall 6, Taymount 3, Ballathie 1, Cargill 3, Islamouth 19, Lower and Upper Islamouth 21, Upper Islamouth and Meikleour House 1, Kercock 2, Murthly 1 22, Glendelvine 18, Murthly 2 11, Newtyle 10, Dunkeld House 13, Dalmarnock 4, Dalguise 3, Lower Kinnaird 11, Upper Kinnaird 1, Edradynate 2, Findynate 2, Farleyer Upper 11, Keithick Mains 17, Coupar Grange 19, Portnacraig Pitlochry 18, Loch Faskally 15.
Total: 235 Largest: Glendelvine & Lower Kinnaird 22lbs
SEA TROUT: Lower Redgorton 1, Dunkeld House 1, Coupar Grange 4.
Total: 6 Largest: Lower Redgorton 5lbs
Spring salmon have been caught throughout the system this past week encouraging everyone and there is a continuing emergence of some larger multi sea winter spring salmon up to around 20 odd pounds, which is superb news. Sea trout and odd Grilse are also starting to appear. The Upper reaches are now encountering more fresh salmon as warmer conditions appear. The Upper River registered 16 spring salmon from Upper Kinnaird, Farleyer, Edradynate and Findynate. Willie Logan caught a super sea liced 9 pounds salmon on Upper Kinnaird from the Rock pool on the fly and Jock Menteith has been seeing a good lot of fish in the pools as the river has warmed up and salmon have run into the upper areas. Further news from the upper beats would be welcome for the report.
The Tummel system registered 33 spring salmon. Currently the Tummel is fishing very well with superb conditions and salmon running through the Dam. Currently there is now over 1000 salmon through the ladder. All the salmon came from the Pitlochry Angling stretch at the Dam and Loch Faskally but other spring salmon were caught on the Tummel system in good numbers but not registered. Loch Faskally is producing as salmon slip through the dam at Pitlochry in numbers with Paul and Dougie Jacobs, Yvonne Rider, Mark Edwards and Campbell Dixon all catching salmon up to 22 pounds. The Angling club stretch at Portnacraig continues to fish very well with another very productive week despite a rapidly falling river. The rise in temperature has made salmon bolt through the ladder however Stuart Humphreys and Davy Stewart got the week off to a good start with fish on the fly.
Bob White on a busman’s holiday from Stanley and Iain McLaren showed the way on Tuesday with fish up to 14 pounds again all on fly. Fish continued to be caught for the rest of the week with Alex Elliot from Inverness catching a 12 pounds fish on a Cascade and then Gordon Nichol landing 2 up to 15 pounds on Thursday. Friday saw Steve Watt landing 3 and Stuart Campbell catching a 10 pounds fish again all on the fly. Saturday was a good day with Kevin McKay, Gary Watson, Gary Waugh, John Downie and Neil Tong all being successful. West Haugh, East Haugh and the Lower Tummel have also been catching and not reporting.
On the Middle river 95 spring salmon were caught this past week, which was a superb week as temperatures came up and salmon ran after the big water earlier in the month. Lower Kinnaird had a good week with several salmon up to 16 pounds.
On Dalguise Stan Antczak was on form catching a 9 pounds fish on the fly from the Island on the fly. Dalmarnock caught on most days. Dunkeld house had an excellent week with 13 salmon landed. Stuart McArther featured heavily with 3 on Wednesday and Andrew Morton and Andre Smith caught as well.
The Dunkeld Angling stretch has been producing as well with Billy Davidson landing 2 fish on Friday fly fishing a Sun Ray. Newtyle had another successful week with numerous fish caught by various methods. Bob Robertson got the week off to a good start with 3 fish in 2 days on fly then had a 16 pounds fish later in the week. Brain Smith and Allan Rennie also caught.
Peter Dobson then caught 2 fish after a bit of a drought and Jon Wood landed a 13 pounds fish from the Ferry pool. Howard Jackson landed his first Tay salmon for 40 years that was superb news. The Murthly and Glendelvine beats continue to fish very well with numerous salmon caught again this week mostly on fly.
On Kercock Jim Hooper caught a 12 pounds fish and Jason Holtom caught his personal best fish weighing an impressive 18 pounds.
The Lower River had good catches as the tremendous run continued through the beats with 55 spring salmon for the week. Hopefully the catches will be maintained in the coming weeks as most of the boats are off the river below Stanley for the summer but reasonably priced bank fishing is still available. Islamouth was back to its productive best throughout the week landing 40 salmon. At the start of the week the Collett party enjoyed good success.
The last 3 days saw good catches as well with Mike Cuthbert landing one of the numerous salmon, a lovely 8 pounds beauty from the Longhead that made 11 landed on Saturday. Ballathie and Cargill saw odd fish but with lower water now this should change for the better. Stobhall and Taymount faired a bit better landing salmon on most days. The beats below Stanley have had odd salmon as well and are now looking for sea trout. Stuart Lean in the Bleachings landed a superb 5 pounds sea trout on Lower Redgorton. Hopefully more to come.
The Isla registered 36 salmon from Coupar Grange and Keithick Mains. 19 fish came from Coupar Grange for the week but strong cold easterly winds in mid week saw fish go off but warmer weather helped things pick up again. John Dumolard from France had a beautiful 15 pounds sea liced fish on the fly from The White House. Friday saw Tom Ralph land a 12 pounds salmon on the fly, while Jim Hunter landed 8 for his two days, 3 were on the fly and the rest on a spinner. Superb sport.
It was certainly another superb spring week to remember with some great stories, at last some warmer weather and springers caught with good conditions but now as we entering May with warmer weather and good river levels the spring catches will hopefully be maintained over the coming weeks assuming the run continues and spread throughout the entire system. Please maintain the Catch and Release code for the river to protect our sport for the future.