Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland National electrofishing sampling July / August 2018

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland National electrofishing sampling July / August 2018.

TDSFB board staff have been completing the National electrofishing sampling sites which have been issued from Marine Scotland Science (MSS). Each local salmon fisheries district has 100 designated sites from 30 are chosen annually. We have almost completed our allocation for 2018.

"A new national electrofishing programme has been developed to assess and monitor the status of juvenile Atlantic salmon in Scottish rivers using a common set of standards. The protocols have been designed to collect as much information as possible to (1) explore opportunities for assessing the status of regions and rivers (2) improve existing fish density models (3) explore alternative measures of population health (e.g. biomass) (4) ensure that the collected data can support future developments in other areas e.g. National Eel Plan and Water Framework Directive." MSS

Each site covers an area of approximately 100m2 and should provide an accurate cross section of the randomly selected habitat type. Sites are randomly selected and cover a wide range of habitats across the whole Tay District. Not all sites chosen are good salmon sites and the random method of selection allows for a much wider range of waters to be fished and it was very informative to access ares of the catchment not often surveyed.

As well as accurate recording of salmon and trout densities, freshwater eel numbers were recorded. Other species encountered were lamprey, minnow, stoneloach and flounder. A water quality sample was also taken from each site.

Some were good parr sites with plenty of large structure such as the 2 Errochty water sites below. 


Errochty water near Blair Atholl

Errochty water near Blair Atholl
The Ruchill water also has good parr habitat around Cultybraggan and upstream.


Ruchill salmon parr
The very bottom end of the Ruchill has fine gravels and is very mobile during spates. High densities of salmon fry are present here. The pic below has the fish captured from a 100m2 site.


Bucket of fry and parr from lower Ruchill water



The water of May which flows into the lower Earn at Forteviot is also a very mobile burn at the bottom end. A wide bed width in which the water course often changes. Downstream of this photo the burn had completely changed course over last 2 years. On 3 run sites which are less than 3m wide stop nets are used. In this site as well as others high densities of Stoneloach were found. The warm and low conditions this year seem the suit some species well. Flounder were also found here.


Water of May @ Forteviot on River Earn
The habitat on the Eden reflects its water course through Fife farmland with slow water and large beds of Ranunculus providing good habitat for larger fish. The salmon parr here grow to substantial proportions quickly and a 1 year old parr could be 150mm before smolting the following spring.
Eden @ Ladybank
Some sites were quite remote like this one which required a 4km paddle by kayak and 3km walk from Glencoe to access. The are no barriers to salmon access to these water and while none were captured on this trip a few miles downstream good juvenile densities are found.


A well loaded kayak perfect for navigating shallow loch Ba

We had to be resourceful with carrying the heavy kit across Rannoch moor


As the river leaves loch Laidon at the eastern end good fry densities are found


This site which is located from Spittal of Glenshee is 400m above sea level. Again reasonable densities of salmon were found with 2 age groups of parr reflecting the slower growth rates at the altitide.




Allt Ghlinn Thaitneich (Dalmunzie)

We have also fished a few sites on the lower Tay in the low water
where the new Tay crossing is located. 2 sites with good fry habitat were chosen and densities of over 100 fry per 100m2 were found. Evidence of spawning activity on the lower river. 
Lower Tay (Site of new Tay crossing)
Lower Tay (site of new Tay crossing)



Salmon fry and a few Stoneloach from 100m2 in the lower Tay

Next we are surveying sites stocked eyed ova and fry in the spring time.

Mike
















Monday, 13 August 2018

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 13th August 2018.

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 13th August 2018.

The Salmon fishing season now in August on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.  We have rain and cooler temperatures recently helping the fishing improve. The coming week is looking similar with cooler temperatures and more rain. Catches have improved in recent weeks due to cooler weather and a summer run seems to be happening however in lesser numbers giving far more optimism following disappointing catch figures. The Tay has the largest flow of any river in the country and although low, still has enough water to attract fish in. Hopefully the current run will now improve following the rain everyone has been praying for and trigger off some more summer salmon and grilse to run the river. 

On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are in the skies with their young, Ospreys are being seen in numbers, Ducks, Dippers and Sand Martins have broods of young on the river banks and you could see the flash of a Kingfisher if you are lucky, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay and a salmon would be a bonus.

Currently the river is slightly unsettled following the rain but clear. It is at Caputh (6”) and similarly on the lower river (10”) on the Ballathie gauge.

The Weatheris looking a lot more unsettled over the coming week with cooler temperatures and some more rain at times. The warmer temperatures would have encouraged salmon to run the river and get into the upper areas as fish continue to shoot through the ladder at Pitlochry. The river has cooled slightly helping matters with a current river temperature 63 degrees Fahrenheit or 17.5 degrees Celsius for the start of the week. These are not typical temperatures for this time of year but hopefully rain will cool it further and improve sport. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. 


As to methods, in settled conditions with the water warming, fishing by any method should be with flies and lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. The recommendations are set out below for different times in the season. Harling is also a favoured method.

Tackle recommendations for fishing the Tay throughout the season.

Fly Rods. 
The Tay is a large river especially when running at a normal level and even in lower levels you are fishing another river within the mighty one so therefore a 15 foot fly rod for a 10 weight line is certainly minimum requirement for much of the season. Do not come under gunned.  In some parts of the river where it is especially wide even longer rods are used. It should be noted however that it is better to cast a shorter controlled line than try to cast out with your capabilities and have the lines end up in a mess and decrease your chances. 

Fly Lines.
In early season when the water is cold you need to cast larger flies and get them deeper in the water to fish them slowly. There is a tremendous choice on the market nowadays which can be quite confusing to many anglers. Any type of Skagit line that can easily cast a 15 foot sinking leader of various depths is a good choice especially to the less experienced. Iflights and a tip of choice attached are another good bet as these lines enable you to cast a longer line than normal with ease. For more experienced anglers, there are a vast array of shooting heads of different sinking abilities available as well. These tactics can be used in late season as well when the water starts to cool down. 
Once the water temperature starts to climb by April then tactics change to mainly floating lines and sink tips with much smaller conventional flies. Again, the choice of lines is incredible from longer belly Spey lines to shooting heads. If you go to shooting heads, then it is important to choose a good shooting backing as line management can be a big issue casting longer lines on a river such as the Tay. 

Spinning Rods.
You should have a minimum of a 10 foot rod for casting baits of 20gm to 60gms. 
Line. 
A main line of 20 pounds in nylon or 30 pounds in braid. You should use a lesser poundage far a cast such as 15 pounds so if you get caught up on the bottom you do not lose a large part of your main line. 
Baits.
Tobies from 18gm upwards. Toby Salmos are very popular in 30gms. Conventional weighted Devon's are good especially in the Spring. Rapalas and Vision 110's are very effective and of course Kynochs are popular for harling. 

What flies should I take?
In early season bigger flies such as Tube Flies, Temple Dogs and Monkey type flies up to 2 inches in body length and larger conventional patterns in 4's and 6's in lower water are required. A point of note is that a lighter Tube such as an aluminium or plastic body is far easier to cast than brass. Current line technology enables you to get these lighter flies to the correct depths. Ask your ghillie for tip advice on the day. 

As river temperatures rise to a more conventional approach then a size range in your box should be from 6 in higher water to 12 in lower water and even smaller on exceptionally low conditions. Cascade type patterns seem to be the most popular and recently feeler flies have come to the fore. It is always worth a go with a Sun Ray type fly with a long wing whether casting normally in colder conditions to stripping it fast in warmer water. Why not try a Hitch fly in summer low water conditions?


Finally, there has now been a bold change in policy following poor catches so far this season and you are reminded that the Tay's policy from 1stJune until the end of 2018 season is that all salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% catch and release of all salmon caught in this period. salmon are a scarce and precious resource currently. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following this request from our current board. 


When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended. Further information on good catch and release practice.



The Tay Ghillies Association are continuing their popular FISH OF THE MONTH AWARD to encourage good catch and release practice on the Tay. Each month the winner will receive 2 personalised crystal Whisky glasses engraved with details of the catch and they will automatically be entered into the fish of the year competition for a Stylish Crystal Engraved Decanter. Full details of this initiative. 


If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com included in the reports.

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 11th August 2018.

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 11th August 2018.


The Tay, Perthshire is now in August for salmon fishing with encouraging results in recent weeks due some rain and cooler weather conditions in our current outstanding summer. The hot weather had been making life extremely difficult with water temperatures going over 70F/21C daily however that all changed in recent weeks after some heavy rain bringing the river up and dropping the river temperature by around 10F to produce excellent fishing a week ago by current standards. The current conditions have improved dramatically giving everyone a great chance of landing a “Bar of Silver” and even possibly a fish of a lifetime with some of the multi sea winter fish currently being caught in recent weeks.
Beat catches reported
(week ending 11th August)
SALMON & GRILSE: Almondmouth 7, Waulkmill 3, Lower Redgorton 11, Upper Redgorton 3, Fishponds 2, Benchil 3, Upper Scone 4, Burnmouth 1, Stobhall 4, Taymount 1, Ballathie 8, Cargill 4, Islamouth 9, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 1, Kercock 4, Murthly 1 2, Murthly 2 2, Newtyle 1, Dunkeld House 2, Dalmarnock 2, Lower Kinnaird 3, Farleyer Upper 3, Strathfillan AA 1.
Total: 81 Largest: Kercock 20lbs
SEA TROUT: Lower Redgorton 2, Murthly 1 2.
Total: 4 Largest: Murthly 1 3lbs

Salmon were landed last week in far more favourable conditions with improving numbers after the change in conditions. The numbers were again encouraging in a difficult season with around 80 salmon recorded making it a positive week signaling a reasonable summer run and a few more grilse. The improving conditions meant some of the resident fish became more active also. The spring run is a memory, and frustratingly only small runs are still coming into the river this year but with improving conditions catches are being made in better numbers. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come as we go deeper into the summer period and enter autumn. 

On the Lower river most beats have had some sport last week. At the bottom of the river Almondmouth, Lower Redgorton and Waulkmill all had fish confirming a run entering the river at long last however in much smaller numbers than would be expected for the time of year. Lower Redgorton had a good week with 11. Upper Redgorton and Fishponds had 5 between them with the Junior Malloch Winners days having success on Monday. 

5 youngsters took part on the day hosted by Fishponds following their individual achievements the previous year being recognized by organiser Fishpal and contributors MacKenzie fly rods and Caledonia Fly Company. Benchil produced fish on the fly for Danny Fulton and John Morrison. Upper Scone had fish from Pitlochrie and Benchil in the week. Burnmouth reported a single fish as did Taymount with 4 coming off Stobhall. Ballathie had a better week with 8 fish for the Gold party. 

Cargill had 4 in the week with Graham Turner landing a lovely 15 pounds fish on the fly and Tony Clements catching a grilse. Islamouth caught 9 for their week with David Mayhew and Antony Scott-Hopkins parties all gaining success on the fly. A single fish came from Upper Islamouth and Meikleour. 

The Middle river had a few fish in the week but would dearly love more water to spice things up. 

Kercock had 4 for the week which included a 20 pounds fish for Mark Torrance. The Murthly beats had 4 between them and a single fish came off Newtyle. Dunkled House had a couple as did Dalmarnock. 

Lower Kinnaird had 3 fish up to 15 pounds caught on fly. 

The Upper river had 3 fish reported from Upper Farleyer and way up on the Fillan the Strathfillan Angling Club reported a single fish. 

The Tummel is seeing fish continue on their journey now with around 2040 fish through the ladder. 

The past weeks have seen better catches after rain and cooler temperatures greatly improving sport in an extremely difficult year so far, so let us hope that continues.  

The Tay is certainly the place to come to for the chance of a fish of a lifetime. The sheer size of the river produces very powerful large salmon and the possibility of a 40 pounds fish must be on the cards now. The food source for Atlantic salmon is moving further away from our shores with sea temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer away in the ocean before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish finding its way back. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon. 

There have been some encouraging signs in the past week or so and the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding with hopefully a settled river in the coming weeks we should see improved catches with a settled forecast as well.  
The Spring Salmon fishing was slow as we saw out May with the end of that run this year. June had picked up probably due to some fresh water and the emergence of some summer fish a couple of weeks ago, but we now need the current hot weather to break and it has so let us hope that the summer run builds further in the weeks to come. It has been a quiet start but let us hope the season lives up to every one’s expectations over the coming weeks and months and when you visit the Tay you catch a fish of a lifetime. Tight lines!

If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them, please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 6th August 2018.

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 6th August 2018.

The Salmon fishing season now in August on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.  We have rain and cooler temperatures recently helping the fishing improve. The coming week is looking similar with cooler temperatures. Catches have improved in recent weeks due to cooler weather and a summer run seems to be happening however in lesser numbers giving far more optimism following disappointing catch figures. The Tay has the largest flow of any river in the country and although low, still has enough water to attract fish in. Hopefully the current run will now improve following the rain everyone has been praying for and trigger off some more summer salmon and grilse to run the river. 

On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are in the skies with their young, Ospreys are being seen in numbers, Ducks, Dippers and Sand Martins have broods of young on the river banks and you could see the flash of a Kingfisher if you are lucky, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay and a salmon would be a bonus.

Currently the river is slightly unsettled following the rain but clear. It is at Caputh (5”) and similarly on the lower river (9”) on the Ballathie gauge.

The Weatheris to settle back down over the coming week with cooler temperatures and some light rain at times. The warmer temperatures would have encouraged salmon to run the river and get into the upper areas as fish continue to shoot through the ladder at Pitlochry. The river has cooled slightly helping matters with a current river temperature 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius for the start of the week. These are not typical temperatures for this time of year but hopefully rain will cool it further and improve sport. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. 


As to methods, in settled conditions with the water warming, fishing by any method should be with flies and lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. The recommendations are set out below for different times in the season. Harling is also a favoured method.

Tackle recommendations for fishing the Tay throughout the season.

Fly Rods. 
The Tay is a large river especially when running at a normal level and even in lower levels you are fishing another river within the mighty one so therefore a 15 foot fly rod for a 10 weight line is certainly minimum requirement for much of the season. Do not come under gunned.  In some parts of the river where it is especially wide even longer rods are used. It should be noted however that it is better to cast a shorter controlled line than try to cast out with your capabilities and have the lines end up in a mess and decrease your chances. 


Fly Lines.
In early season when the water is cold you need to cast larger flies and get them deeper in the water to fish them slowly. There is a tremendous choice on the market nowadays which can be quite confusing to many anglers. Any type of Skagit line that can easily cast a 15 foot sinking leader of various depths is a good choice especially to the less experienced. Iflights and a tip of choice attached are another good bet as these lines enable you to cast a longer line than normal with ease. For more experienced anglers, there are a vast array of shooting heads of different sinking abilities available as well. These tactics can be used in late season as well when the water starts to cool down. 
Once the water temperature starts to climb by April then tactics change to mainly floating lines and sink tips with much smaller conventional flies. Again, the choice of lines is incredible from longer belly Spey lines to shooting heads. If you go to shooting heads, then it is important to choose a good shooting backing as line management can be a big issue casting longer lines on a river such as the Tay. 
Spinning Rods.
You should have a minimum of a 10 foot rod for casting baits of 20gm to 60gms. 
Line. 
A main line of 20 pounds in nylon or 30 pounds in braid. You should use a lesser poundage far a cast such as 15 pounds so if you get caught up on the bottom you do not lose a large part of your main line. 
Baits.
Tobies from 18gm upwards. Toby Salmos are very popular in 30gms. Conventional weighted Devon's are good especially in the Spring. Rapalas and Vision 110's are very effective and of course Kynochs are popular for harling. 

What flies should I take?
In early season bigger flies such as Tube Flies, Temple Dogs and Monkey type flies up to 2 inches in body length and larger conventional patterns in 4's and 6's in lower water are required. A point of note is that a lighter Tube such as an aluminium or plastic body is far easier to cast than brass. Current line technology enables you to get these lighter flies to the correct depths. Ask your ghillie for tip advice on the day. 
As river temperatures rise to a more conventional approach then a size range in your box should be from 6 in higher water to 12 in lower water and even smaller on exceptionally low conditions. Cascade type patterns seem to be the most popular and recently feeler flies have come to the fore. It is always worth a go with a Sun Ray type fly with a long wing whether casting normally in colder conditions to stripping it fast in warmer water. Why not try a Hitch fly in summer low water conditions?


Finally, there has now been a bold change in policy following poor catches so far this season and you are reminded that the Tay's policy from 1stJune until the end of 2018 season is that all salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% catch and release of all salmon caught in this period. salmon are a scarce and precious resource currently. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following this request from our current board. 

When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended. Further information on good catch and release practice.


The Tay Ghillies Association are continuing their popular FISH OF THE MONTH AWARD to encourage good catch and release practice on the Tay. Each month the winner will receive 2 personalised crystal Whisky glasses engraved with details of the catch and they will automatically be entered into the fish of the year competition for a Stylish Crystal Engraved Decanter. Full details of this initiative. 


If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com included in the reports.

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 4th August 2018.

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Tay, Perthshire Salmon fishing report w/e 4th August 2018.

The Tay, Perthshire has seen out July for salmon fishing with disappointing results in recent weeksdue to very hot and bright weather conditions in our current outstanding summer. The hot weather had been making life extremely difficult with water temperatures going over 70F/21C daily however that all changed last week after some heavy rain bringing the river up and dropping the river temperature by around 10F to produce an excellent weeks fishing for most. The current conditions have improved dramatically giving everyone a great chance of landing a “Bar of Silver” and even possibly a fish of a lifetime with some of the multi sea winter fish currently being caught in recent weeks.
Beat catches reported
(week ending 4th August)
SALMON & GRILSE: Almondmouth 12, Waulkmill 8, Lower Redgorton 6, Upper Redgorton 3, Fishponds 2, Benchil 4, Upper Scone 9, Pitlochrie 1, Stobhall 4, Taymount 11, Ballathie 6, Cargill 8, Islamouth 18, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 10, Kercock 10, Murthly 1 2, Murthly 2 8, Dunkeld House 2, Dalmarnock 6, Findynate 1, Loch Tay Fish n' Trips 2, Lochlane and Laggan 1, Ruan Ruarie 1.
Total: 135 Largest: Islamouth 32lbs
SEA TROUT: Waulkmill 1, Lower Redgorton 1, Taymount 2, Meikleour and Upper Islamouth 1, Delvine Burnbane 1, Murthly 1 1, Murthly 2 8, Newtyle 2, Dalmarnock 1.
Total: 18 Largest: Murthly 2 4lbs


Salmon were landed last week in far more favourable conditions with improving numbers after the change in conditions. The numbers were very encouraging with around 130 salmon recorded making it the rivers best week of the season so far signaling a better summer run and improving grilse numbers. The improving conditions also meant some of the resident fish became more active also. The coming week will show how strong a run comes as it will be by far the best conditions we have encountered for weeks. The spring run is a memory, and frustratingly only small runs were coming into the river but with better conditions and a developing summer run with more grilse appearing hopefully that will build, and last but fluctuating weather can make fishing difficult especially in very hot weather. Hopefully there will be a lot more of them to come as we go deeper into the summer period. 

On the Lower river most beats have had far better sport last week. At the bottom of the river Almondmouth, Lower Redgorton and Waulkmill all had fish in reasonable numbers confirming a run entering the river at long last. Almondmouth had 6 on Wednesday and Lower Redgorton and Waulkmill had 14 between them with Ian Muir and Steven Watt landing fish on the fly. Upper Redgorton had 3 in the week and 

Fishponds 2 on Tuesday. Upper Scone had a good week with fish caught on most days caught using various methods. On Benchil fish were caught on fly by Danny Fulton, John Morrison and Jim Ferrie up to 12 pounds. Further upstream Taymount had a good week with 11 and Stobhall managed 4. Ballathie and Cargill had 14 between them with 

Mark Cockburn and Graham Hay being amongst the successful rods on Cargill. Islamouth had a superb week with 18 fish including days of 9 and 6 for Angus Johnsons party plus a superb 32 pounds fish at the end of the week for 

Philip Taylor. 

Upper Islamouth and Meikleour had a much better week with 10 fish which included fish up to 11 pounds for Donald Muir, 

Andrew Sutherland and 

Graeme Colquhoun. 

The Middle river had a much better week with the rain coming at long last. Kercock had a good week with 10 fish up to 18 pounds and the Murthly beats produced 10 between them up to 15 pounds. 

Dunkeld House had a couple up to 14 pounds with the fresh water encouraging some of the older fish to take. Dalmarnock reported 6 fish for the week. 

The Upper river had one fish reported from Findynate and up on the Loch Fish n’ Trips reported a couple which included a 13 pounds fish for French visitor Frank Maurisson. 

The Tummel is seeing fish continue on their journey now with around 2000 fish through the ladder. Up on the Pitlochry Angling Clubs stretch on the Garry at Ruan Ruarie Paul Carter caught on the fly. Paul also had a fish from the clubs Sawmill stream back on the Tummel at Pitlochry as did Andrew Khakoo. 

The Earn is also seeing a run after the recent rain with Lochlane and Laggane reporting a single fish. 

The past week lived up to expectation after the rain and cooler temperatures greatly improving sport. It will be a defining week for the river in an extremely difficult year so far, so let us hope it continues.  

The Tay is certainly the place to come to for the chance of a fish of a lifetime. The sheer size of the river produces very powerful large salmon and the possibility of a 40 pounds fish must be on the cards now. The food source for Atlantic salmon is moving further away from our shores with sea temperatures rising and salmon are spending longer away in the ocean before they are returning making the possibility of much bigger fish finding its way back. The fish that are being caught now is further evidence of that phenomenon. 

There have been some encouraging signs in the past week or so and the sheer class of the fish caught continues to be outstanding with hopefully a settled river in the coming weeks we should see improved catches with a settled forecast as well.  
The Spring Salmon fishing was slow as we saw out May with the end of that run this year. June had picked up probably due to some fresh water and the emergence of some summer fish a couple of weeks ago, but we now need the current hot weather to break and it has so let us hope that the summer run builds further in the weeks to come. It has been a quiet start but let us hope the season lives up to every one’s expectations over the coming weeks and months and when you visit the Tay you catch a fish of a lifetime. Tight lines!

If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them, please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com to be included in the reports.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 30th July 2018.

Tay Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for Tay, Perthshire w/c 30th July 2018.

The Salmon fishing season has now nearly seen out July on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.  We have been encountering some very hot summer weather with rain seemingly a distant memory until the weekend when the heavens opened. We had trying conditions last week with very low water and a rising river temperature towards the end of the week. The coming week is looking much better with more fresh water and a drop in water temperature. Catches have improved in recent weeks due to cooler weather and a summer run seems to be happening however in lesser numbers giving far more optimism following disappointing catch figures. The Tay has the largest flow of any river in the country and although low, still has enough water to attract fish in. Hopefully the current run will now improve following the rain everyone has been praying for and trigger off some more summer salmon and grilse to run the river. 

On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are in the skies with their young, Ospreys are being seen in numbers, Ducks, Dippers and Sand Martins have broods of young on the river banks and you could see the flash of a Kingfisher if you are lucky, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay and a salmon would be a bonus.

Currently the river is slightly unsettled following the rain but clear. It is at Caputh (9”) and similarly on the lower river (1’ 3”) on the Ballathie gauge.

The Weatheris to settle back down over the coming week with some bright days and some rain on Monday . The warmer temperatures would have encouraged salmon to run the river and get into the upper areas as fish continue to shoot through the ladder at Pitlochry. The river has cooled slightly helping matters with a current river temperature 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius for the start of the week. These are not typical temperatures for this time of year but hopefully rain will cool it further and improve sport. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river. 


As to methods, in settled conditions with the water warming, fishing by any method should be with flies and lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. The recommendations are set out below for different times in the season. Harling is also a favoured method.

Tackle recommendations for fishing the Tay throughout the season.

Fly Rods. 
The Tay is a large river especially when running at a normal level and even in lower levels you are fishing another river within the mighty one so therefore a 15 foot fly rod for a 10 weight line is certainly minimum requirement for much of the season. Do not come under gunned.  In some parts of the river where it is especially wide even longer rods are used. It should be noted however that it is better to cast a shorter controlled line than try to cast out with your capabilities and have the lines end up in a mess and decrease your chances. 


Fly Lines.
In early season when the water is cold you need to cast larger flies and get them deeper in the water to fish them slowly. There is a tremendous choice on the market nowadays which can be quite confusing to many anglers. Any type of Skagit line that can easily cast a 15 foot sinking leader of various depths is a good choice especially to the less experienced. Iflights and a tip of choice attached are another good bet as these lines enable you to cast a longer line than normal with ease. For more experienced anglers, there are a vast array of shooting heads of different sinking abilities available as well. These tactics can be used in late season as well when the water starts to cool down. 
Once the water temperature starts to climb by April then tactics change to mainly floating lines and sink tips with much smaller conventional flies. Again, the choice of lines is incredible from longer belly Spey lines to shooting heads. If you go to shooting heads, then it is important to choose a good shooting backing as line management can be a big issue casting longer lines on a river such as the Tay. 

Spinning Rods.
You should have a minimum of a 10 foot rod for casting baits of 20gm to 60gms. 
Line. 
A main line of 20 pounds in nylon or 30 pounds in braid. You should use a lesser poundage far a cast such as 15 pounds so if you get caught up on the bottom you do not lose a large part of your main line. 
Baits.
Tobies from 18gm upwards. Toby Salmos are very popular in 30gms. Conventional weighted Devon's are good especially in the Spring. Rapalas and Vision 110's are very effective and of course Kynochs are popular for harling. 

What flies should I take?
In early season bigger flies such as Tube Flies, Temple Dogs and Monkey type flies up to 2 inches in body length and larger conventional patterns in 4's and 6's in lower water are required. A point of note is that a lighter Tube such as an aluminium or plastic body is far easier to cast than brass. Current line technology enables you to get these lighter flies to the correct depths. Ask your ghillie for tip advice on the day. 
As river temperatures rise to a more conventional approach then a size range in your box should be from 6 in higher water to 12 in lower water and even smaller on exceptionally low conditions. Cascade type patterns seem to be the most popular and recently feeler flies have come to the fore. It is always worth a go with a Sun Ray type fly with a long wing whether casting normally in colder conditions to stripping it fast in warmer water. Why not try a Hitch fly in summer low water conditions?


Finally, there has now been a bold change in policy following poor catches so far this season and you are reminded that the Tay's policy from 1stJune until the end of 2018 season is that all salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% catch and release of all salmon caught in this period. salmon are a scarce and precious resource currently. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following this request from our current board. 


When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended. Further information on good catch and release practice.


The Tay Ghillies Association are continuing their popular FISH OF THE MONTH AWARD to encourage good catch and release practice on the Tay. Each month the winner will receive 2 personalised crystal Whisky glasses engraved with details of the catch and they will automatically be entered into the fish of the year competition for a Stylish Crystal Engraved Decanter. Full details of this initiative. 


If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on robert.salmonfishing@googlemail.com included in the reports.