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Pitlochry

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Tummel - Pitlochry

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Port-na-Craig Inn & Restaurant
Weather near Pitlochry

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The Port Na Craig Inn and Restaurant in Pitlochry. The restaurant, together with its conservatory offers an intimate place to dine. Our outside seating area set on the banks of the river, are for warm summer nights when al fresco dining is idyllic. The River Tummel is one of the major tributaries of the Tay runs a picturesque 58-mile course from Loch Rannoch to the River Tay in Perthshire, passing through Pitlochry. The upper reaches of the river are the final destination for the salmon that work their way upstream from their Atlantic feeding grounds, which includes navigating the salmon ladder at Pitlochry Dam which is just around the corner from our camera location. It is largely a Victorian town, whose success as a tourist resort was due to Queen Victoria visiting the area in 1842, and the arrival of the railway in 1863. It remains a popular tourist resort today and is particularly known as a centre for hillwalking, surrounded by mountains such as Ben Vrackie and Schiehallion.

Local Sponsors

Port-na-Craig Inn & Restaurant.

Port-na-Craig Inn & Restaurant.

Port-na-Craig, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5ND


The restaurant, together with its conservatory offers an intimate place to dine. Our outside seating area set on the banks of the river, are for warm summer nights when al fresco dining is idyllic.

Website | Email | 01796 472 777

Local Reports

Atlantic Salmon Trust's profile picture

Usan Coastal Nets

added: 2nd Mar 2014

Mixed Stocks Fisheries. The Lairds of our Coast and wild salmon. Breath-taking arrogance, unsustainable, out-of-date, and cause for international censure.

After years of abuse of the netting...

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slap periods, Usan Fisheries have at last been brought to account. To anyone concerned about the state of salmon and sea trout stocks on the east coast of Scotland, they will feel that this legal action is long overdue.

Sailing close to the wind. Did Usan jibe?

It is widely recognised by everyone involved in salmon fishery management that the activities of the Usan Salmon Fishery have at times been somewhat ‘close to the wind’ in terms of the law. The weekly slap times, when nets are by law supposed to be rendered inactive by removing the leaders to the bag nets, are in place to support the conservation of salmon, grilse and sea trout. They are most certainly not regulations for a pick and choose approach by Usan Fisheries, arguably the most destructive mixed stocks fishery remaining in the UK.

The owners of the Usan Salmon Fisheries company now face 12 charges relating to alleged incidents in Angus and Fife during August and September 2013. The locations cited are at Boddin, Dysart, Ethie Haven and Scurdie Ness. If it transpires that their nets were operating in the month of September it will confirm the extraordinary arrogance – some might say the behaviour of people who seem to regard the Scottish coast as their fiefdom, and all salmon as their property – of a fishery which surely is now an anachronism, putting Scotland’s inept management of its wild salmon into international pariah status. The fact is that September is outwith the netting season. Transgression of statutory season closures is surely tantamount to poaching?

Of the twelve charges, five are related to netting salmon every weeekend in August from 1800 on Fridays to 0600 on Mondays, all outwith the statutory weekly close time for net fisheries.

All this may seem petty and somewhat arcane to anyone unfamiliar with the operations of Usan Salmon Fisheries. This company, which has long received political and moral support from government and funding from the EU, takes salmon in unknown numbers from most, if not all, east coast salmon rivers. No-one knows which populations of fish are being exploited, some of which may be in a fragile condition (as is the case with the government’s own assessment of South Esk spring salmon). The activities of Usan Salmon Fisheries make it impossible for fishery managers on all affected rivers to assess the condition of their salmon stocks.

The existence of that mixed stocks net fishery is simply bad fishery management, and it is time to take full control of their exploitation. If it is found that they have been flouting the law, notwithstanding health and safety considerations, it will become absolutely clear that they cannot be trusted to manage their operations within the law. Appropriate measures to curb their activities, on conservation grounds alone, must surely follow?

And I haven’t even touched on the immense damage being done by one small family business to the rural economy and communities from Fife to Inverness!

TA

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Atlantic Salmon Trust's profile picture

AST/IBIS Stocking Conference

added: 1st Dec 2013

The role of the AST blog is to give comments on or flavour to AST's activities. I hope our readers will appreciate that its purpose is only to give brief descriptive overview of the stocking conference,...

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which ended last Thursday, and that full details will emerge later.

The proceedings of the conference will of course be posted on the AST website in due course. In the meantime the job of this blog is to give our readers a flavour of what took place. I find it instructive that the event was oversubscribed. The fact that so many people wanted to attend the conference says something about how we should engage with people in the world of salmon management. It suggests, for example, that people with an interest in salmon who are very often not scientists, need to receive information in clear, plain English, and not in the sometimes obscure language of the scientist. Perhaps, more importantly, it suggests that by declaring that we are ready to listen to all points of view, to avoid being prescriptive or proscriptive, we can open up a good natured debate, however different views may be.

I think it is also important that there is clarity in distinguishing between the role of the scientist, whose job is to advise on the basis of available facts, and the manager, whose task is to make decisions taking into account all the aspects and needs of the fishery. The two roles are separate and distinct.

[b]IBIS - Integrated Aquatic Resources Management Between Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland[b/] - an EU initiative, provided the funding for this event and it was because IBIS covered all the conference costs that numbers were limited. While it was certainly a pity that we didn't bring in everyone who wanted to attend we did have an exceptionally knowledgeableand broadly based audience. In terms of who the conference attracted, it really could not have been better; 150 practitioners, anglers, scientists and managers gathered together to debate this contentious subject. Our congratulations and thanks go to our IBIS partners for excellent organisation and a successful conference.

[b]Stocking as an instrument of salmon fishery management[b/] has for many years been a matter of contention between those who advocate its use as an immediate reaction to counter perceived reduction in numbers of fish, to those who see its use as an action of last resort. The debate has become polarised. One of the objectives of the conference was to remove that polarity in views by dealing with the issue objectively.

The key questions that emerged from the debate were; [b]"What is the purpose of your stocking project? What outcomes do you want/expect, and how are you going to know whether you have achieved them?[b/]

Those questions were dealt with effectively over the course of the two days. While I have no doubt that there are some people who arrived at the conference as advocates of stocking as the first 'go-to' instrument of management, it is fair to claim that the debate gave recognition to all views on the basis that in each case the desired outcome of the stocking action was clearly stated. The antithesis was inferred - that without clarity of desired outcome there can be no place for stocking as a rational instrument of management.

[b]An excellent example is the SAC (Special Area of Conservation)[b/] catchment where natural biodiversity is the stated outcome. The conference agreed that in all SAC salmon rivers there should be a presumption against stocking. In other words, in those rivers, because the objective is natural biodiversity, there should be no human intervention that in any way interferes with the natural process of smolt recruitment.

On the other hand, where the manager's desired outcome is a profitable recreational fishery, and in circumstances where the capacity of that fishery to recruit sufficient naturally recruited smolts is impaired, it may be necessary to introduce stocking as a means of boosting numbers. Examples such as the Ranga in Iceland and the Lochy in Scotland were cited as rivers where for specific reasons - poor spawning and juvenile habitat on the Ranga and impacts of salmon farming on the Lochy - it is expedient and effective to boost salmon numbers artificially, despite the costs of so doing.

The conference achieved a consensus that, provided the manager is clear about why he is taking action and what outcome he wants, stocking does have a place in a toolkit of intervention instruments available to him. Underpinning and informing the moment of decision is the absolute necessity of the fishery manager to understand his stock, in terms of structure, quality (of the individual fish) and numbers. The example of the Moy catchment in Ireland, that supports populations of salmon with different run timings and destinations within the catchment, made the point that stock structures can be complex and require sensitive treatment. The underpinning aspect of stock definition is of course genetics, and that there is some way to go before genetic differentiation between populations within a river's stock will be extensively available.

If there was a simple message for the fishery manager, dealing with a complex issue, it was "If you think you have a problem with your river's salmon stock, pause and think hard before you take action". The 'thinking' requires knowledge of the stock, an understanding of the perceived problem, evaluation of available options and a clear statement of desired outcomes. That considered approach should encourage managers to make the right decision.

I feel the conference did much to clear the air. It certainly seemed to erode a few prejudices! Speaking for myself, it also cleared my head on a few issues!

Tony Andrews

AST 1 December 2013

Robert  White's profile picture

Tay report for W/E 26th Oct 2013.

added: 28th Oct 2013

The conditions on the Tay in Perthshire, Scotland were not good this past week with very heavy rain and very high water but catches were still achieved throughout the week but it must be said it has not...

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been easy for many beats on the Tay. Hopefully a distinct autumnal feel and more settled weather for the last 4 days of the season will give us the conditions to encourage better sport on this marvelous river and spread it throughout the whole river. The fresh water will hopefully encourage a good run of fresher salmon to benefit all.

Autumn is here with more water and better conditions this week hopefully to improve sport as has proved this season so far with some outstanding catches and numerous spring salmon registered in the Tay system above expectation, a few areas have had great summer and autumn catches so far due to excessive low water. Let us hope the sport can be maintained for the last 4 days of the season then it will go out with a positive note. The Tay is currently fishing reasonably well with slowly improving conditions after low warm water; salmon run this mighty river every day of the year due to its vast volume of water and is certainly a good destination to catch a 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 have now risen and temperatures dropped to hopefully 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. Currently the autumn colours on the trees are a sight to behold especially when you get a bit of sun. The Ospreys are long gone south but the Geese are arriving from the north and you could see an Otter or a Kingfisher darting past while you are in mid cast! It is true what they say, “ a salmon is a bonus!”

Beat catches reported

(week ending 26th October)

SALMON & GRILSE: Almondmouth 25, Waulkmill 9, Lower Redgorton 13, Luncarty Summer and Autumn 5, Catholes Summer and Autumn 1, Upper Redgorton 12, Fishponds 9, Benchil and Pitlochrie 11, Upper Scone 7, Catholes 2, Burnmouth 1, Stobhall 3, Taymount 13, Ballathie 18, Cargill 25, Islamouth 9, Lower and Upper Islamouth 5, Upper Islamouth and Meikleour House 6, Meikleour House 7, Kercock 8, Murthly 1 17, Murthly 2 17, Newtyle 4, Dunkeld House 6, Dalmarnock 10, Dalguise 8, Upper Aberuthven 2.

Total: 253 Largest: Kercock 45lbs

SEA TROUT: Waulkmill 2, Upper Redgorton 2, Upper Aberuthven 3, Lower Aberuthven 3.

Total: 10 Largest: Upper Aberuthven & Lower Aberuthven 3lbs

Salmon have been caught throughout the system this past week including some autumn monsters encouraging everyone after rain and cooler temperatures.

The Lower River caught approximately 170 salmon for the week. The conditions over the last week made catches hard earned. Despite the water coming up Ballathie and Cargill still faired well during the week landing several salmon. Taymount and Stobhall also did well with Taymount adding to their excellent catch for the year. At Stanley Tim Greenfield’s party enjoyed reasonable success. Charles Savage landed a couple of sea liced fish in his visit. Guy Smedley landed his first ever salmon and Tim Greenfield caught a fish at 17 pounds. On Saturday Mr and Mrs Bailie enjoyed success on the Pitlochrie beat landing a fish a piece. Upper Redgorton caught salmon up to 27 pounds with Bob Brittain and Steve Walker enjoying success. On Fishponds the Stormonts had enjoyable fishing under the guidance of Ian Kirk. Mrs Braithwaite-Exley caught a lovely fresh 10 pounds fish and Louisa Stormont caught her first ever salmon weighing 14 pounds. Lower Redgorton and Waulkmill had good catches on some days and Almondmouth did well with a Sweedish party fairing well at the end of the week catching several salmon on the fly. The Stormont Angling Club continued to have success landing mostly fresh salmon being on the tidal limit.

On the Middle River around 77 salmon were registered and some good fresh salmon have been caught as well including fish up to over 30 pounds. This was the Dalguise report for the week made by Ghillie Stan Pelc. “The week started with rising water on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then more settled during Thursday and Friday and rising again on Saturday. The high water brought with it a lot of debris, including those dreaded autumnal leaves. Never the less, the hard effort paid off with a cracking 14lb fresh hen caught by Mike Stanners, Thursday it was Toni Kakkuri from Finland lands a 7lb coloured cock fish, Friday brings 2 fish a 18lb coloured cock fish caught by Stephen Bett and an 8lb coloured hen caught by Steven Coll. Saturday was the most productive day, with 4 fish landed. Andy Kerr does it again, with fish of 16lb and 14lb caught in the morning from the Guay Pool, this was followed up by Simon Rutherford landing an 8lb hen, again from the Guay Pool. To round of the week, Dalguise Fishings photographer Chris Plank lands a cracking coloured cock fish of 20lb in the Bridge Pool. While out and about this week I certainly saw plenty of fish throughout the beat, both coloured and some very fresh fish that looked as if they were running hard.” Thanks Stan. Dalmarnock enjoyed a good week with salmon caught up to 27 pounds. Belgium visitors caught their first ever salmon. Alan Dorrian caught 2 in a day and Jim Fisher landed a 14 pounds fish on the fly. On Dunkeld fish were landed up to 22 pounds including some fresh ones. Ian Strachan caught on the fly from the Ivy Tree pool. Adrian Parr caught a lovely fresh fish in the same pool with Neil Turner landing a 21 pounds in the same area. Newtyle caught their share as well during the week. The Murthly beats also faired well having some notable days for the time of year. On Kercock Gary Harkin reported, “eight for the week, Mr Robin Batchelor had a 15lbs fish, Duncan Cambell had one at 17lbs, Dougie Mclean 22lbs, Scott Ramage, Mark Thomson also caught and the high light of the week was Kenny Milne Jnr catching a 45lb fish.”

The Upper River is now closed.

The Tummel system is closed.

The Isla is closed.

The Earn registered 2 salmon from Aberuthven.

It was certainly a hard week for most with difficult conditions and reasonable catches on some beats, the river must hope for settled conditions to encourage salmon to run over the last few days and spread throughout the entire system. Please maintain the Catch and Release code for the river to protect our sport for the future.

Robert  White's profile picture

Prospects for w/c 28th Oct on Tay 2013.

added: 28th Oct 2013

The Tay in Perthshire, Scotland has autumnal conditions with at last more rain and consistent high water, dare I say too much water now! Catches have remained steady but generally everyone has had to work...

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very hard to gain results. The weather has been extremely unsettled but hopefully will calm down for the last 4 days of the season and draw in a better run of fresher autumn salmon. The catches have spread maintaining sport in the river.

Currently the river is high but should start falling back after heavy rain on Saturday (approximately 6’ on the Ballathie gauge on Sunday). The weather has been colder with fresh water making the river temperature fall back to 50F or 10C at the end of the week. More water should help to maintain the chance of producing some better sport for everyone and improve catches further this coming week.

The weather is looking a lot more settled over the coming few days. Hopefully we will get a settled water and good height to hopefully encourage more salmon to run up the river in larger numbers as we enter the last 4 days on the 2013 season. Salmon were running last week but not in the numbers expected for the time of year. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river with improving conditions.

As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should enable you to catch the elusive Tay Salmon. The water temperature is cooling making floating lines with the addition of a sink tip being a favoured tactic and using normal dressed flies. It is also worth a go with sinking lines with cooling conditions depending on water heights and trying some larger flies. When spinning, Tay favourites include Toby Salmos, weighted and floating devons, flying C’s and Visons or Rapalas. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year on many beats.

Finally you are reminded that the Tay's catch and release policy for 2013.

Extension Period 16th to 31st October- ALL SALMON TO BE RETURNED.

Please adhere to these recommendations and help preserve the long term future of the river and your sport the recommendations. We have had a superb run and catch this season, which may just be down to the majority of anglers returning salmon over the past 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!

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.

Atlantic Salmon Trust's profile picture

Mixed stocks netting

added: 19th Oct 2013

Scottish east coast Salmon and the Usan Mixed Stocks Fishery

A mixed stocks fishery confirmed

Marine Scotland’s South Esk Tracking Project is designed to find out where the River’s...

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early running salmon go within the South Esk catchment to breed. Following identification of spawning and juvenile habitats locations it is hoped that an assessment of the physical condition of the river in those places will lead to targeted improvements. To some extent at the end of year 2 (of 3) we can say that objective is being met, although sample numbers are very low.

It is no surprise to learn from the MS tracking project that Usan nets are killing spring salmon from many, if not all east coast rivers. With proof that the Spey is also impacted by the activities of the Montrose-based nets it is now established that the Rivers Spey, Don, Dee, North Esk, South Esk and Tay are affected. It is not unreasonable to assume that the Earn, Deveron, Ythan, Uigie and Findhorn may also be included in the list, not to mention the smaller rivers – The Rivers in Between - such as rivers Bervie, Cowie, Lunan, Eden, about which I wrote recently.

All Scotland’s east coast rivers are affected.

In other words, all the main North East salmon rivers – the jewels in the crown of Scottish wild spring salmon – are being impacted by the activities of one small operation near Montrose. That is a high price to pay for the part-time jobs of a small family business. It is not fanciful to claim that Usan Fisheries Ltd is holding the survival our national reserve of these iconic spring fish to ransom, apparently supported by our government. Why?

Disagreement on the ‘natural capital’ value of wild salmon.

Conflict between conservation & mixed stocks exploitation.

There has been a lot of talk over the years about the effects of exploitation of both Atlantic salmon and sea trout by the coastal nets sited South of Montrose. Quite a lot of what has been said has been speculative and sometimes exaggerated, but no-one can deny that feelings on the subject have been running high on both sides of the debate. An early casualty of emotional arguments is truth, and the Usan nets issue is no exception.

It is unfortunate that during their fishing season the nets have first opportunity to kill incoming salmon and sea trout migrations. Imagine a situation where nets and rods had equal and simultaneous access to the fish. In that scenario there’s not much doubt that agreement would have been reached long ago on how to share the ‘harvest’. Sadly it doesn’t work like that.

Every returning adult salmon is a survivor

After their long migration salmon arrive off the Scottish east coast. Swimming close to the shore, many become enmeshed in carefully sited coastal nets. These fish, so close to their destination, are survivors of about 95% marine mortality between their departure as smolts from fresh water to their return as adult fish. All netted fish are of course killed as they are brought into the boat. Those that avoid the nets might then enter their river of choice. Alternatively they might move on up or down the coast; or, especially if river levels are low and there is only a weak chemical signal inviting them into fresh water, they may just hang around close to estuaries, remaining vulnerable repeatedly to being netted.

Before any fish can enter the river, they therefore have to run the gauntlet at least once as they either caught in the nets, or bypass them. All this happens before a single angler has seen, let alone caught, even one fish.

Perceptions among fishery managers and anglers are that the high-value visiting angler only gets to fish for what the nets have failed to catch. It is the resulting sense of unfairness – crumbs from the laird’s table as it were - among anglers that fuels the argument between netting and fishery management. Isn’t it an irony that those who defend the rights of the netsmen often do so on the grounds of wealth and class? That over-used argument tells us that salmon anglers are wealthy leisure seekers – while the owners of netting interests feast sumptuously off profits from killing survivors of returning migrations of salmon.

The modern angler is more environmentally sensitive than their predecessors were even ten years ago. During the main part of the season they are left to fish for what is left behind by the nets. Moreover, the number of fish killed has decreased through catch & release (70%+). Meanwhile there has been no move towards quotas or increasing the nets slap times. On the contrary, weekend slap times are routinely ignored, more coastal netting stations are being reopened, more salmon killed and financial incentives and support is offered by the Scottish Government and European Commission to the netsmen.

Who are the beneficiaries?

Local communities?

The local economy?

Who benefits from the nets?

Who benefits from the visiting angler?

Where is the sense in all this?

What is significant in biodiversity terms about ‘mixed stocks’ exploitation?

Salmon, and perhaps to a lesser extent sea trout, tend to be ‘loyal’ to their rivers of birth. I say “tend” only because there are many examples of salmon straying. How else could salmon in the River Mersey have re-colonised a river that was to all intents and purposes dead as a result of industrial pollution? There are also many examples of ‘hatchery stocking’ using ova or fry from other rivers, or of fish ‘going up the wrong river’, or changing their minds having entered one river only to go to another one to spawn.

The 'core stock' of a river, with its unique DNA signature(s) is pretty robust, having withstood challenges from straying salmon with different genetic make-ups for millennia. Unless the core stock is swamped, as has happened in rivers where farmed salmon in unprecedented numbers have interbred with the wild fish stock, the genetic integrity of the salmon ‘belonging’ to a river is likely to survive. Intermittent hatchery stocking or salmon straying naturally from other rivers are unlikely to damage the core stock. On the contrary, they may even strengthen it, in much the same way as antibodies strengthen resistance to disease. Of course there are other examples, especially in USA and Canada, where huge dams have eradicated the stock, and the genetic signature of that river is gone forever. That is a tragedy because those genetics have evolved over centuries in response to the physical, geological, chemical and biological characteristics of the river. We must therefore make every effort to preserve the signature DNA of all our rivers where irreparable damage hasn’t already been done.

We should recognise the value of natural biodiversity as the fruit of evolution in the context of every ecosystem. Therefore we shouldn’t be misled into thinking that the tendency of wild Atlantic salmon to stray to other rivers conflicts with the genetic predisposition of nearly every fish of a particular river to return to its home waters to breed. Nothing is so jet black or marble white in the natural world. That genetic preference is part of the DNA makeup of wild Atlantic salmon. In situations, such as the South Esk, where populations of fish within the overall stock of the river can we think be distinguished from each other by their genetic differences, together they define the structure of the river’s stock that has evolved since the last ice age. Scientists and managers are continuing to fill in the detail of genetic attribution maps.

As things stand there is a varied picture of genetic description of stocks and their populations in the NE Atlantic bioregion, ranging from tributary-specific attributions to broad-brush regional ones. Over time, like the detail of a landscape painting being added after the structure of the painting’s composition, the detail will describe with some accuracy which genetic groups of fish belong to which rivers. It is work in progress.

The impossibility of effective fishery management.

Growing awareness of the importance of gene types should persuade us to take special care of rivers where we suspect that some populations, or even the whole stock, may be in a fragile condition. Fishery managers try to use the precautionary principle as a safety net to justify making timely interventions to protect threatened groups of fish. Unfortunately it is not possible to protect any population in any Scottish east coast river while mixed stocks coastal netting as practised by Usan Fisheries continues. The existence of an interceptive fishery that kills salmon indiscriminately from six identified rivers, and almost certainly many others, prevents effective management taking place in any of them.

What does the term “sustainable” mean in this context? It is a situation apparently summarised by the politically motivated thought, “the rod fishery will have to be managed with the Usan fishery continuing its lethal exploitation of unknown stocks”. In fact it is impossible for fishery managers to take effective decisions to protect stocks while that mixed stocks fishery exists. You would have thought that, while genetic mapping continues to fill in the detail of populations attributable to rivers, at least a pause would be called on killing fish from stocks where there is a degree of concern that some populations may be fragile (or in technical parlance, ‘below conservation levels’). That pause should include both rods and nets i.e. no killing at all. If Catch and Release is shown to be politically unacceptable in terms of perceived equity and fairness, then both fisheries - rods and nets - should be closed. After all, the priority is to conserve the fish, not the people that exploit them!

TA

Robert  White's profile picture

Tay report for W/E 5th Oct 2013.

added: 7th Oct 2013

The conditions on the Tay in Perthshire, Scotland changed this past week yet again with continued warmer water temperatures and at last a small spate spicing the river up for some but it must be said it...

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has not been easy for many beats on the Tay. The Indian summer weather continued this past week along with a 4-foot spate, which has now receded giving us more water settling back to a good height. Hopefully a distinct autumnal feel and a more settled weather pattern giving us colder nights and more rain will continue to encourage better sport on this marvelous river and spread it throughout the whole river. Most people are still looking for even more water to encourage a good run of fresher salmon to benefit all.

Autumn is here with hopefully cooler river temperatures and some rain making settled conditions to improve sport as has proved this season so far with some outstanding catches and numerous spring salmon registered in the Tay system above expectation, a few areas have had great summer and autumn catches so far due to excessive low water. Let us hope the sport can be maintained for the remainder of the season then it will certainly be one to remember in years to come. The Tay is currently fishing reasonably well with improving conditions after low warm water; salmon run this mighty river every day of the year due to its vast volume of water and is certainly a good destination to catch a salmon. Cooler temperatures and limited rain has spiced up the river and helped encourage some salmon to run, however it must be said everyone has to work extremely hard to gain results under the current conditions. The salmon gods are hopefully going to bless us with more rain and an improved run of autumn salmon over the next few weeks. 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 have now risen and temperatures dropped to hopefully 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. Currently the nature along the river is tremendous with numerous wild flowers. The Ospreys have now gone south but the Geese should be arriving from the north and you could see an Otter or a Kingfisher darting past while you are in mid cast! It is true what they say, “ a salmon is a bonus!”

Beat catches reported

(week ending 5th October)

SALMON & GRILSE: Almondmouth 61, Waulkmill 23, Lower Redgorton 30, Luncarty Summer and Autumn 9, Catholes Summer and Autumn 6, Upper Redgorton 11, Fishponds 13, Benchil and Pitlochrie 10, Upper Scone 14, Catholes 1, Burnmouth 1, Stobhall 18, Taymount 34, Ballathie 38, Cargill 57, Islamouth 9, Lower and Upper Islamouth 17, Upper Islamouth and Meikleour House 4, Meikleour House 10, Kercock 13, Murthly 2 14, Newtyle 4, Dunkeld House 10, Dalmarnock 2, Dalguise 6, Lower Kinnaird 5, Upper Kinnaird 1, Farleyer Upper 1, Farleyer Lower 7, Loch Faskally 1, Ruan Ruarie 1.

Total: 431 Largest: Lower and Upper Islamouth 30lbs

SEA TROUT: Waulkmill 2, Lower Redgorton 3, Murthly 2 2.

Total: 7 Largest: Lower Redgorton 4lbs

Salmon have been caught throughout the system this past week including some superb fish from 30 pounds in weight encouraging everyone after some heavy rain and more water but cooler temperatures would make it better.

The Lower River caught approximately 350 salmon for the week. Islamouth had a reasonable week catching on most days. There was a superb 30 pounds salmon caught by Brian McIntosh on Monday from the boat at the Ringstone, which could be a Malloch Trophy contender for the Tay. Ballathie and Cargill had another outstanding week with 95 salmon between them including fish into the lower twenty pounds in weight. Taymout and Stobhall had over 50 salmon for the week. The Stanley beats struggled again with limited runs going through the river however still reported success. Peter Foster’s party worked hard for success with Peter himself landing a good 13 pounds salmon from the Little Shot on Benchil. Trevor McCann caught a lovely fresh salmon fishing the fly in the Todd Holes as did Peter Varney in the Long Shot. Other successes included Mick Beham, Dave Brown and Henry Downes catching his first ever salmon. Upper Scone faired reasonably well. Upper Redgortons high point in the week was Roddy McKay catching an estimated 28 pounds fresh salmon from Burhaugh on the fly. On Fishponds Mike Guild and Mark Lacey were amongst the successful rods catching fish up to 16 pounds. Luncarty at last benefited from improving water heights with 8 salmon landed on Saturday. C Proven landed 5 salmon for his day up to 16 pounds with Gerard Kelly and Archie Peddie also catching. Lower Redgorton and Waulkmill are starting fair better with improved catches as fresh salmon start to run more. On lower Redgorton James Mckay had success and John McElroy landed a super 23 pounds sea liced salmon with the aid of Alum Williams. Almondmouth had another good week with over 60 salmon. The Stormont Angling club is also fishing well due to the river conditions.

On the Middle River 69 salmon were registered after improved water levels spiced the river up. Lower Kinnaird reported success from a party from Coventry. Dalguise had a quiet week until Saturday with a “5 Star” day, with a hat trick for Dalguise regular Andy Kerr. The first fish was a 17 pounds cock “Bar of Silver” hooked on a Size 6 Cascade fished on a sinking tip in the Guay Pool. Andy’s second came from the Guay Pool Flats, another “Bar of Silver”, a hen this time weighing in at 10 pounds, same method but on a Size 8 GP variant, the GP variant finished off the day with a cracking 13 pounder, a real solid / chunky fish, caught down at Calum’s Corner. Paul Stephenson hooked and landed a 10 pounder in the Bridge Pool on a Salmo and lost another, with John Stephenson making it a “Stephenson” double with a 6 pounder, caught at the Tail of the Bridge Pool on a Salmo as well. Great stuff Stan, many thanks. Dunkeld House have now captured 200 salmon for the season with Willie Cumming receiving the award with a 12 pounds fish from the Chestnut pool. Other successful anglers included Robert Harvey and Jamie Cumming. Earlier in the week Stuart Oglesby caught 2 fish up to 16 pounds from the Ivy Tree pool as the river rose rapidly. On Newtyle Italian Marco Rebora caught a memorable 17 pounds fish on his first visit to the Tay. Murthly 2 had a good week with several salmon including a 25 pounds fish on Saturday. Kercock had a good start to the month with Jon Blumb catching a 12 pounds salmon in the morning then going on the complete a MacNab on the Glenprosen Estate. Other successful rods included Jim Lamb and Roy McKeracher.

The Upper reaches are now struggling for salmon after prolonged low water levels. The Upper River registered 9 salmon last week from Farleyer beats and Upper Kinnaird.

The Tummel system registered 2 salmon from Loch Faskally and Ruan Ruarie. This was a report from the Pitlochrie angling club. A lift in water height and the Tummel is back in business. On Friday morning Calum Mc Roberts had two fish in Sawmill at 4lb and 16lbs on a Payo 110. Calum followed this up on Saturday with a fairly fresh fish of 9lb caught on a No 3 Mepps at Ruan Ruarie fishings on the Garry. Not to be outdone Gordon Nichol also had two on Saturday at 4lb and 5lb from Sawmill on a Sunrise Shrimp. This is another shrimp pattern using mainly yellow & orange combination ( Thorsten Struben ). Well done lads. This has been another great season on Tummel on all beats. Just heard of a reported fish of over 20lb to Matt Mitchell fishing West Haugh on Friday on fly. Many thanks. Salmon are still running through the Dam in numbers. Currently there is now over 5800 salmon through the ladder, which is now a good increase on last year.

The Isla registered 0 salmon. The Earn registered 0 salmon. On the Ericht Veronika Piech from Austria caught her first salmon, a grilse of about 3 pounds, after only fishing for two hours with guide Dougy Morison of Kinnear Fishing on the river. The much needed rain has encouraged a good run of fish into the river but they are still playing pretty hard to catch - this should change when the water settles.

It was certainly a hard week with good conditions and a reasonable catch, the river must hope for yet more rain with lower river temperatures to encourage salmon to run over the coming weeks and spread throughout the entire system. Please maintain the Catch and Release code for the river to protect our sport for the future.

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Prospects for w/c 7th Oct on Tay 2013.

added: 7th Oct 2013

The Tay in Perthshire, Scotland has autumnal conditions with some rain and still relatively high temperatures for the time of year. Catches improved last week due to small spate that freshened the river...

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up. There was around 4 feet of extra water increasing expectation but generally everyone has to work very hard to gain results. The weather is more autumnal, lower river temperatures and more rain would help for this coming week, which could continue to improve fishing further and draw in a better run of autumn salmon. The catches have spread maintaining sport in the river but continued cooler weather and a large spate would boost it further and help to encourage more fresh fish to run into the river to sustain sport.

Currently the river is steady and falling back after the small spate (approximately 2’9 on the Ballathie gauge on Sunday). The weather has been warmer again making the river temperature rise back to 55F or 12.5C at the end of the week. Warmer conditions seemed to have effected catches therefore cooler conditions should help to maintain the chance of producing some better sport for everyone and improve catches further this coming week.

The weather is looking cooler and settled this coming week with a chance of frosts at night. Hopefully we will get more rain to maintain a reasonable height for the time of year. Rainfall will cool the water and hopefully encourage more salmon to run up the river in larger numbers as we enter October. It seems unbelievable that the river has not had a proper spate since May. Salmon were running last week but not in the numbers expected for the time of year and further cooling temperatures on all fronts this coming week will encourage more fish to run and fill everyone with enthusiasm for supreme sport to come. Hopefully there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river if that temperature comes back a bit.

As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method should enable you to catch the elusive Tay Salmon. The water temperature is cooling making floating lines with the addition of a sink tip being a favoured tactic and using normal dressed flies. It is still worth a go with sinking lines as well depending on water heights and stripping a Sun Ray Shadow is always worth a go. Summer conditions also enable you to try a riffled hitch, which can be very exciting. When spinning, Tay favourites include Toby Salmos, weighted and floating devons, flying C’s and Visons or Rapalas. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year on many beats.

Finally you are reminded that the Tay's catch and release policy for 2013.

From 1 June to end of Season:

• All hen fish of any size and all cock fish over 10 pounds should be released.

• All coloured and gravid fish to be released.

• No more than one clean fish weighing, where possible, less than 10 pounds should be retained per angler per day.

• Anglers should not use worms in September or October in any part of the district.

Worming in June, July and August

Please adhere to these recommendations and help preserve the long term future of the river and your sport the recommendations. We have had a superb run and catch this season, which may just be down to the majority of anglers returning salmon over the past 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!

When releasing salmon especially in warmer conditions 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.