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(Last updated: Tuesday 10th October)
Salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire has seen out September with changeable autumnal conditions for fishing in now slightly colder weather and reasonable water levels from rain at times plus catches are
steady with autumn arriving. The temperatures have started to drop making the resident salmon more aggressive, a few more fresh fish are being seen, expectation and optimism are still high on the river with
summer fast disappearing and autumn arriving to give everyone a chance of landing a good Tay salmon before the season ends.
On the nature front as autumn arrives the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows have departed quickly, the Ospreys have already gone for warmer climes, Ducks have their broods of young growing up steadily and Kingfishers dart past on the river banks. Recent days have seen the first Geese arriving. Odd wild flowers are still in bloom, the autumn colours are now showing, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay where a salmon is now a bonus.
July was the rivers best month so far for fresh fish running and August was steady with more salmon landed in warmer weather and river conditions have improved as the weeks have gone with plenty of fresh water. Settling river levels after rain recently and water temperatures dropping should hopefully continue to improve catches with autumn now well underway and a few more fresh fish being seen as the last week of the season gets underway. Recent rain has helped to spice things up. It was another reasonable week despite fairly unsettled conditions with around 140 fish landed and the biggest one recorded was 25 pounds from Murthly 2. Spring is now a distant memory for 2017 and Summer has disappeared as we move deep into Autumn. Some of the fish that have been caught are memorable as typical Tay specimens due to their size and depth with only a few grilse caught so far. Hopefully there will be a good last week of the season.
This past week again saw more fish from the lower river scattered throughout the beats with a spread in catches mainly due to water temperatures dropping and resident fish becoming more aggressive. The beats at Stanley and below are seeing sport and the rise in water levels in recent times may just have spiced things up by encouraging salmon into the river. The very lower part of the river is producing consistent catches with Almondmouth, Waulkmill and Lower Redgorton all catching in the week but in disappointing numbers for the time of year. The beats further up are not fairing any better but improved slightly last week as everyone hopes for some form of autumn run. Upper Redgorton produced 5 fish last week for a Swiss party of keen fishers. At Stanley the Upper Scone rods finished with 5 meanwhile the Foster party had fish from Benchil and Pitlochrie which included a first ever fish for Louise Foster from the Long Shot at Benchil. Mick Beham caught 3 in the week and Peter Varney landed the largest fish weighing in at 16 pounds. Stobhall and Taymount had 19 between them and Ballathie had 4. Cargill ended up with 14 salmon up to 21 pounds in weight. Jim Connel, Neil French, David Sands, Mike Howells and Kevin Gibson all featured in the catches. Islamouth had 7 as did Upper Islamouth and Meikleour where the Taylor party had a good day landing 4 fish on Friday, Nick Bell and Colin Watts both landed their first ever fish and Tony Taylor and Simon Graydon weighed in with fish up to 9 pounds as well.
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The middle river continues to be extremely disappointing despite dropping river temperatures and more water not producing good sport however there have been odd exceptions. Fish came from Kercock, Murthly,
Glendelvine, Newtyle, Dalmarnock and the Kinnaird beats but in small numbers for the time of year. There was a lovely fresh fish caught by Jenny Alton on Kercock. The Scruton party fished hard on Murthly 1 but
had only 1 fish to show for their efforts meanwhile Murthly 2 produced a 25 pounds fish in the week.
The upper river was seeing steady sport with fish recently caught and reported last week at Edradynate. Further fish were reported from the Dochart at Strathfillan.
The Tummel has been quiet from the Port-na-Craig beat administered by Pitlochry Angling Club but there are now well over 4000 fish through the Dam resulting in fish being recorded in Loch Faskally and a fish caught further up the system at Ruan Ruarie
The Isla are seeing salmon run up the river and progressing to the Ericht. 2 came off Keithick Mains.
The Earn has seen a run of salmon and sea trout progress up the river with a good few fish caught in the system over recent weeks and reported fish from Lochlane and Laggan.
The current week has got off to a quiet start but hopefully that will pick up as the week goes on.
The Salmon fishing season is in its last week now with Autumn here. It had been a difficult season but there have still been quite a few memorable fish caught. Let us hope the last few days go out with a bang. Tight lines!