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(Last updated: Tuesday 15th August)
Salmon fishing on the Tay in Perthshire is in early August with changeable summer conditions for fishing in warm weather and reasonable water levels from rain at times plus catches are steady after a slow start
to the season with a summer run now in progress and hopefully an autumn one to follow. Expectation and optimism are high on the river with summer slowly disappearing and autumn arriving to give everyone a chance
of landing a "Bar of Silver".
On the nature front the Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows are all over the skies, Ospreys are being seen, Ducks have broods of young, Sand Pipers are on the river banks and Kingfishers dart past. Many wild flowers are in bloom but a good few are now past their best for another year, it is truly magical to be salmon fishing in Perthshire on the banks of the silvery Tay.
July was the rivers best month so far 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 should hopefully continue to improve catches over the next few weeks with a summer run now well in progress. The lack of rain had dropped the river to summer levels however salmon are still running due to the Tay's sheer size as you fish another river within it. Recent rain has helped to spice things up. It was a consistent week with around 140 fish landed and the biggest one recorded was 23 pounds from Benchil on the fly. Spring is now distant memory for 2017 with hopefully a healthy summer run continuing to build in the coming weeks as we move nearer to 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 lot more of them to come as the run develops further.
This past week again saw fish from the lower river scattered throughout the beats with a spread in catches. The beats at Stanley and below are seeing better sport and the rise in water levels in recent times may just have spiced things up by encouraging summer salmon and sea trout into the river. The very lower part of the river is now producing consistent catches with Almondmouth, Waulkmill and lower Redgorton all catching in the week but in low numbers which hopefully will change in the weeks to come to signal the start of an Autumn run. Benchil has been fishing well with Upper Scone rods producing good fish up to 18 pounds on fly and spinner. Stanley also had 5 from the beat in the week mostly on fly up to 23 pounds. Anne Emsens started the week off with a fine 12 pounds fresh fish from the Long Shot casting the fly from the boat. David Martin continued that with a similar fish from the White Craigs and then 2 superb fish fell to Ian Muir and Chris Wall on Friday weighing 16 and 23 pounds respectively again on fly cast from the boats. Benchil has fished well this summer with outstanding fly fishing over several weeks. Stobhall had a good week for the Hart party with 23. Ballathie and Cargill continue to be consistent with 24 between them. Cargill had a steady week with the fly proving the popular method of success. Andrew Martin had his first ever fish from the Tay, Ian Muir caught on fly and Graham Raffan landed a couple. Later in the week apprentice ghillie Dyllan Dunbar had success and other fish were landed. Islamouth had 11 in the week with John McElroy's party having a reasonable 3 days earlier in the week. Upper Islamouth and Meikleour managed 4 for the week with Simon Littlejohn landing a grilse on the fly then American visitors Matt Kreminski, Jason Tuthill and Callum Conner fished the beat successfully landing a grilse from the Cormorant tree pool.
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The middle river is disappointing with rising river temperatures over recent weeks and more water not producing good sport however there have been exceptions. Kercock had 4 along with Glendelvine. Peter Atkin
caught a grilse on Delvine and Burnbane from Sparrowmuir. Up at Newtyle Andrew Gough caught his first ever salmon on fly, a small grilse under the tutelage of Andy Gunn. Dalmarnock had a single fish and the
Kinnaird beats mustered 3.
The upper river was seeing steady sport with fish recently caught with Edradynate reporting a fish last week.
The Tummel was continuing to see sport from the Port-na-Craig beat administered by Pitlochry Angling Club and there is now nearly 4000 fish through the Dam resulting in fish being recorded in Loch Faskally.
The Isla are seeing salmon run up the river and progressing to the Ericht however again no fish are being reported.
The Earn has seen a run of salmon and sea trout progress up the river with a single fish recorded at Lochlane and Laggan.
The Salmon fishing season had a quiet start but has started to show signs of picking up with improving catches and some outstanding fish landed so far so let us hope the season lives up to everyone's expectations over the coming weeks and months. Tight lines!