River Tay Salmon Fishing
By Jock Monteith 19th July 2018
The River Tay is one of Scotland's finest salmon rivers and is fortunate to benefit from an extensive salmon fishing season that runs from the 15th of January to the 15th of October each year. The Tay is known as a big fish river and often produces huge specimens and in recent years salmon up to 45lbs have been landed.
River Tay Fishing Accommodation
The Tay Valley has great choices for quality accommodation with the hubs of Perth, Stanley, Dunkeld & Pitlochry that offer quality hotel options. In the early Spring there's a run of big multi sea winter Spring salmon that heads up to loch Tay and if you can intercept one of these heavyweight fish you'll certainly never forget the experience. This run of heavyweight Tay salmon are present from February each year even though most Tay salmon anglers are completely unaware of their presence. This February saw the capture of a 34 lbs Spring fish on the Glendelvine beat as testimony to the fact I've just stated regarding the February run of big Tay Spring salmon.
River Tay Salmon Runs
From mid March the River Tummel salmon appear which adds to the main Spring run which builds right through until the end of May. Sometimes depending on water levels and temperatures the Spring run can roll over into June so don't right off the first 2 weeks of June on colder than normal Spring years. The Summer months are a great time of the year for fishing as all the salmon pool formations and attractive River Tay streams take their shape in the lower water conditions that June, July & August usually bring. The salmon lies that would be targeted in the high water of Spring are usually the opposite areas of the same Tay pools you'd be looking for Summer salmon in so a good understanding of the type of water that suits high water Spring salmon and low water Summer salmon is important for success on the Tay.
The River Tay Catchment
Due to the sheer loch fed size of the River Tay catchment salmon can & do enter the river off every tide as there's always sufficient water for fish to run the Tay This feature of the Tay makes it a safe bet for a fishing trip when some of the shallower smaller Scottish rivers struggle in low water conditions and especially through the Summer months. In addition to that the Tay being one of the bigger Scottish river valleys has an abundance of quality accommodation options that are scattered between the towns of Perth & Pitlochry.
River Tay Autumn Salmon Fishing
When the Autumn months come so does the big Autumn run of salmon and although these fish can be caught anywhere in the system the lower Tay beats in and around the village of Stanley usually benefit from the biggest build up of stock. These days this head of Autumn salmon has been showing up during late September & early October due to lower than normal late Summer rainfall levels which has to be expected as salmon are tuned into water conditions and not our diaries which are out of sync with our ever changing and rightfully adjusting Mother Nature. If good water levels are present during late August or early September a large portion of the Autumn Tay run can be found up in the middle Tay area too in and around the Pitlochry to Dunkeld area.
Big River Tay Autumn Salmon
The River Tay Autumn run also brings big salmon back into the river and it was during the month of October that the 45lbs salmon I mentioned above was landed a few seasons ago on the Kercock Beat of the Tay near to the village of Murthly. The British rod caught record salmon of 64lbs which was also caught on the Tay in the same area was another October fish and both of these heavyweight were enormous male or 'cock' salmon. Make no mistake about the fact that there's thousands of 20lbs plus Autumn salmon present in the Tay each year with the occasional real 'monster' lying in amongst them!
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