A Seat Beside The River Tay
By Jock Monteith 6th January 2023
There's no better place to be in the world than overlooking one of Scotland's finest salmon rivers if an infusion of 'natural & spiritual' brilliance is what you seek. Don't take the Scottish salmon rivers for granted and think think deeper about their magnificent prowess whether you've a fishing rod in your hands or not.
Salmon Fishing Is Good For Your Soul
I once recall giving an interview to BBC Radio Scotland when asked 'what do you think the main attractions are in Scottish salmon fishing' to which I replied 'river therapy' and that if the NHS doctors could prescribe a day's salmon fishing the chemists would be in serious commercial trouble. The reporter thought that was a particularly interesting evaluation! There's more to salmon fishing than looking for that adrenalin rush that contact with one of Neptune's finest brings. The calming effect of the flow of the water and the river environment itself are highly therapeutic too which are huge factors that make up the attraction of this sport.
The Best Seat On The River Tay
The above shot was taken on the Upper Kinnaird salmon fishing beat 'March Pool' where I installed the bench you see up on this perfect elevated high bank. Over the decades I've put in a few different benches in strategically positioned locations on the Tay but this one is my absolute favourites as it overlooks a serious Spring salmon 'hot spot' at the very pool where the River Tummel enters the Tay. Personally I could sit on this bench all day watching the river with no need for a cast and especially on this fine pool as it has a view up and down the Tay and up the Tummel with the added probability of seeing a fish or two show or even one being caught on this popular Kinnaird Beat hot spot.
Early Spring River Tay Potential
From a commercial point of view I strongly believe that River Tay salmon fishing is undersold through the early Spring months of the season. I've mentioned often in these articles that there's fantastic specimen salmon in the River Tay during the early Spring months with very few salmon fishers out having a cast for them. Most seasons salmon up to 30 lbs or sometimes heavier are caught at this under appreciated time of the River Tay salmon fishing season. The problem is that many anglers are completely unaware of the presence of these perfect Loch Tay bound early Spring heavyweights and often lack the confidence and faith levels required (or the correct mindset and fishing tactics) to be in with a good chance of connecting with one.
Big Spring Salmon In The River Tay
These perfect heavyweight early Spring salmon that are normally caught on the middle Tay would have gone to sea as juveniles and fed together before heading back to the Tay. Often when one big fish like that is landed another one of similar proportions is not too far away and if you can understand this basic principle and go straight back through the same salmon lie soon thereafter a 'double' is always a possibility. So if you're fortunate to hook and land one don't let the celebrations continue for too long and retrace your steps and go over the salmon salmon lie again would be my professional advice.
Low Rod Pressure Stats Are Denying You Salmon
Next time you're out on the Tay or any other Scottish salmon river ask yourself how dreadfully boring life would be without a salmon river in your life. Also ask yourself what do you really think the score sheets would look like if the same angling pressure was applied to January, February & March as the Tay receives in April & May each year. It's very clear in our business that few understand 'perceived value' and that how under pricing can do more damage to a river than even a poor internet profile or naive 'catch stats' based marketing where there's never a 'consistent' measuring gauge. A classic 'chicken & egg' scenario if there ever was one. Success in salmon fishing should be a personal challenge between you and the river and with proper guidance or enough time spent on the riverbanks there's never a fishing day where you shouldn't feel that you're in with a chance of success. The positive vibe that low key underlying confidence brings is also definitely an attractant for wild Atlantic salmon!