Big February River Tay Salmon
By Jock Monteith 10th December 2019
I've been 'bleating' on for a long time in this newsletter that some of the best & most accessible salmon fishing on the River Tay is to be found during the month of February and this is nothing new. The problem is most of the Tay anglers are asleep or have been brainwashed into inactivity by 'catch stats' nonsense!
Huge River Tay February Salmon
This fantastic brute of a 35 pound cock fish was landed in February 2018 on the Garth Pool on the UK's most famous Glendelvine salmon beat by syndicate member Jim Shaw & professional River Tay ghillie Steve McIrvine. We don't need to go into Georgina's British record Glendelvine 'beast' as we all play that video between 1am & 5am each night in our heads! That absolutely perfect Spring salmon specimen took the Head Ghillie's 'battered' but deadly big cone head Cascade tube fly on the 'harl' as again mentioned in this newsletter on the 29th of January. & as was the value of February salmon fishing on the Tay featured on here on the 27th of November. This was the second notable heavyweight salmon the Tay has produced early that season as a spectacular 27 pounder was also caught during the same February week on the middle Tay. I've attached 2 older shots of February 'beasts' (36lbs & 42lbs) from the Tay caught by Tay legend Willie 'the ghillie' Laird in the 70's to show you the 'permanence' of this historic run of heavyweight February Tay salmon.
Steve McIrvine Professional River Tay Ghillie
Steve is my most long standing River Tay fellow ghillie & loyal fishing friend. As young boys we fished the River Tay together and even through busy adult river lives we've always stayed in touch over the last 4 decades. I know all of his big fish and others that sometimes escaped capture and as importantly I know only too well how 'highly skilled' he is beside any Scottish salmon river let alone the Glendelvine Beat where's he's been Head Ghillie for many decades. A better man or more knowledgeable professional Scottish salmon ghillie you'll struggle to find anywhere. Steve transforms into a true 'Tarka' the split second he steps into the boat on Glendelvine and if you ever wanted to study the the true brilliance of a professional Tay boatman then Steve is one of an elite few who can 'expertly' demonstrate that.
The Glendelvine Salmon Fishing Syndicate
Being in control of the Glendelvine salmon fishing syndicate Steve has never commercially opened the beat up which is admirable as he much prefers the more traditional syndicated salmon rod access approach. Over the years and recently a few of the older syndicate members sadly passed away and sometimes one of these rare opportunities to move your River Tay salmon fishing to a 'higher more famous' level appears. The 2018 monster Tay Springer was the 3rd perfect heavyweight fish caught from Glendelvine during that fairly recent February with at best very light rod pressure. If you call Steve on 07812 899176 there is always a chance you could be offered a 'rare' membership opportunity for this very fairly priced famous River Tay salmon fishing syndicate for 2020.
Understanding The Salmon Fishing Game
Thankfully only our salmon decide when they return to their river of birth and thank God that's the way it is. Give me a good old natural doze of 'unpredictability' over a 'dead cert' put & take fishing scenario any day of the week. The 'King of Fish' is and always has been a tricky proposition to make one open its mouth as they're not feeding in the Scottish fresh water rivers. Embrace the challenge and get your equipment & skill set in good order and look to the opposite times of the season when others are 'wrongly' distracted. These are the times to be out fishing 'rested' salmon pools which itself gives a big salmon fishing advantage!
Big River Tay Salmon In February
Huge salmon like Steve & Jim's perfect fish are nothing new on the Tay during the month of February. Steve himself had a 38 pound version during the very same month a few years ago and this run of heavy weight Tay salmon has been present for centuries. Most salmon anglers or River Tay fishing agents haven't spent enough time on the river to understand these historic runs. This is sad because there's a fantastic chance of a 'fish of a lifetime' in February on the River Tay and very few salmon anglers know that or are out fishing for them. If more of these perfect Spring River Tay heavyweight salmon turn up via the dedicated consistent efforts of a few Tay ghillies and their fortunate guests then that could easily turn the tide! It would not surprise me one little bit if a 40 pounder is caught this coming February as they are definitely present in the Tay at that time.