Fishing The River Tay
By Jock Monteith 18th September 2021
Of all of the Scottish salmon rivers the mighty River Tay is the most majestic and is renowned for often producing big fish. It's normal on the Tay to connect with salmon in the 20 lbs class and on occasion much heavier fish than that are caught. The British rod caught record salmon of 64 lbs was caught on the Tay back in 1922 so its big fish reputation is nothing new.
Catching Scottish Salmon
Catching any salmon is a result on any river but personally I always like to know I'm playing a 'specimen salmon lottery ticket' in the hope that the next tug on the fly is from a fish that will show me who's boss throughout the ensuing battle. When you hook a big fish there's an 'out of control' feeling and nothing you can do but take your time in the hope you'll eventually get a chance to land it.
Playing A Big Powerful Salmon
The sheer power from a heavyweight River Tay salmon that's boring down deep and cruising about slowly under its own free will is a really magical part of the sport to my mind. You can be 20 or 30 minutes into the battle with a big fish before you get a brief look at it should it surface or allows you to temporarily steer it in close to the riverbank. Patience is very important in this situation so don't try to rush that first 'heart racing' peek preview as it'll happen soon enough.
The Thrill Of A Salmon Take
For me personally the initial take from a salmon induces a release of adrenalin which instantly changes your focussing ability and almost seems to slow down time until you let the take develop and set the hook properly. With a big salmon you'll receive another spike in your adrenalin levels when you eventually get a look at it which is often nowhere near the end of the fight! This is all part of the fascination of Scottish salmon fishing and its ability to switch from a total calm admiration of Mother Nature into absolute focus and anticipation when the first tug on your fly is felt.
Book A River Tay Guided Salmon Fishing Experience
Book a River Tay guided salmon fishing experience and give yourself a chance of an encounter with one of its famed heavyweights. My experience has been that there's an early run of heavyweight Spring salmon that ascend the Tay from mid January to end of March each year and traditionally June was always a big fish month on the Tay too. When the spates of Autumn arrive that encourages heavyweight Autumn salmon to move in too and it was the month of October when the British rod caught record salmon of 64 lbs was captured on the Glendelvine Beat. In recent years Spring salmon up to 35 lbs have been landed but make no mistake about the fact that there will be many more Spring salmon in that category destined for the Tay in 3 or 4 months time in need of a perfectly presented fly.