Salmon Pool Perfection
By Jock Monteith 22nd March 2018
Of the many quality salmon pools on the middle River Tay the Gauge Tree on Dunkeld House has to one of the most beautiful and tactically positioned 'stoppers' for running salmon at the upstream end of several hundred yards of faster streamy water.
Perfect Middle Tay Fly Water
This beautiful Dunkeld House salmon beat pool to my mind represents a quality 100 yards of perfect fly water for those who can Spey cast. The Tay runs deeper down this scenic left hand bank in medium to low water levels which encourages salmon to run up this left bank and stop on arrival here in the slower flow. As previously mentioned I've been involved in the capture of 2 'Springers' from the riverbank at once (not boat) in this pool which is a rare occurrence indeed!
An Easy Short Cast Fishing Approach
From my own personal experience in the 'Gauge Tree Pool' salmon often lie within 2 to 10 yards of the riverbank so a long line is not required. The problem psychologically on the Tay for many salmon fishers is that they are put off by the typical 80 to 100 yard width of the river. The entire salmon fishing tackle industry is mainly geared for 'distance of fly' and not 'control of fly' which means the short range salmon lies are rarely taken seriously or targeted sufficiently. I am however confident that this current salmon fishing 'mindset' will change over the next few years.
Fly Only River Tay Salmon Pools
The 'Gauge Tree Pool' on Dunkeld House this year is a 'fly only' pool which is the most effective way to cover its main salmon lies. To swing a Toby 'Salmo' or Vision Oneten through this pool would be the same as smothering a Black Angus fillet steak with HP sauce! The Dunkeld House beat is fortunate to benefit from both high quality spinning water and fly water so keeping both apart will be part of the daily fishing operation. Whether it makes a difference to a salmon or not 'the jury is out' but it is the 'kiss of death' for most dedicated fly fishers if they're allocated a pool to fish that has already been bombarded with spinners.
River Tay Catches So Far
The recent 'catch stats' & fishing reports could almost make you feel like calling the Samaritans and are another classic example of misinformation which I blame on the general lack of sunlight at this time of year! There are plenty of perfect Spring salmon in the Tay right now but few anglers are out 'effectively' searching for them. The reason April & May always do better on paper is because the rod pressure 'logically' increases. In the last few days I know of several good hooking opportunities that were squandered and that was on just one of the many Tay beats.
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