The Ides Of March
By Jock Monteith 15th March 2023
While it was very unfortunate for Julius Caesar the 'Ides of March' was traditionally a day for settling debts in the Roman calendar. In saying that it's always sensible to listen to your ghillie's advice and in Caesar's case his soothsayer!
Jock The Soothsayer!
What's this got to do with Scottish salmon fishing you may ask so here's your salmon fishing soothsayer's advice. At this time of year as most Scottish river are lightly fished there's a mainly unnoticed historical run of perfect heavyweight 'beasts' that appear in the Tay en route to their Loch Tay retreat. Now it just so happens my birthday falls today on the 15th of March so carefully take on board what I'm about to state. If you truly are searching for a Tay specimen encounter my money is on this period between mid February and the end of March as some absolute 'clunkers' are guaranteed to be slowly making their way up river in the high cold water and you can take that information to the bank!
North Sea & River Tay Water Temperature
The fact that there's not a great deal of rod pressure on the Tay during these early spring months compared to the later 'fair weathered' months of April & May shouldn't deter you from getting out into the most perfect time zone for a heavyweight encounter with exactly what made the Tay famous. On a personal career observational basis mid March always saw a turning point in general salmon numbers in the Tay too probably due to the fact that the river would be getting closer to the North Sea's typical Scottish coast 42-44 degrees temperature encouraging more salmon to run the river.
That Special Big Tay Springer
The time is approaching to get focussed on not what happened to old Julius Caesar but on the fact there will already be be some seriously good looking 'scale perfect' big Tay beasts in the river and in the tidal waters between Dundee & Perth slowly making their adjustments back to being able to handle fresh cold river water and one of which could be destined for your fly or lure. If you're looking for a real 'big fish' highlight during your 2023 River Tay salmon fishing season then the above specified early Spring period is top of the pile for achieving just that. These photographs of 2 perfect heavyweight Spring salmon are fine examples of what's there to be caught on Scotland's most famous big fish salmon river during the magical month of March. These perfect River Tay Spring beasts were caught by this young angler on his first ever days salmon fishing so a great chance to give him further salmon fishing career advice!
The Best Spring Fishing Clothing Systems
Invest in a 'proven' Mountain Rescue Buffalo Mountain Shirt and simply unzip the oxters and sides when even on the coldest north wind assisted March day you'll likely feel too warm! These clever self insulating tops should be worn with no under garments and even when they get wet externally they will 'well and truly' lock your body heat in. A good grade tweed cap and a light shell waterproof and you've completed your big fish early Spring 'battle dress' check list! I often wonder if the lack of early Scottish salmon fishers is due to them getting cold which is going to happen when most inferior garments are worn. Preparedness of fishing kit is vital too as is making sure you've changed your spinning reel line or have a new strong leader on your fly line as a loch Tay bound Spring beast will easily identify any fishing tackle weak points!