Earlier this week the River Tay experienced its biggest lift in water since June. This has come at the perfect time, with only three weeks of the salmon fishing season on the Tay remaining. Anglers that are coming to Salmon fish in Scotland in the upcoming weeks should be in for a treat as there will be plenty of water and also hopefully plenty of fish. 

It is often good to have a big spate in September, as it not only encourages fresh autumn salmon to run the river but it also helps to freshen conditions. If it has not been a long hot summer which has been dominated by low water (which has been the case in 2017), this can often just be what is needed. During the autumn months, some of the resident fish that have been in the river for some time may drop back downstream, so the lift in water has the effect of somewhat shuffling the pack. This can often be the catalyst for some good sport.

Big water on the River Tay

It is not only a lift in water that can help improve catches at this time of year. Low temperatures can also be a big factor. A hard frost during the autumn months can make all the difference. If water temperatures drop, which they have been doing in recent days then often the salmon become more aggressive as their thoughts turn towards the important process of spawning. This can make the fish more inclined into taking a fly.
The River Tay traditionally has an excellent autumn run. In the past, the Tay has produced good runs of fresh hard fighting autumn salmon in September and October. Hopefully, the big spate earlier this week will result in improved catches up and down the river and encourage fresh fish to enter the system. Traditionally, it is the beats located on the middle and lower river that are the most productive at this time of year. The lift in water should encourage more fish to run into the middle river and also the tributaries like the Almond and Isla.

River Tay salmon caught in October

If you have a salmon fishing holiday in Scotland booked in the upcoming weeks and are intending to fish on the River Tay, then prospects look promising. Regarding tackle, you want to keep things simple. A fifteen-foot fly rod is more than adequate. A rod of this length is perfect for the River Tay during the autumn months. In terms of lines, a floating line with a good selection of poly leaders (with varying sink rates) is good to have. In addition to this, if the water is very high you may also want to have a full fast sinking line at your disposal. Often if the water is high, the fly seems to swing around in the current, in a more natural fashion if you use a fast sinking line than a floating line coupled with a very fast sinking poly leader. Regarding flies, a good selection of tubes of varying lengths and weights are all that is required. Everyone has their favourite patterns. Willie Gunns, Cascades and Park Shrimps all work well at this time of year. Also, large dressed doubles can be effective. If the water does drop, then these flies can often do the business.

A good pattern for chasing Autumn silver

When it comes to spinning, a ten or elven foot rod is perfect for the job. This coupled with a good fixed spool reel with a decent drag, and either eighteen-pound breaking strain nylon or thirty-pound breaking strain braid is all that is needed. On the business end, all the standard lures work well on the Tay. A selection of spoons between twenty and thirty grams, Devon Minnows and Vision110’s or Rapalas are all very effective. Make sure that you have plenty of line on your spinning reel, as the fish are big and strong at this time of year and can make unbelievably long runs. The last thing you want is a fish running a hundred yards, and then you see all the line on your reel disappearing. This is a recipe for disaster and often why people lose that fish of a lifetime.

Productive lures for spinning

There is no shortage of big salmon on the River Tay, especially at this time of year and so that big fish can only be one cast away.

A River Tay Belter!

With only around three weeks of the salmon fishing season remaining on the River Tay and the recent big lift in water, there is no better time to chase some late-season silver on this famous Scottish salmon river. Before the spate, the river was producing around a one hundred and fifty salmon a week and catches should be even better now. It appears that all the ingredients are all in place for a good end to the season on the River Tay. All we need is for the weather to be kind to us and for the fish to cooperate. Let us hope that this is the case and that anglers on the River Tay have a productive end to the 2017 Scottish salmon fishing season.