The River Tay is one of the most famous and prolific salmon rivers in Scotland. The Tay is the longest river in Scotland and flows through the heart of beautiful Perthshire before entering the sea at Dundee. The Tay is like no other salmon river in Scotland. It is big in size and has great Scottish salmon fishing heritage. To this day, the River Tay still holds the British rod caught record for the heaviest salmon. Miss Georgina Ballantine landed a colossal salmon weighing 64lbs in 1922. The fish was caught from Glendelvine Beat located close to the village of Murthly.
Over the years, the River Tay has developed a reputation for producing big salmon. Each year a number of fish over thirty pounds are landed and not too long-ago fish of over 40lbs were consistently caught. This year itself during the spring period the river produced a number of big fish consistently and hopefully, this is a sign of things to come in subsequent seasons.
The salmon fishing season on the River Tay begins on the 15thof January and runs through until the middle of October. Usually, fresh fish are caught on opening day. The main spring run usually enters the river from late March onwards and peaks in May. It is at this time of year that the beats on the middle river usually fish well.
In terms of summer fishing, grilse and summer salmon start entering the river in July. The best of the summer salmon fishing on the River Tay is usually in August. It is the beats on the middle and lower river which usually enjoy the best of the sport.
Traditionally the River Tay has been famed for its autumn run of hard fighting big salmon. In recent years the back-end fishing has been disappointing. Usually, the autumn salmon enter the river from September onwards and sport can often be fast and furious. Fresh fish can be caught up until the end of the season.
Most beats on the river allow fly fishing and spinning. If the river is very high and the water is cold during the early spring months often spinning can be the most productive option. Fly fishing comes to the fore in late spring and summer and there is some truly delightful fly water on the river to explore.
With its consistent catches and reputation for producing large fish, the River Tay is well worth considering when planning a salmon fishing holiday in Scotland.