The world-famous River Tay, which runs through beautiful Perthshire needs little introduction in salmon fishing circles. It is the biggest river in Scotland, as well as one of the most prolific. Hard fighting salmon run the river from the opening day of the season in mid-January, through to mid-October. This gives anglers the chance of catching a sea liced salmon at any time of year.
Long tailed sea liced fish caught in low water!
The Tay is probably the most famous river in Scotland and this is largely due to one Miss Georgina Ballantine. In 1922, she landed a 64lbs salmon from the river, which to this day still holds the British rod caught record. Even in recent times, the River Tay has a habit of producing big salmon. Each year several fish over 30lbs are usually caught and in recent times even fish of over 40lbs have been landed. It is a well-known fact that if you want to come to Scotland and catch a big fish, then the River Tay is the place to be.
The mighty River Tay
The River Tay does have some advantages over other rivers in the country. Firstly, the river does not rely on rainfall, as it rarely gets so low that fresh fish cannot run. Indeed, often the river fishes better in low water. For much of this year, the river has been running at summer level and sea liced fish have been caught consistently at the headwaters. Another advantage of the River Tay is that it rarely gets coloured after a spate, especially on the middle river. This is mainly because the river is fed by multiple loch fed waters, which act as a filter when the river is in spate. This ensures that once the water hits the main river, it is largely clear, making it perfect for chasing silver.
A nice fresh salmon caught in low water
The Tay caters for the most discerning of salmon anglers. There is excellent fly water and some of the pools are truly mouth-watering. The vast majority of beats also allow spinning. There is also a method of fishing called harling, which is unique to the River Tay. This involves using a motorised boat to sweep back and forth across the pools while having three rods coupled with lures, fishing behind the boat. This is an excellent method of fishing for the elderly or for anglers that have difficulty wading. When you first see the size of the River Tay, you will understand why it is such an effective method.
The method of harling, unique to the River Tay
The facilities on many of the beats on the river are second to none. Nearly all the beats have excellent, well-equipped fishing lodges for anglers to get changed and to enjoy lunch in. The fishing lodges have cooking and BBQ facilities, toilets and offer wonderful panoramic views across the river. The ghillies on the river are very experienced and are always at hand to give you the best advice on how to catch that fish of a lifetime.
As the river runs through the heart of Perthshire, the scenery is truly jaw dropping. So, as you can it is hardly surprising that anglers from all over the world flock to the banks of the Tay to chase silver.
A beautiful fishing lodge on the mighty River Tay
The River Tay truly has it all and caters for anglers of all abilities. It’s reputation for producing big fish is well deserved. The mighty River Tay truly showcases Scottish salmon fishing at its best and has all the ingredients for that Scottish salmon fishing holiday of a lifetime.