Catholes, River Tay
The beat is about six miles from the top of the tidal water and offers good spinning and fly-fishing from the bank. Although known as an excellent spring beat, it can offer good summer and autumn sport as well. Catholes fishes six rods per day and has an excellent hut at the bottom of the beat. Day-tickets for salmon cost £35 plus vat Contact Tom Carter, Fishpal. Tel: 01573 470 612 Purchase tickets online at www.fishpal.com/scotland/tay/ Catholes more. So it seems there was not just an early run, but a genuinely good and persistent run. However, by June, the fish did not seem to stop long enough to get caught in the Tummel. Ironically, upstream of the dam, things were not that productive, either. Loch Faskally reported only four for the month and on the Garry, Pitlochry Angling Club’s Ruan Ruarie beat reported only two. Again, as was also the case last month, a small smattering of fish was reported from the upper Tay. For example, Findynate had five, Upper Farleyer four and Lower Farleyer two. Loch Tay was quiet. Grant Tigwell’s Loch Tay “Fish n Trips” reported one. As to the monthly total, my estimate is that June will end up with over 600 fish, which is a reasonable overall total for recent times but not as good as last year, which was very good. Of course, not all beats benefited to the same extent, but that’s usually how it goes! Last year was the year of the Dunkeld area, but this year it has so far been the year of Islamouth and neighbouring beats. But now that July is just round the corner it is time to be looking out for grilse. PROSPECTS While traditionally July was the month when the summer grilse run peaked, in recent years August has been the main month for them. Last year was no exception. While we hope grilse will appear at their traditional time, it may well be again that August will be the month when they appear in their biggest numbers. Given a bit of water, the grilse will spread throughout the system, including tributaries such as the Isla and Ericht, but low water should see the best sport, in the early part of the month at least, on beats such as Islamouth. However, by the latter part of the month “autumn” grilse should start to appear, and catches should start to rise on the lower beats particularly, but given water, the middle Tay, too. That will herald the start of the true Tay autumn fishing. To look for late availability, check out the www.fishtay.co.uk website. It is now the best source for obtaining fishing on the Tay. – BEN LUI.
OUR RODS caught a respectable 205 salmon in June, which is well above our ten-year average and three below our five-year average. Given the conditions, this was a good result. The river was low for most of the month and we had only three very small rises to bring the fish in. Lower beats, particularly Beat 2, did well, but fish were caught on all beats, which was good to see. During the month we saw the start of our grilse run and it does look as though they have arrived in good numbers. Small numbers of fish have been running the river in the low water, but the numbers in the bay have slowly been building up. The start of the month saw some exceptional fishing. The first four days of June produced 61 fish. Ian Rae and Ian Adams, fishing together, took 21 fish, including fish of 19 lb and 17 lb. John Goodman had a stellar few days, including six from Beat 2. Brothers Duncan and William Laird put a good number in the book, including seven from Beat 12. Catches slowed during the early part of the following week as the sun came out, but when the clouds came back the fishing improved, the Chollett party from France taking 12 fish for their week. Peter Grubb and friends had a very successful three days, including fish of 14 lb, 15 lb and 18 lb. Robin Barlow, who returned to the river after a lengthy absence, took three nice fish from the Well pool on Beat 2. Another returner after a 20-year absence was Michael Leather and Douglas Forbes, who shared six fish for their week, including a nice 16 lb fish from Beat 9. Stephen and Brenda Howard had six fish for their week, but I am not allowed to say how many Brenda had! The last week saw two big parties on the river: The Foord party, mainly from South Africa, had a good week with 16 fish. A number of the party had their first salmon, including Phillip Voutsas, who not only had his first but followed it up with three more. The Lamarch party from Belgium took 22 salmon for their week.
PROSPECTS Heavy showers on July 1 and 2 pushed the river up to 24 inches and on July 2 we took 28 fish. As mentioned earlier, there were a good number of fish in the estuary waiting to come in, so we should be looking at some good sport in the coming week. – TIM HAWES.
I MENTIONED last month that we needed a decent spate to clean out the river and freshen things up. Well, we went right through June with only the odd small rise of a few inches. In the week beginning May 30 water temperatures were up into the high 50s F and even the low 60s F on a couple of days, but a cool north-easterly breeze at the beginning of June knocked a degree or two off. This cool weather lasted through the week but, when the sun shone, it was quite warm in any shelter from the breeze. Even though we had a low, dirty and warm river, fish continued to come in and run into the middle beats. Just over 80 were reported from the two websites, with fish coming from Tweedhill and Horncliffe at the bottom end, up to Boleside
Good f lood needed to clean Tweed’s riverbed
Tuesday, then it was warm and sunny until more heavy showers on Friday. Tuesday’s rain gave us a rise of 6 in or so below Kelso early on Wednesday and the water was carrying a bit of colour. Almost 90 fish were reported for the week, 70 of them coming in the second half of the week. Thirty were taken on Saturday with only five on the Tuesday. Birgham Dub had nine, seven of them on the Friday and Saturday, and Sprouston’s 13 fish were all taken in the final two days of the week. Hendersyde, Upper Mertoun, Middle Mertoun and Ladykirk all had six, as did Rutherford. The best fish, a couple of 15-pounders, were taken on the Junction and Ladykirk, with fish into the teens of pounds each day. Twenty of the total were taken on the bottom end and 26 from the middle river and above the Junction. As with the previous week, the quality of most of the fish was very good with a good number new and sea-liced. Tipped floating lines and various small dressed flies or small tubes were doing the business with fish taken on spinning tactics in the quieter water. The week beginning June 13 began cool with showers blowing in from the east. It was milder towards midweek but then turned cooler and damp towards the weekend. Friday was a miserable day with heavier rain on an easterly breeze. The riverbed and margins were getting dirty, with the gravel slippery in places, and care had to be taken when wading. This was quite a decent week with 130 fish reported, 39 of them on the Monday. The Lees top-scored with 18, 13 of them to the rod of Graham Witty, who had six of them on the Friday, including five before lunch. At the bottom end, Tweedhill and Tillmouth had 12 and Ladykirk ten. Rutherford, above Kelso, were the only other beat on double figures, with 11. Berwick Association Water on the Whiteadder had three and a couple were taken on the Till. The best fish I could find was a 15-pounder taken on Milne Graden, with a number of others into the teens of pounds. Considering the conditions, this was a very good week with fish still coming in on the low, warm water. The same tactics as with previous weeks were doing the business – both fly and spinner. I had a sea-liced