River Tay beats – from Estuary to Loch Tay
This is a comprehensive guide to the different salmon fishing beats on the River Tay system. Starting at the estuary and working upstream, ending at Loch Tay.
Almondmouth beat, is the closest salmon fishing beat to the city of Perth, and one of the most prolific salmon beats on the river Tay. Salmon can accumulate here in big numbers, ready to run the River Almond. The river Almond is one of the Tay’s main tributaries.
Lower Redgorton beat accommodates 6 anglers, and is 1.35 miles long. This is excellent fly fishing water, with 20 named pools. This salmon beat is timeshared, however, rods do occasionally become available to let.
Waulkmill is owned by Scone Palace, and located on the North bank of the Tay, close to the Palace. The beat is split to ‘Goldcastle’ and ‘Waulkmill’. Fishing rights are shared with the owner on the opposite bank. So Waulkmill and Goldcastle are fished on alternative days. There are 22 named salmon pools on the beat, a good hut and access is easy. Boat fishing is also available for people with mobility issues.
Salmon beats near Scone Palace
Upper Redgorton is a beat fished from the south shore of the Tay. The fishing starts at the Sochie Burn and runs up to the Craigs. There’s a small and iconic old stone-built fishing in situ.
Salmon fishing is shared in a rotation system with Fishponds on the opposite bank. Monday, Wednesday and Friday Fishponds fishes the upper part of the beat from the Fishponds hut to the Craigs, and on Tuesday, Thursday and Sat Upper Redgorton have access to these pools. Knowesbank is the lower section from the Fishponds hut to the Sochie burn.
Fishponds beat, in my opinion the is one of the best summer/ autumn salmon beats on the River Tay. The best of the fishing is from late July onwards, when big runs of grilse arrive, and the salmon numbers multiply.
A highly productive late summer beat
In August 2020, Fishponds had 71 salmon caught and released, and this was remarkable considering it was lightly fished due to covid. I enjoyed some outstanding days there, fly fishing. One day in August our guest hooked 8 fish on the fly, and landed 5. The successful fly pattern on that day, was a red Francnsnaelda.
Benchil Beat on the tay
Downstream from the village of Stanley, is the Benchil beat. It is the next beat upstream of “The Craigs” on Fishponds, and accommodates 4 rods of double bank fishing. There are 10 named salmon pools, including Skellies, Aitken Head, Plain Water, Ship Linn, Long Shot, Tail of Shot, Ewelundie, White Craigs, Little Shot and Todholes. Benchil shares fishing in the Spring with Catholes, on a rotation basis. In Autumn, there are two boats available, and 1 full time Ghillie.
Catholes is the next salmon beat upstream. It is located approx 6 miles upstream of Perth, and the tidal water. This is a short beat, at only 1000 yards of double bank fishing. Accommodating 4 rods and 13 named River Tay salmon pools, including The Slap, The Pot, Gean Tree, Little Cast, Catholes Stream, Black Stones, Back Dam, Lucknow, Eric’s, Geoff’s, Freddie’s Woodside and The Little Head.
The Pitlochrie beat is located near the village of Stanley, and accommodates 4 rods. There are only nine named salmon poolsl. Two boats are provided, and there’s decent anchored fishing from the boat. Pitlochrie fishes four rods, and has a hut situated overlooking the Wash House. There are productive low water pools, the ‘Corner Pool’, the ‘Dyke’, ‘Kirkie’ and the ‘Woodside’. ‘Horsey’ is a good high water salmon pool.
Upper Scone Beat River Tay
Upper Scone beat is an excellent spring beat. This is located upstream of Benchil. Upper Scone accommodates 6 fishers. The beat has two boats, two ghillies, and fishes in rotation with Pitlochrie and Benchil. This is a timeshared beat, and occasionally rods are let on an ad-hoc basis.
Burnmouth salmon beat, is accessible through the village of Stanley. This is small sized beat, primarily best for Spinning. There are two boats on the beat and a full time Ghillie called Geordie Stewart.
Stobhall has double bank fishing, downstream of the River Isla. There are 29 named salmon pools. The most famous pool is the Linn Pool,. There’s also ‘Stank End’, ‘Kill Mou’ and ‘The Major’s Cast’ pools. The Stobhall beat sit next to historic Stobhall Castle and Taymount House. This beat has a rich salmon fishing history, and is famous for catching some huge salmon.
Taymount beat on the River Tay
Taymount is one of the most famous salmon fishing beats on the river Tay. The beat is divided into upper and lower sections, alternating with Stobhall. The Linn Pool is an excellent spring pool, especially when the waters high. There are 6 rods available to let, 2 ghillies in residence, 2 boats and 1 hut per beat.
Ballathie is a well known and productive salmon beat on the River Tay and is adjacent to Ballathie House Hotel. The hotel offers excellent accommodation, and dining near the river. There are two double-bank beats, 1.25 miles long. The beats are fished on alternate days, by 6 rods, with 2 ghillies, 2 boats and 1 hut per beat.
Ballathie begins with the ‘Bridge Stream’ pool, a long stream which and ideal fly water with a deeper channel on the inside, making it easy to fish. The rest of the beat, is quite flat as the river runs over a shelf of sandstone rock. There are many holding lies for salmon in this half mile pool. Ut can also be highly productive in lower water, as it may hold fish waiting to run upstream.
Cargill Beat River Tay
Cargill is a highly productive salmon beat on the Tay, located near Ballathie. The beat fishes alternate days, and shares the fishing with Ballathie. In 2021 Cargill anglers will fish upper Beat on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the lower Beat on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On week 1-11 there will be one Ghillie, and thereafter 2 ghillies. There’s a well appointed hut. Access to the beat is easy. Some of the pools on Cargill beat are legendary, like the ‘Pot Shot’, ‘Rumbling Stone’, ‘Cobble Croy’, and ‘Clocksden’.
Islamouth one of the Tays best beats
Islamouth could be argued as the most famous salmon fishing beat on the River Tay. This is mainly because it is located at the junction of the River Isla. The best beat on the River Tweed is also at the junction of two main flows, the Tweed and Teviot.
In low water the fish will accumulate at the junction. The salmon will then progress up the River Isla when the levels are sufficient. This is some of the best fly fishing water on the tay. In high water conditions, spinning is sometimes allowed. There is an excellent fishing hut, 2 ghillies and 2 boats.
Meiklour and Upper Islamouth is a lovely middle Tay beat, with 1.7 miles of fishing. The beat allows access to both banks. There are two boats and 2 full time ghillies. There is also an excellent fishing hut, located beside the bridge over the Tay.
Middle River Tay Beats
The Kerkcok beat offers 2.25 miles of double bank fishing. Kerkock has a 5 year Catch return average of 132 salmon. The beat can accommodate up to 10 rods. In 2013 a 45lb salmon was caught here on a Devon Minnow, it was 49 inches in length. This has been the largest Tay salmon in the last 20 years.
Delvine/Burnbane beat is located just downstream of the Caputh Bridge, and offers 1.5 miles of fishing. There is a new fishing hut with improved facilities. Fishing can be from the bank or boat, and fly fishing and spinning are permitted.
The beat that produced the record salmon
Glendelvine beat is perhaps the most famous beat on the Tay. In Autumn 1922 Georgina Ballatyne caught a 64lb salmon. This is still the current UK record. You can stay in Miss Ballantyne’s old cottage on the banks of the Tay. The cottage sleeps 6.
Murthly 1, Stenton and Murthly 2 beats are split as follows. Beat 1 is split between the Top Water (five rods) and Low Water (five rods). Beat 2 splits to alternate days on Stenton (three rods) and the Top Water (five rods. This is some of the finest fly fishing water on the Tay, with spectacular scenery to boot. The 5-year catch return average stands at 318 salmon and 17 sea trout.
Newtyle Salmon Fishing beat River Tay – Dunkeld
Newtyle is located downstream of Dunkeld. This salmon fishing beat is located close to Birnam Wood, where you can see The Birnam Oak from Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth.
Newtyle has 12 named salmon pools, and the fishing is from either bank. The left river bank is accessed by a short boat trip. The Newtyle fishing hut is iconic. It was formerly an old cricket hut, before being used on a curling pond. Finally it was relocated again to the banks of the River Tay, to its present situation.
The fishing hut has survived many epic floods, and the heights of high water, are still marked on the walls. At time of writing (February 2021), there has been a small flood, 8 inches of water in the hut. There’s a variety of fishing for everyone, with streamy fly water, deeper pools and pools that produce salmon in all river levels.
Dunkeld House Hotel Beat
The Dunkeld House stretch of the Tay, accommodates 8 anglers, with fishing on the left hand bank only. The beat runs between Thomas Telford’s bridge in Dunkeld, and the new bridge over the A9 road to Inverness.
There are two boats, and bank fishing is permitted. Salmon are often taken fly fishing from an anchored boat. ‘Harling’ is also a successful technique. This is where the boat is manoeuvred over salmon lies by the ghillie. Dunkeld House beat has spectacular views. It is located in prime “Big Tree” country. The ‘Gauge pool” is very picturesque, located opposite Dunkeld Cathedral.
Dalmarnock beat is located upstream of the bridge over the A9 road to Inverness. There are 3 miles of fishing, with 15 named salmon pools. It’s possible to fly fish or spin this beat and the beat is available for let on a daily or weekly basis. A superb fishing hut is easily accessed from the A9. This is a great beat, but worth appreciating that it’s close to the A9, so lots of traffic noise.
Dalguise Beat on the River Tay
Dalguise beat is located upstream, near the village of Dalguise. A beautiful and scenic salmon fishing beat, offering 9 named salmon pools, and a mixture of fly fishing and spinning water. Easily one of the best fishing huts on the Tay, that can accommodate up to 7 rods. Lunches can be provided and the Head Ghillie Moray McFarlane is friendly and knowledgable and always happy to offer guests an end of day dram from a selection of Malt Whisky. There is also the option of a boat and this can give access to some unique spots.
Lower Kinnaird beat
Lower Kinnaird is downstream of the River Tummel, it offers some spectacular fly fishing in iconic and famous salmon pools, including ‘Ferry Stream’, ‘Plantation’, ‘Swimming Pool’, ‘Island Stream’, ‘Green Bank’, ‘Ash Trees’, ‘New Pool’, ‘Fir Trees’, ‘Kindallachan pool’ and the ‘Guay’. ‘Head Ghillie Martin Edgar has managed Lower Kinnaird for the last 10 years. Martin is a real gentleman, and one of the better known River Tay ghillies.
Upper Kinnaird is also owner by Kinnaird Estate. This is a good section of water to target in high water. There are 17 names salmon pools including ‘Middle Pool’ & ‘Mikes Run’ on the River Tummel. This river Tummel stretch of the beat is classic fly fishing water, amidst some truly spectacular scenery. It is Right hand bank fishing on the Upper Kinnaird beat and left hand bank fishing on the river Tummel. Access is easy with little walking involved.
Upper River Tay Beats
Weem beat on the River Tay, offers 1 mile of private salmon fishing on the following named salmon pools ‘Twin Trees Pool‘, ‘Deep Holding Glide’, ‘The Groins’, ‘Substation Pool’, ‘Island Pool’ ‘Tail and ‘Bridge Pool‘.
Edradynate Beat River Tay
Edradynate and Upper Grandtully offers salmon fishing on the upper river Tay. This stretch of river runs between the village of Grandtully and the town of Aberfeldy. There are 6 notable salmon pools,. The ‘Tom-an-Droighne’, ‘Cluny’ Ferry’, ‘Poltewan’, ‘Glide’, ‘The Pot’ – and the ‘Church Pool’ have produced some very big salmon over the years. There are two miles of left bank, and two miles of right banks fishing. You can fly fish and spin cast here, and there is a boat available.
The Lower Grandtully beats
Findynate beat is a smaller salmon beat, consisting of three named salmon pools. One of the pools, the ‘Findynate’ is 300 yards long, and a first holding spot for salmon that have ran through the Grandtully Rapids.
The Lower Grandtully fishing is made up of two beats. Findynate beat holds 3 rods, fishing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Cloichfoldich beat accommodates 3 rods on Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays.
Bolfracks, is a beat downstream of Aberfeldy and with the following pools, Neils, Dalrawer Island, Bolfracks House, Haugh and Home Farm, which famously produced a 28lb salmon two years ago.
Farleyer salmon beats on the Tay
Lower Farleyer , The Lower Farleyer Beat is the downstream half of what used to be called The Farleyer Beat, now split into Upper and Lower. This salmon beat is located near Aberfeldy and offers right hand banks wade fishing using fly or spinning rod.
Upper Farleyer is one of the best salmon fishing beats of the Upper River Tay system. This is located near Aberfeldy. The beat has one of the most iconic fishing huts, which features in the book “Fishing Huts”
This is wonderful fly fishing water, fished from left hand bank. The salmon can gather here, prior to running one of the main tributaries the River Lyon. The beat is 1.25 miles long