To begin, the River Tay is Scotland’s largest river and this article helps you to identify the best places to target trout and grayling.
Firstly, my love of trout fishing on the River Tay was ignited in 1980. I lived a few hundred metres from the river. Not long after moving to the Forestry Commission accommodation, I had negotiated river access with the farmer. In order to fish the river, all I had to do was drop him a bottle of his favourite Malt Whisky now and again.
Seeing that I could access the river so easily and at any time, I set about fishing every single night and weekend. In fact, I studied this section of the river near Dunkeld so hard, I knew every depth, gravel bar and likely spot for a feeding fish.
In addition, I began to understand the feeding patterns of these Tay trout. Certainly, they were not easy to catch. In order to hook one, you had to be absolutely accurate and delicate with your cast. Secondly, you had to react like a ninja if you got a take. Equally, your tackle had to be right. In those days, I was fishing with hand tied flies. They were casualty versions of patterns. In that they mimicked insects that were damaged and vulnerable..
River Tay, which sections of the river are best?
Firstly, the middle and upper sections of the river are best for Trout and Grayling. Of course the lower river offers some brilliant sport. But when the river is over 100m wide, it can be challenging reaching the right spots. Actually, I’ve been on the lower river in a boat, fishing for salmon. Suddenly trout start rising all around the boat. The trout rod comes out and you can spend an hour or two during a hatch dry fly fishing from a boat.
Lastly, you should focus on the Upper Tay upstream of the Tummel junction, near Aberfeldy. Also, it’s worth fishing the River Lyon, and Tummel, both are brilliant trout and grayling waters.
Finally, unless you know these rivers, you should employ a professional River Tay guide. In truth, you will enjoy your day more, catch more fish, and importantly stay safe. Wading anywhere on the Tay can be dangerous, so having river knowledge is key.
Best time of year to target trout and grayling on the River Tay
First, the best trout fishing is in the spring. Usually mid march to Early May. During this time, there are some epic hatches of March Browns and Olives.
Last, Grayling is best in the winter months December to end of January. However Grayling can be caught all year. Whilst the season for them is all year round, it’s always best to avoid spawning time. We stop fishing for them by Mid February and start again in mid April.