The River Tay
This beautiful salmon river is the principal one in Perthshire, in its
course it expands into Loch Tay, on leaving which it finds itself a
channel and becomes rapid for miles; it has a long course, passing the
towns of Dunkeld and Perth, and falls into the sea at Dundee.
The river Erne, after a long and rapid course falls into the Tay below
Perth. There is also the "Timel," at the pass of Cillecrankey, on the
road to Inverness from Dunkeld, and is fourteen miles from the latter
place, there is a small inn close to the river, in which there is good
trout fishing; the coach from Perth stops here to change horses and
breakfast; it is a fine rushing stream. And also the "Keith," at Blair
Dummond, where there is a very high waterfall, the sound of which can be
heard at some distance; it falls into the Tay.
There is excellent angling for salmon and sea trout in the river Tay,
five or six miles above Perth, in September and October; the white trout
are in abundance in this river in the latter month; the salmon run very
large in this water, in April, May, and June; and are best taken with
large salmon flies of rather a sombre hue.
At the town of Dunkeld there is famous fishing in the Spring and Autumn.
From Dundee to Perth and Dunkeld, through the "Carse of Gowrie," the
Valley of the Tay is one of the most beautiful parts of all Scotland, in
my estimation; at both sides of the river it is interspersed with
excellent gentlemen's seats, and beautiful grounds.
There is a fishery a little above the Bridge of Perth, which is very
The flies to suit this fine river are:--
No. 1. Brown pig hair bodies, ribbed with gold, dark brown-red hackle,
wings light brown spotted turkey tail, red tag, and a scarlet joint
above it; the body to be made long and taper. Hook No. 8. Rather large
for the spring.
No. 2. A bronze peacock harl body, ribbed with gold tinsel, a brown-red
hackle, and wings of mallard mixed with hen pheasant tail, the tail of
the golden pheasant, red tail of mohair cut short, and the body to be
thin. No. 9 hook.
No. 3. Brown mohair body, with a long red-brown spotted grouse hackle;
the wings a mixture of mallard, brown turkey, and a little hen pheasant
tail. Hook No. 8 or 9.
No. 4. A puce mohair body ribbed with silver, purple hackle over it,
yellow tail of small topping, and a yellow hackle round the shoulder;
wings of golden pheasant tail, with a little spotted bustard, a topping
over all, and a black head. Hook No. 8 or 9. (A piece of wood-duck each
No. 5. An orange body ribbed with black silk and gold tinsel, topping in
the tail, and a black-red hackle over it, (a hackle with the black
streak running all the way through it); scarlet tag and tail; wings
light brown turkey tail, rather lighter at the tips, a few fibres of
wood-duck each side, the same quantity of bustard, and a bronze head.
Hook No. 9, or for high water, No. 7.
This fly will be found an excellent killer in the Tay, or any other
river in Scotland.
These, with the twelve painted and engraved flies, no man can desire
better. Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 11, will be found excellent in low water, and
Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, in high water.
THE SEA-TROUT FLIES are orange bodies, mixed wings, jay at shoulder,
silver tinsel, and a small topping for tail. Hook fff or C, say No.
Blue body, black hackle ribbed with silver, and mallard wings. Hook CC.
Green body, black hackle, gold twist, and dark brown turkey wings.
Light brown body, red hackle, gold twist, two fibres of red Ibis for
tail, and glede wings. Hook No. 6 or 7. In low water they take them
rather small, with the tinsel, of course.
Hare's ear body, ribbed with silver twist, a greyish dark hackle, the
colour of the dark fur on the ear, mallard wings, and tail of the same.
Make another fly mixed with orange and yellow mohair.
A black fly ribbed with silver tinsel, black wing with white tips, black
hackle, and a yellow head and tail. Hook C.
It would be as well to try very small gaudy flies occasionally, as you
may rise a grilse during the time you are fishing for white-trout. A
grilse loves to rise at a middling gaudy fly after leaving the sea.
Blue, green, and red flies are all good.
I will give three more favorites that will not miss:--
No. 1. Body brown claret colour, mixed with the fur of hare's ear,
ribbed with silver twist, a short black hackle, wings rather light brown
mallard, and a black head. Hook, Green Drake size, or No. 6.
No. 2. A black body, tipped with orange silk, ribbed with silver twist,
a black hackle, and dark brown turkey tail wings. Hook No. 6 or C,
varied with blue body and black-red hackle.
No. 3. A blue dun body, a dun hackle ribbed with silver twist, tail two
fibres of mallard, and grey mallard for wings. Hook C, or No. 6. A fly
with an olive body, and one with yellow and mallard wings, are good.
These flies will be found great killers where the fish are plentiful,
with a good ripple on the water, and would do admirably on the Dee and
Don, at Aberdeen.