Dick's Pics

By RichardDonkin

Benchill, River Tay

The rods alternate beats each day on our Tay fishing week. Yesterday was Stanley. Today is Benchill beat. Gill is facing downstream looking at the Redgorten beat. The beat system has been in operation for maybe 200 years on the big Scottish rivers. These rivers are steeped in history. You can see the spots where nets were strung across the river in times when salmon were in abundance (Pippa, our dog is standing on just such a spot). That time has gone but we hope that with habitat improvements and controls on netting the salmon numbers will improve. We've certainly seen this on the Dee and Tweed.

When I started fishing we killed most of the salmon we caught. Now we put most back. I don't feel entirely comfortable about a blanket catch and release policy but the more fish that reach the spawning grounds, the more sustainable the populations and that has to be right.

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