THERE WERE encouraging signs from the Tay system last week of greatly improved salmon runs.  The recorded catch total of 211 was nearly treble the previous week.  Water levels dropped back steadily and the lower river produced more than half of the total catch.

Almondmouth and Coupar Grange topped the returns with 44 and 31 respectively.  The best was a 25-pounder from Kercock. The numbers of grilse seem to be significant.

Coupar Grange 2010 grilse

A fresh-run 4 lb grilse - just one of 31 salmon from Coupar Grange last week. It fell to a size 10 yellow and black Ally's

Up on the Ericht, some 500 fish a night were being recorded through the counter with more apparently going straight up the wall. Bob Whyte’s blog notes over 3000 this season through the Pitlochry ladder which he says equates with the five year average.

I was fortunate last Thursday to be at Coupar Grange. The day before it had delivered 10, putting a smile of the face of ghillie Johnny Muller.  And I had a four-pounder on the bank after just half-a-dozen casts.  Another four were recorded during the day.

Muller is optimistic of a healthy grilse run for August from Bruce Reid’s attractive and well managed stretch of single-handed water.

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