Do Salmon colour up at sea?

goosander

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A fish tagged at the top of the Tummel came back down and lay in the area were the boats are at Almond mouth for the rest of the season a few years back. The gillie Pete was sure a lot of fish run up and down the river. Also after netting the top pool Boxy and being finished by 8 30 the rods starting at 9 would get fish right away.
Bob.
 

Horsbrugh

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It's interesting about colouring before spawning. Tweed fish come in silver at the end of November and presumably spawn quite soon after? Fowey fish used to regularly be caught in mid December bright silver, but sometimes the Cocks would be dropping milt.

A lot of these late running fish did not spawn in the upper river till January and even February in some cases. Sadly it’s all much earlier these days. Not much left after mid December now.
 

Nigel Passmore

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It's interesting about colouring before spawning. Tweed fish come in silver at the end of November and presumably spawn quite soon after? Fowey fish used to regularly be caught in mid December bright silver, but sometimes the Cocks would be dropping milt.
Well it was always Bill Currie's contention that many end Nov Tweed silver fish, particulalry cocks, were really early springers. Given in the eighties we chapped them and they had no milt if cocks who could argue against this?

Way back then, not now Marty, we caught three types of silver fish (among the vast majority of coloured fish) in late Nov on Upper Tweed. Purple Silvers (just autumn fish), the occasional greyback (also autumn fish but much less advanced in spawing) once in a while a Blue Back really a spring fish (rarely caught above Upper Floors).

Halcyon days

Regards

NHP
 

butter o mary

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I've had fish from the Tay at Perth that were absolutely black and dripping in long tailed lice!.
Was quite a while ago now usually in September.
Pedro.
Same here Pedro. Not for a good number of years though. Often wondered if these were fish that coloured up at sea........I suppose they also may have come in earlier in the season and doubled back.....theoretically picking up sea lice. I would have thought they would have had to go right back beyond Dundee to get to proper salty water unless sea lice are in brackish water as well waiting on a host? Who knows?
It would be great to even see a few fish in the Lower Tay this backend to be honest. Sad times.
 

marty31

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Same here Pedro. Not for a good number of years though. Often wondered if these were fish that coloured up at sea........I suppose they also may have come in earlier in the season and doubled back.....theoretically picking up sea lice. I would have thought they would have had to go right back beyond Dundee to get to proper salty water unless sea lice are in brackish water as well waiting on a host? Who knows?
It would be great to even see a few fish in the Lower Tay this backend to be honest. Sad times.
the lower tay?? In the ninties we had a couple of trips in September (bang on this time of the year) at the perth town water, the water was low (exactly like now) and the whole bottom river was stuffed with salmon right down and below the harbour, thousands of the beasts, and some corkers too, below the old bridge there was a salmon lying that was high thirties -low forties! now I am fully aware the backend run is gone on the tweed and some other east coast rivers, but surely given the time of the season and prolonged low water, it must still be holding a hell of a good population of fresh salmon? anyone in the know?
 

midgydug

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I have seen fish caught in drift nets in late 70's/ early 80's in the sea in late summer which were starting to colour up.
They werent the tartan & black fish you get in a river at back end, but certainly were not bars of silver
 

butter o mary

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the lower tay?? In the ninties we had a couple of trips in September (bang on this time of the year) at the perth town water, the water was low (exactly like now) and the whole bottom river was stuffed with salmon right down and below the harbour, thousands of the beasts, and some corkers too, below the old bridge there was a salmon lying that was high thirties -low forties! now I am fully aware the backend run is gone on the tweed and some other east coast rivers, but surely given the time of the season and prolonged low water, it must still be holding a hell of a good population of fresh salmon? anyone in the know?
Hi Marty.
I probably fished opposite you back in the day. I still have my lower Tay permits.......hanging on the the hope that the good days might just return.
I look wistfully at the river in the middle of Perth at least once a week. I was there yesterday and stood looking for over 30 mins with a coffee in hand. No a fin, not a splash, nothing.......in perfect conditions for that water at this time of year. I was also at Upper Redgorton for a day last week. Only saw around 10 fish and those that I got a good look at were very coloured. Sad times.
There was a decent wee run in late July / early August after a spate and that's been it for the Tay. There are fish being caught on some beats but they are, in the main, coloured old fish and only a few per day. Its hard not to be full of doom and gloom but they fish just are not there I am afraid. Like you I remember the lower beats being full of fish at this time of year. I get that the runs have changed but the numbers per season are simply not there. Something has to change as it's not sustainable at present.
 

marty31

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Hi Marty.
I probably fished opposite you back in the day. I still have my lower Tay permits.......hanging on the the hope that the good days might just return.
I look wistfully at the river in the middle of Perth at least once a week. I was there yesterday and stood looking for over 30 mins with a coffee in hand. No a fin, not a splash, nothing.......in perfect conditions for that water at this time of year. I was also at Upper Redgorton for a day last week. Only saw around 10 fish and those that I got a good look at were very coloured. Sad times.
There was a decent wee run in late July / early August after a spate and that's been it for the Tay. There are fish being caught on some beats but they are, in the main, coloured old fish and only a few per day. Its hard not to be full of doom and gloom but they fish just are not there I am afraid. Like you I remember the lower beats being full of fish at this time of year. I get that the runs have changed but the numbers per season are simply not there. Something has to change as it's not sustainable at present.
We live in hope and past memories, its now becoming apparent that its not just one river! Its the autumn run completely, if its any consolation? And i dont suppose it is! The bottom tweed is exactly how you describe the bottom tay, basically, perfect water, perfect time of the year, and no fish, devastating, and as you say not sustainable, unless the swing to the spring run improves big style.
 

Don CurlyHorny

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We live in hope and past memories, its now becoming apparent that its not just one river! Its the autumn run completely, if its any consolation? And i dont suppose it is! The bottom tweed is exactly how you describe the bottom tay, basically, perfect water, perfect time of the year, and no fish, devastating, and as you say not sustainable, unless the swing to the spring run improves big style.

Don’t worry Marty It’s just a cycle, and the run timings changing to spring. I’m sure the increase in springers was predicted to be next year, I think, or the next one, or was it 5 years 🤔 …. doesn’t matter because whenever it happens anyway, that’s when it is it’ll be claimed, and it’s true because I read it on here.

Now on that note Doom and gloomers was a term given to those who moaned about a lack of fish in certain rivers, must be going on 10 years now. Funny thing is, never hear a peep or a thread on the subject and it’s all now gone a bit quiet. Oh how they laughed and mocked though, really was hilarious. The good old forum days 😕

DCH
 

simonjh98

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We didn't really notice them on the Faughan, but 10 miles down the road on the river Roe, they always had a run of late fish that they called 'The Copper Run'. As others have said, many of them were sea liced but they had a very copper colour to them.

I'm really not sure where they started colouring but they were fresh run fish that were already well coloured.
Yea its very interesting. Had them around Newtownstewart with Glenelly and Owenkillew fish a few years ago too.
 

butter o mary

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I was speaking with a highly experienced angler and ex ghillie at the weekend. He still keeps in touch with other ghillies. Lots of them are genuinely worried about their livelihood. A few good weeks from mid July to mid August is not a sustainable season. I know a couple who think their jobs are at risk. I hope they are wrong. Depressing stuff. On a significantly brighter note I got my fist of the season on Friday. A VERY coloured hen fish. Safely, and gratefully, returned. We have had a fair bit of rain today and the upper river is up around 18 inches. It will be interesting to see what this brings. Early springers? :)
 
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