We will move into September tomorrow and this can potentially be a very productive month on many Scottish rivers. Looking around us, the landscape is changing. The leaves on the trees are gradually turning from a bright, vibrant green to a pale yellow. On the moorland, the heather is blossoming into colour. The geese are returning to our shores having made their annual migration and the days are drawing in, with the nights getting cooler. This can only mean one thing; the changing of the seasons, as we move from summer to autumn.
Traditionally the 1st of September marks the beginning of the autumn fishing period and soon the summer season will be a distant memory. Usually, autumn is when the numbers of salmon in our Scottish rivers peak and there is a chance of making big catches, especially if the conditions are favourable. Hopefully, autumn 2017 will prove to be productive and one to remember for all the right reasons.
Looking back, it has been a tough summer season for many anglers across Scotland due to the hot weather and lack of water especially in northern Scotland where the drought has continued for some months now. In the Scottish Highlands, rivers like the Thurso, Wick, Helmsdale and Naver are all in desperate need of a good spate to encourage the fish lying in the estuary to run upstream.
Anglers on the River Ness have continued to enjoy a good season. After a productive spring there have also been good numbers of fish caught during the summer months. Anglers on the River Dee enjoyed some good sport after a lift in water during the early part of August and it is hoped that catches will continue to improve if there is good water in September.
Catches on the River Tay and Tweed also picked up in August after small lifts in water and some of the fish caught were of excellent quality and weighing in excess of twenty pounds.
Looking ahead, it is often in September and October when large catches are made on rivers like the Tay and Tweed. Over the years the River Tay has been prolific in autumn. Fresh salmon run the river through until the last day of the season, which is on the 15th of October. Usually there are not only decent numbers of salmon caught during the autumn months but many of the fish are large in size. If you are wanting to go for that biggie, then September and October on the River Tay is often the place to be.
Traditionally, the most prolific river in Scotland during the autumn months is the River Tweed. People come from all over the world to salmon fish on the Tweed in September, October and November. The Tweed has a famous back end run which draws anglers back to the Scottish Borders, year after year. Given adequate water, it is not uncommon for some beats on the river during the autumn months to produce daily catches well into double figures.
As the salmon fishing season starts to draw towards a close nothing beats having a few red-letter days on the river. With the landscape in September and October constantly changing and with good numbers of Scottish salmon in our rivers, there really is a fantastic chance of landing some late season silver on a backdrop of autumn gold!