It has been a very hot, dry summer across almost all of Scotland so far this year. Indeed summer 2018 will be remembered for one of the warmest on record. These conditions have been hardly conducive for good salmon fishing in Scotland. Anglers that have enjoyed success have had to fish unsociable hours and refine their tactics significantly. In terms of unsociable hours, anglers that have done well have been fishing mainly early in the morning and then again late at night. When it is so hot and bright through the day often the fish are at their most active in cool low light conditions. They also have more confidence to run upstream when it is duller.
When it comes to refining tactics in such difficult conditions often a stealthy approach is required. This can mean using shorter and lighter rods coupled with lighter fly lines and smaller flies. Using fluorocarbon for leader material can also pay rich dividends in certain circumstances. In terms of flies often the smaller more subtle patterns work well. As well as scaling down your tackle a stealthy approach to the riverbank can also help. This can be by keeping wading to a minimum and also trying to avoid spooking any fish in low clear water. By concentrating your efforts in low light conditions you automatically reduce the risk of doing this.
Looking ahead at the weather forecast there is a sign that temperatures are going to drop significantly across Scotland towards the end of this week. For much of the summer so far we have had a mild south westerly airflow which has led to such extreme heat. However, in the next few days, this is going to be replaced by cooler more fresher air from the Atlantic as the winds come down from the northwest. This should lead to a drop in water temperatures and also hopefully encourage some rainfall as weather fronts come in from the Atlantic. If it does get cooler in the next few days and we do get some heavy rain and subsequent lift in water the fishing prospects for the next few weeks could be very promising.
There are large numbers of fish currently lying in many estuaries around the North of Scotland and a spate would be just what the doctor ordered. So if you are planning on coming to Scotland to salmon fish in the next few weeks, let us hope that mother nature is kind as you might have a Scottish salmon fishing trip to remember!