Many anglers that come salmon fishing in Scotland want to chase the ultimate prize which of course is a hard-fighting Scottish spring salmon. In Scotland we are lucky, as our spring salmon fishing season starts in January and runs through until the end of May. Every year there are springers caught from the River Tay in January and as more rivers open in the subsequent months, more of these hard fighting fish are caught. As springers can be quite rare, especially early in the spring what is the secret about making contact with one of these magnificent but often elusive salmon?
The first thing to remember is not to over complicate tactics when fishing for Scottish spring salmon. Fresh springers and by this, I mean fish which have been in the river for around forty-eight hours are usually very aggressive and good takers. However, as they are few and far between they can be difficult to locate. These fish are easy to catch but difficult to find. Usually, if a fresh springer sees your fly, there is a strong chance it will take. Therefore, there is no point in being subtle in your approach. You want to use flies that are big and bold and show up well, especially if the water is high and cold. If the fly is large and bright, a springer is likely to see it from a distance and follow it. Also, it is important that your fly is fishing well down in the water column, as often these fish lie close to the river bed. So, if you are using a big, highly visible fly which is moving slowly and well down in the water column, usually you have all bases covered. In terms of tactics nothing could really be simpler.
When it comes to the approach, you want cover as much water as possible, especially early in the season. You need to find a springer and to do this it is better to fish a number of pools through the course of the day. By covering more water, you increase the chances of making contact with that early season salmon. Of course, the final piece of the jigsaw, as it is with any salmon fishing, is perseverance. As the saying goes the best fly is the one which is in the water the most and this is certainly true when it comes to spring salmon fishing in Scotland.
If you have a salmon fishing holiday booked in Scotland next year, keep your tactics simple, cover as much water as possible and persevere, you then stand a great chance of hooking that hard-fighting Scottish springer!