Anglers that have booked a salmon fishing holiday in Scotland in recent years and have come back to fish again are likely to have noticed that the spring salmon run on many Scottish rivers is improving. This is great news, as for many anglers catching a springer is the ultimate achievement. Nothing beats the beauty and power of a hard-fighting Scottish springer. Around ten years ago these magnificent fish seemed to be on the decline on our Scottish rivers. However, over the past few years catches of spring salmon have steadily increased on many rivers. It is not only the numbers of fish that have increased, but also on some rivers, the size of the fish appears to be getting bigger. There has been a lot of money spent by the different fishery boards around Scotland to improve spawning habitats for the salmon, build hatcheries and also to introduce a mandatory catch and release policy for all spring salmon caught until 1st April. All these measures seemed to have helped and now spring catches seem to be on the up on many rivers.
It is not just on one river that spring catches have improved. In the Scottish Highlands, rivers like the Thurso, Naver and Helmsdale have produced decent numbers of springers in recent years. Moving further south anglers on the River Spey and Findhorn have also enjoyed excellent sport during the early part of the season. The spring run on the River Tay has also improved which has been great to see.
If you are planning a salmon fishing holiday in Scotland and want to particularly target springers then there are several rivers to choose from. The best month to target Scottish spring salmon depends on the river itself, but is usually April and May is a good time. If you want to fish on smaller rivers then the Scottish Highlands is the place to be. The Thurso, Helmsdale and Brora all produce good numbers of early salmon. Larger rivers like the Dee, Spey and Tay can also be prolific during the months of April and May, so there really is a river to suit every taste during the spring months in Scotland.
It has always been a romantic image for many salmon anglers of the picture of a large springer with snow in the background. This was a common sight in years gone by. If the Scottish spring salmon runs continue to improve year on year, then many of us may be able to be a part of that romantic image!