A common mistake you often see anglers make when salmon fishing in Scotland, is wading out too deeply. Some salmon fishers have a misconception that by wading out further in the river they can actual cover more water. By deep wading you can often spook the fish in a pool before the fly even hits the water and this dramatically limits your chances of making contact with that hard-fighting Scottish salmon.
It is worth remembering when considering the thorny issue of wading, that salmon often lie in very shallow water, sometimes less than a foot deep. This is especially the case early in the morning during the summer months, if they are lying in an oxygenated shallow run at the head of a pool.
So if you can avoid wading when salmon fishing down a pool then it can be well worth keeping your wading boots dry. Salmon can be very spooky, especially in low water, and the slightest disturbance can scare them. Often it is worthwhile fishing down the pool twice if time constraints allow. On the first time down the pool you can fish from the bank covering all the water close in. After this, you can fish the pool again, but this time wade out to say around knee depth and then cover the water towards the far bank. By doing this, you are unlikely to spook any fish that are lying close to the near bank. This tactic especially works well during the summer months when the water is low and often stealth can be the key.
As already mentioned anglers believe that if they can wade that bit further and deeper in the water, they can cover more water, but this is often not the case. It can be much harder to Spey cast a greater distance when you are wading in deeper water. This because you cannot make as a big a D-loop on your back cast, as there is less clearance between the rod tip and the water. A large tight D- loop is one of the keys to Spey distance casting.
Finally, you should never overlook safety on the riverbank. By keeping wading to a minimum, it reduces the likelihood of slipping and falling into the river. Also, it is much easier to get out of the water if have fallen in shallower ankle-deep water than if it is chest deep. What does go without saying is that even if you are near the river, regardless of whether you are wading, always use a buoyancy aid as that could save your life.