For the many, attentions just now will be firmly fixed on the festive period. With Christmas just around the corner and New Year following shortly afterwards, there is much to look forward to. So, it may have escaped some anglers attentions that the beginning of the Scottish salmon fishing season is less than four weeks away.
On the 11th of January in the Scottish Highlands rivers like the Thurso, Halladale and Helmsdale open their banks to salmon anglers for the new season. These rivers will be the first to open in Scotland. Indeed, the Helmsdale river has a reputation of producing an opening day salmon. The fishing during the first week of the season is kindly donated to the general public by the Helmsdale Fishery Board. This means that anyone can collect a ticket and salmon fish one of Scotland’s iconic salmon rivers free of charge. If you have hopes of catching an early season spring salmon on the fly it may be worthwhile having a couple of days on the river in mid-January.
Shortly after these rivers open anglers on the mighty River Tay have a chance of getting their season underway. The River Tay opens on the 15thof January and this is always a special date on the Scottish salmon fishing calendar. Given decent conditions, the River Tay usually produces a few fresh fish on opening day.
Last year during the early spring months the Tay produced an incredible number of big springers. Fish were landed weighing in excess of twenty pounds and there was a few tipping the magical thirty pounds mark. The River Tay has always had a reputation for producing big fish and anglers will be hoping for more of the same in 2019.
It is not until early February when most of the other Scottish salmon rivers open. Famous rivers like the Dee, Tweed and Spey all open around this time of year. They all can produce fish on opening day and probably the River Dee represents the best chance of landing a February springer. Traditionally the Dee has been Scotland’s premier spring river and the fly water on some of the beats is second to none.
As we enter the festive season it is worth remembering that new season is now on the horizon. There will be much anticipation among salmon anglers on what the 2019 Scottish salmon fishing season holds. For everyone concerned let’s hope it is one to remember!
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