When booking a salmon fishing holiday in Scotland, it is important to remember that the vast majority of rivers only allow fly fishing as the permitted method of fishing. This is especially the case in the Scottish Highlands. However, there are some rivers in central and southern Scotland which allow spinning. On some rivers, only certain beats allow this. Rivers like the Tay, Tweed and Annan amongst a few others allow both methods. Many anglers detest the thought of catching a salmon in Scotland on a spinning rod and are fly fishing purists. There are others who enjoy using both methods. In Scotland we are so lucky, as there is a salmon river to suit every angler’s tastes and methods.
If you are salmon fishing on a beat which also allows spinning, it is important to use the most productive method. Often weather and water conditions can dictate this. If for example you are fishing on the River Tay or Tweed in the early spring, the water can often be high and cold and maybe slightly coloured. In such conditions, the best chance of catching a salmon can be, by using a spinning rod. The lures used for spinning are much bigger than the standard tube fly which would normally be used early in the season and so they often show up better in coloured water. It is in these conditions, that spinning can be the more productive method compared to fly fishing. If the river is high and coloured and you are allowed to spin on the beat you are fishing, then often spinning is the only realistic method of catching a fish. As already mentioned there are some fly fishers that could think of nothing worse than spinning for salmon and of course it is there choice to continue to persevere fly fish.
In late spring and summer the water can often be low and clear. On many Scottish rivers this is the prime time to chase hard fighting Scottish salmon. In such conditions, more often than not, fly fishing is the preferred method. Let us be honest, there is no greater feeling than hooking a salmon on the fly. When that line tightens, it really is a moment of ecstasy!
As we all know, the Scottish weather can be quite temperamental to say the least. Because of this, river levels can fluctuate quite significantly. If you are fishing on a river or beat which allows spinning and the water is high and coloured, often this is the time to employ the spinning rod. It is all about selecting the right method to suit the conditions. That way, you will maximise your chances during your Scottish salmon fishing holiday.