Due to the current Covid 19 global pandemic there is no fishing being permitted on any river in the UK. This is because of the current UK government restrictions and no one actually knows when we will be able to wet a line on Scotland’s salmon rivers again. It may be in a few weeks when the current restrictions are reviewed, or we may just have to be patient and wait a bit longer.
As we speak, Scottish spring salmon will still be running many of our rivers. One good thing is that they have been left in peace without any angling pressure. Over the past few weeks there has been very little rainfall across Scotland. This has been mainly due to high pressure controlling our weather. Indeed, this has been one of the driest April’s on record with many bright sunny days. As a result, water levels on many of Scotland’s salmon rivers have dropped away.
In the Scottish Highlands, rivers like the Thurso, Naver and Oykel have been low since the end of March and many could do with a decent lift in water. Moving further south rivers like the Dee and Spey are also now quite low. So, a decent lift in water would definitely help freshen conditions and encourage any fresh fish lying in the lower reaches of these rivers to run further upstream. This could result in much improved fishing conditions when our rivers finally do reopen.
May can be a very productive month on Scotland’s salmon rivers especially if there is adequate water. May is usually the time when the spring run peaks on many rivers around the country. Towards the end of the month early summer salmon and even the odd grilse start to trickle into our river systems and so when that line tightens you just don’t know what has taken your fly!
Traditionally given decent water levels rivers like the Thurso, Helmsdale and Brora amongst others can all fish well in May. The River Ness also usually starts to produce fish on a more consistent basis. Beats around the Grantown area become more productive in May as the spring run on the Spey gradually moves further upstream. It is a similar story on the River Dee with beats located between Ballater and Aboyne enjoying more of the action. Further south, May is prime month for the beats located on the middle River Tay and traditionally this is the prime spring period for many of these beats. The Tay differs from many other rivers as it does not need a big lift in water at this time of year as fresh fish can run the system usually regardless of the water height.
So, as you can see the opportunities to catch a spring salmon in May in Scotland are truly endless, with many rivers to choose from. So, as anglers all we can do is be patient and wait for the government advice. If it is then deemed that it is safe to fish in the upcoming weeks and we do get a decent lift in water on some of Scotland’s salmon rivers, many anglers could experience some Scottish may magic!