We have now moved into October and gradually the salmon rivers around Scotland are closing their banks to anglers. In recent days famous rivers like the Helmsdale, Oykel and Spey amongst others have finished for the season. Soon anglers fishing on rivers like the Thurso, Dee and Tay will also hang up their rods for another season. For those anglers that are looking to experience some late season sport there are still a number of fantastic options available. Rivers like the Teith and Esk are open until the end of October and the River Tweed, Annan and Nith are open well into November. Traditionally these rivers have enjoyed a good back end run and let us hope that this will be the case this year.
Looking back at the season as a whole, some rivers have enjoyed a productive few months. In the Scottish Highlands, many rivers had a productive summer period. It was good to see decent numbers of grilse caught from rivers like the Thurso, Helmsdale and Oykel. Of course, the weather played its part. Unlike last year it remained relatively cool and there were also frequent spells of rain which helped freshen conditions on a regular basis. Good water levels ensured that fresh fish were regularly running the rivers and sport was consistent.
Probably the biggest success story of the season in Scotland was on the River Spey. The river produced good numbers of spring salmon during the early part of the season which was encouraging. The river also fished well during the summer period and there were no shortage of grilse or larger summer salmon landed. The Spey continued to produce decent numbers of fish until the season ended a few days ago. There were also some larger fish caught from the river through the course of the season including numerous fishing weighing in excess of twenty pounds and some close to the thirty-pounds mark. In spring there was also a magnificent fish of over forty pounds landed which was great to see. After a difficult year last year, it has been heart-warming to see the river fish so well and long may it continue.
There are still some excellent salmon fishing opportunities available this season across Scotland. If you are looking to chase that big Scottish salmon the River Tay has to be a prime candidate. It has a reputation for producing larger fish and is open until the middle of October. The Tay has produced numerous fish in excess of twenty pounds in recent weeks. The River Tweed is open until the end of November and has been fishing consistently in recent weeks and with current good water conditions, the next few days of could prove to be quite productive.
For those anglers that have already hung up their salmon rods for the season, well there is always next year. There is no finer fish in our sport to catch than that fresh gleaming early season springer!