If you are confronted with low water during your Scottish salmon fishing holiday, what are the best tactics to use? Much depends on what time of year you are fishing. As salmon anglers, we usually associate low water with summer fishing. Often at this time of year the weather is hot and sunny and there is very little rainfall. In such circumstances, the water is not only low but also very clear. The fish can be quite spooky and easily disturbed and this is where using stealth tactics can pay rich dividends.
When it comes to tackle, you need to consider using lighter gear, so that there is less chance of spooking the fish. So using a lighter fly line is often what is required, as when the lighter line hits the water it will make less disturbance. Also, sometimes using a smaller rod can help as if the conditions are bright a long rod can cast a shadow over the pool and spook any salmon in close vicinity.
Another key thing to consider when salmon fishing in low water conditions is the nylon that you use. If the water is very low and clear, you may consider using fluorocarbon. This type of nylon is much thinner than standard nylon and is almost invisible in the water. It can therefore be excellent in low water conditions. However, fluorocarbon is probably not as robust as some standard types of nylon, so you need to be mindful of any snags when playing fish.
So far we have looked at tackle but what about when you are on the riverbank? It is important not to spook the fish. Therefore, it is good to keep any wading to a minimum and when possible. Also, when walking along the river stay well away from the bank. If you walk along a high bank you can inadvertently spook a fish by casting a shadow on the water.
Finally, we come to flies. Usually when the water is low and clear during the summer month’s smaller flies are often the order of the day. Small tube or dressed flies can be perfect for the job. Black is often a good colour at this time of year and you wont go far wrong with a good old Stoats tail, which is a very famous Scottish salmon fly.
No salmon angler wants to be confronted with low water during their salmon fishing holiday in Scotland. However, if you make some slight adjustments to the tackle and tactics you are using, you could end up getting the rod bent more times than you think!