Anglers that have come salmon fishing to Scotland this autumn, would probably have found that the weather has been quite frustrating. Due to the unsettled nature of the weather in Scotland over the past few weeks (which is not unusual at this time of year) river levels have been up and down. As we all know, unsettled water levels do not make for good salmon fishing conditions. From early September, river levels have fluctuated on a regular basis and this has continued through October. If anything, over the last couple of weeks the weather across Scotland has become even more extreme. The strengthening jetstream has brought frequent spells of strong winds and heavy rain to many parts of the country. This has led to water levels rising on almost a daily basis on some rivers. Earlier this week, we felt the after effects of ex hurricane Ophelia, which brought storm force winds and heavy rain to much of Scotland and there are further storms forecast in the upcoming days.
Autumn can be a very unpredictable time of year when it comes to the Scottish weather. It can often be a time of extremes which is not good for salmon fishing. In years gone by, the warm hot sunny weather of the summer months have extended well into September and October. This coupled with warm water temperatures and low water has made salmon fishing very difficult. Many of the fish in the pools in this scenario are stale, and with low water levels, few fresh fish run the river systems. Conversely, this year has seen exactly the opposite of that weather pattern. We have had a lot of rain on a regular basis and this has been accompanied by strong winds. If the unsettled water conditions have not been bad enough, the strong winds have led to days when there have been so many leaves in the river that fishing has almost been made impossible. Another factor which has not helped this year is that there has not been any cold weather yet. A hard frost often makes the salmon more aggressive as they turn their thoughts towards spawning.  This can make them more inclined into taking a fly.
Ideally, during the autumn months you want cold weather with regular frosts. As well as this, a decent lift in water every fortnight or so would make for perfect conditions. As well all know, the weather is down to mother nature and out with our control. Hopefully, over the next few weeks the weather will settle down as will river levels, so anglers can enjoy some good salmon fishing in Scotland during the remainder of the 2017 season.