As we move into the autumn period, sometimes the salmon flies that you use need to change not only in size but also in pattern. Generally in the back end, water temperatures drop and often river levels are high. In such conditions, you need to think about using bigger flies which fish that bit deeper in the water column. Often tube flies are perfect for the job. They come in various weights and lengths. If the water is really cold, you may opt for a bigger and heavier tube fly which stands out well in the water. The heavier tube flies are usually made from materials such as copper, brass or even tungsten. These materials, ensure that the fly gets down in the water column quickly. The tactics that you use during the autumn months are usually very similar to those that are used during the spring period. The use of floating lines, coupled with small flies (which are common tactics during the summer months) seem like a distant memory.
So what are the best salmon fly patterns to use in Scotland during the autumn months? Many if the flies that work in the spring also work well towards the end of the Scottish salmon fishing season. So of course, you cannot go far wrong with the gold bodied Willie Gunn. This is an excellent Scottish fly and works well throughout the season. It does appear to be particularly effective during the spring and autumn months. Some anglers also believe that flies with red or purple in them can be very effective. The theory behind this is that the colour red or purple can illicit an aggressive response from a salmon towards the end of the season. Nobody can actually be sure why red and purple can be effective in a fly at this time of year but these colours certainly appear to work well. So flies like a Red Ally’s Shrimp can or red Flamethrower can work well.
One other salmon fly not to forget at this time of year is the trusty Cascade. The Cascade is one of the few flies that can be very productive from the opening day of the Scottish salmon fishing season right through until the end. The Cascade works well when tied as a dressed fly as well as on a tube and can be highly effective.
During the autumn months, it is just about making a few tweaks to your tactics. Using larger flies with slightly different colours like reds and purples can often do the trick!