One of the most sought-after fish in the world?
Salmon fishing in Scotland truly is an experience to behold. Beautiful countryside a magnificent array of rivers and of course hard fighting salmon. Probably landing a spring salmon on the fly is the ultimate achievement in our sport and these fish are one of the most sought-after fish in the world. It is easy to see why.
The salmon fishing season in Scotland begins in mid-January and usually, the spring period runs until the end of May. At this time of year especially in the early spring salmon fishing can be tough. The numbers of salmon entering our rivers are fewer than during the summer months. The weather can also be testing. However, the fish that run our Scottish rivers at this time of year are often large in size and extremely powerful. These fish are usually very fresh and many are sea liced. As there are fewer fish often it is more about finding a fish as fresh spring salmon are usually good takers. These salmon can regularly weigh over twenty pounds and the fight they often give, is truly unforgettable. They can make multiple runs which can last over thirty minutes and in some cases even longer. These fish truly test man and tackle in equal measure.
There are no shortage of rivers to choose from when it comes to spring salmon fishing in Scotland. Many of the rivers in the Highlands enjoy an early spring run. Rivers like the Thurso, Helmsdale and Oykel amongst others all regularly produce hard fighting spring salmon in February and March. The famous River Spey is also another river which has a reputation for providing early season fish consistently. Traditionally the River Dee in Aberdeenshire has been one of the most productive rivers during the early part of the season with fresh fish usually caught on opening day.
Of course, when talking about spring salmon fishing in Scotland you can never discount the mighty River Tay. The Tay opens its banks to anglers in mid-January and has a well-earned reputation for producing large salmon. Each year there are numerous fish caught from the river which weigh in excess of twenty pounds and some even tip the scales at over thirty pounds. The prime spring period on the Tay usually begins in late March and runs through until the end of May.
Just like the Tay, the River Tweed also enjoys a decent spring run with fish regularly caught at the start of the season in February. It is usually the beats located on the lower river which enjoy the bulk of the sport during the early part of the season. However, once the water temperature begins to rise the beats on the middle river also start to produce fish on a more consistent basis.
Another lesser known river, the North Esk is an excellent early season river. The North Esk opens in February and regularly produces fish from opening day onwards. It is a much smaller river than its more illustrious counterparts, but this makes it easy to cover and so finding a springer is made that little bit easier.
So, as you can see there are no shortage of excellent options when it comes to chasing early season silver in Scotland. Will you be one of the lucky anglers to land one of the most sought-after fish in the world in 2020?