The Atlantic Salmon is one of the most highly prized fish among game anglers. These fantastic creatures are well known for their superb fighting qualities and elusiveness. What makes catching the Atlantic Salmon such a challenge is that it is a fish which actually does not feed in freshwater. Therefore, usually, the only reason why they will take a fly or lure is if they are feeling curious, threatened or in a playful mood. Numbers of Atlantic Salmon around the world are dwindling and so this makes the task of catching one of these fish even more of an achievement. Pound for pound the Atlantic Salmon is the hardest fighting fish in British freshwater with the average size ranging from anything between eight to twelve pounds. However, fish over twenty pounds are regularly caught and fish over the thirty-pound mark are not uncommon. All salmon give a terrific fight and one that the angler will never forget. They will often make long surging runs stripping fly line from the reel at will and can be very acrobatic leaping in the air a number of times during the fight. Landing a salmon can take considerable time sometimes even up to forty-five minutes in some cases. It is one thing hooking a salmon but whether you will land it or not is definitely another matter. It is therefore easy to see why catching an Atlantic Salmon is high up on many anglers’ bucket lists.
Scotland is well known as being one of the world’s top destinations when it comes to fishing for Atlantic Salmon. Scotland has a multitude of productive salmon rivers for the visiting angler to choose from. From the smaller fast-flowing rivers of the beautiful Scottish Highlands to the larger rivers in central Scotland, each river has its own unique character and offers the visiting angler a different challenge. Some rivers have very clear water and so often stealth tactics can pay rich dividends. Other rivers can have much darker water especially if the land at the headwaters of the river contain a lot of peat. These rivers often require the angler to use brighter flies, so they show up well in the water column.
Probably the four most famous and prolific salmon rivers in Scotland are the Dee, Spey, Tay and Tweed. These rivers are known as Scotland’s “Big four” salmon rivers and are consistently some of the most productive in the country.
The River Tay is Scotland’s largest river and to this day it still holds the British rod-caught record for the largest salmon weighing in at a colossal sixty-four pounds. The River Tay flows through beautiful Perthshire in central Scotland and has a reputation for producing big salmon. It is a well-known fact that if you are looking to catch the fish of a lifetime then the Tay is the river for you.
The Scottish salmon fishing season starts on different dates depending on the individual river. A number of rivers open in mid-January and most waters are open by early February. During the early part of the season, fishing can be tough especially if the Scottish weather is not feeling in a charitable mood. However, if you are lucky enough to catch a salmon at this time of year it is well worth the effort.
As early season spring salmon fishing in Scotland by law is catch and release only. However, it is easy to get a fantastic cast made of your trophy fish. These days there is no need to kill a salmon to get a lifelike cast made which can hang pride of place in your home for all to see. All you need is a good quality HD picture of your prize specimen. Indeed, the highly talented John Edwards from Fish Recreations can do this for you and then you will have a fantastic souvenir for life.
Nothing can prepare you for the battle with an early season Scottish spring salmon, so why not come and experience it for yourself? You won’t be disappointed!