November started off on a mild note and apart from the odd frosty morning, it stayed that way for most of the month. During the course of the month, there were a few decent lifts in water on some of the rivers that were still open, but this did little to improve the sport.
Rivers like the Annan, Nith and Tweed all had lifts in water in November. For a few days through the early part of November water conditions were almost perfect on many rivers. This is quite unusual in late autumn, as the weather can be so unpredictable. You would, therefore, have expected decent numbers of fish to be caught on the handful of rivers that remained open. Sadly, this was not the case. Despite the conditions being favourable, there was very few fresh fish caught. The autumn run did not seem to materialise in any great numbers. The fish that were being caught were mostly older coloured fish.
Anglers on the River Tweed had a lean time in November. Conditions were decent from time to time through the early part of the month but unfortunately, there were very few fresh fish around. By mid-November, some of the fish had started to spawn and even a few kelts were being caught. The river started to shut down naturally as most of this fish had turned their thoughts towards spawning and were not interested in taking a fly in the slightest. Through most of November, the majority of the fish were caught from the middle and upper river, with just the odd fish being caught on the beats around Coldstream. During the final few days of the season, heavy rain across the catchment area led to a further lift in water and some beats were unfishable due to coloured water. Many of the ghillies were relieved to finish the season a few days early after such a lean month. Looking ahead to next year hopefully, there will be a decent spring run and the autumn fish will return to the river in ever increasing numbers, so anglers on the Tweed can enjoy a productive season.
The River Annan closed its banks to anglers in mid-November. Catches on the river were disappointing through the course of the month. There was decent water through the early part of November and there were a few fish caught but once again most of these were coloured.
Just like the Tweed anglers on the Nith also struggled in November. There appeared to be a lack of fresh fish in the river. The majority of fish being caught were older, coloured fish. There were a few fish caught from the river before the season ended but sadly not in any great numbers.
It has been a difficult November across Scotland and this has mirrored much of the 2018 season as a whole. Generally, water conditions have been favourable, especially through the early part of the month, but unfortunately, the back-end run has failed to materialise in any great numbers. Let us hope that it will be a very different story next year and anglers will be landing good numbers of fresh autumn salmon.