Over the past few weeks, several famous salmon rivers across Scotland have opened their banks to anglers. The season got underway in January, with both the Helmsdale and Thurso rivers opening on the 11th of the month. In recent days, the Helmsdale has produced it’s first fish of the new season. The Thurso river has produced numerous kelts and baggots but that springer is still proving to be elusive. Hopefully, it is just a matter time before the first fish of the season is landed from the river.

Highland rivers can produce some great early season sport

The River Tay opened on the 16th of January and this has always been a much anticipated and special date on the Scottish fishing calendar. There were some nice fresh fish caught on opening day, which was great to see. Through the course of January, the River Tay enjoyed good fishing conditions. Water levels had been on the low side. In fact, the Tay had not been so low in January, since 2010. This was not a bad thing, as often when it comes to early season spring fishing you are looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. With water levels dropping, the haystack gets smaller, making it easier to find that needle. There have been some cracking springers caught from the Tay system in the past few weeks and there will be plenty more to come.

A stunning Tay springer

As well as the River Tay being open for business, both the River Dee and Tweed opened last week. Both rivers produced fresh fish during the opening week. The Dee is traditionally one of Scotland’s most prolific spring salmon rivers and a fly fishers dream. February can be a productive month on the river and the fish are usually large in size.
The Tweed can also produce fish consistently in February. Indeed, the beats on the lower river between Kelso and Coldstream produce fish regularly at this time of year. From next week, the Tweed also allows spinning on some beats, which gives anglers an alternative method to try.

The magnificent River Spey opens at the end of this week

With the River Spey and both the North & South Esk opening at the weekend, the 2017 Scottish salmon fishing season will be truly underway.
As each day goes by, there will be more and more fresh fish entering our river systems. Although, still being relatively early in the Scottish salmon fishing calendar, February can be an excellent month to target that specimen salmon. The fish are usually large in size and very powerful. With the fish being so fresh at this time of year, the fight from a springer is unforgettable and one which will live with you for a long time.
In the last couple of weeks, the days have started to get notably longer and soon the long dark nights of winter will be a distant memory. Hopefully, spring will come to our shores early this year and with it, large numbers of hard fighting fresh salmon. If the weather remains fair, February can be great time of year to be out on the riverbank. Many a spring salmon has been caught on a bright, crisp February morning. Catching an early springer is the ultimate achievement in our wonderful sport, so why not have a cast?

Catching an early season springer has to be the ultimate achievement in our sport

With the 2017 Scottish salmon fishing season now in full swing, it is time to chase some early season silver. Spring salmon fishing is not only great fun but also highly addictive and can be so rewarding!