We have now come to the last full week of the Scottish salmon fishing season. There are only a handful of rivers which remain open across Scotland and during the middle part of next week these will also close. To be honest the end of the season cannot come too soon as there has been a lack of fresh autumn salmon in our rivers this year. It was also a similar story this time last year.
The rivers around Scotland that do remain open like the Nith and the Tweed have had a disappointing November. Salmon fishing conditions have been good with river levels settled in the main over the past two weeks, but the fresh fish have just not been there in any great numbers. There have been some large fish caught from the River Tweed. Indeed, there have been fish of over thirty pounds grassed recently but these fish have been older, coloured fish. These resident fish often get more aggressive at this time of year prior to spawning and so can be quite receptive to taking a fly. There has been the odd fresh fish caught from the Tweed and the Nith but these have been few and far between.
Nature has a funny way of ending things sometimes. Many of the fish in these rivers have now gone into spawning mode and can be seen cutting redds in preparation for spawning. These fish are unlikely to take a fly. So, the river has a way of shutting down naturally. Of course, some of the salmon in these rivers would have already spawned. Hopefully, it will be a good spawning year which will hold us in good stead for the future.
Looking ahead to next autumn, we have to hope that more fresh salmon enter our Scottish rivers. Traditionally, autumn is a prime time of year in Scotland when not only large numbers of fish are caught but also large fish. Rivers like the Tay, Tweed, Teith and Annan have been famed for there so called “back end” runs of hard fighting autumn salmon.
As always, salmon fishing in Scotland during the autumn months depends a lot on the weather. At this time of year, the weather can be quite unpredictable. There are often regular lifts in water and the odd big flood, due to heavy rain and some fishing days can be lost due to high coloured water.
So, we all have to keep our fingers crossed that the weather will be kind next autumn but above all we hope there are plenty of fresh salmon in our Scottish rivers!