We as salmon anglers often divide the classical salmon fishing pool into three distinct sections which makes it easy to describe. At the top of the pool, there is usually a run which is where the pool starts. This is known as the head of the pool. This can often be quite fast flowing, narrower than the rest of the pool and shallower. Then we come to the middle section of the salmon pool. This is the main body of the pool and often the deepest part. In low water and during the summer months this area of the pool can hold the main bulk of fish. If the current is quite slow in the main body of the pool, then in higher water this area can prove to be quite productive. Finally, we come to the last part of the pool which is known as the tail. Often the water in the tail can speed up, especially if the pool starts to narrow. The tail of the pool can also be shallower. So which parts of the pool are the most productive? As always it is very difficult to generalise as each salmon pool has its own unique characteristics. A lot also depends on the water height and temperature as well as the time of year.
When fishing a salmon pool, most anglers often fish the head and main body of the pool meticulously. At the head of a pool there is usually plenty of current and if it is narrow, its easily covered. This makes it perfect for fly fishing. The heads of salmon pools can be particularly productive in the late spring and summer months, especially if the water is low and there is little flow. This is because in these conditions the salmon often prefer lying in faster water as there is more oxygen. If the main body of the pool is deep coupled with there being little current this can often be the place to find early running springers. The fish that are caught in February and March often prefer to lie in slower deeper water. Also, if the water is very high it may be that the main body of the pool can be the prefect ambush point, as it has the least amount of current making it an easy resting place for the salmon.
The tail of a salmon pool can be perfect to target running fish regardless of the time of year. Often if the fish are tired after running into the pool, they will take a rest in the tail before heading upstream. The tail of a pool can also be productive towards the end of the season, so it is a part of the pool not to forget.
No matter what anyone says, there is always a chance of fish anywhere in a salmon pool, regardless of the time of year. If you are in doubt about where to concentrate your efforts, just cover every inch of water, as you might hook that elusive Scottish salmon just where you least expect it!
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