Atlantic Salmon Individuality
By Jock Monteith 1st March 2023
One of the fascinating things in Scottish salmon fishing is getting a close up look at these amazing creatures before setting them free. All salmon are individuals and even if from the same shoal as they all have their own individual markings and shape variances. Take a minute to watch this moving carousel of salmon individuality brilliance.
Skill Is Required For Catching 'The King Of Fish'
The thrill of catching one of these beautiful creatures is indeed amazing however the tact, skill and patience levels required should never be underestimated. Catching a perfect creation like a wild Atlantic salmon is a completely different proposition from a stocked rainbow trout so anyone looking for instant gratification in this sport is usually in for a rude awakening! If you're struggling for success in this pursuit or are looking for an introduction then get with a professional salmon fishing guide who's got a solid track record for teaching & catching success. This will get you off the starting block quickly and effectively and save much frustration.
The Salmon Fishing Pursuit
From what I've personally witnessed over the decades there's been a colossal wastage of new anglers who have initially entered this sport on a 'permit only' approach which in many cases is a false economy. Too many anglers who were initially interested enough to purchase that permit (and probably all the required salmon fishing kit too) missed out on the most important entry level component of all which is a professional guide to teach them how to 'effectively' fish for salmon and gain true value from their salmon fishing permit and fishing equipment outlays. Make no mistake about the fact that turning up with even the most expensive kit isn't going to be effective for catching a wild salmon without the vital salmon fishing skills.
The Basic Salmon Fishing Skills
Knowing how to effectively use a double handed salmon fly rod is not where an angler's skill set ends as many would believe but definitely only where the learning curve begins. Reading and adapting the fly's size and depth presentation to the prevailing water conditions is very important as is spacing each swing of the fly correctly to ensure good 'daily' water coverage is achieved. Many anglers think hammering a fish that's been constantly showing in a pool is the best way to make it take but my experience has been that if a salmon wants to have a go at your fly it'll more than likely identify itself the first or 2nd time your fly gets close enough to it.
Scottish Salmon Catch Number Potential
I often wonder what the Scottish river catch numbers would look like if a crack team of seasoned professionals were deployed on each salmon beat of every Scottish river on each fishing days of the season. I've have little doubt that this would at least quadruple the salmon catch numbers that everyone is so tuned into these days. The reality is that often no salmon anglers turn up to fish a beat at all or whoever does turn up to fish isn't necessarily experienced enough to notch up a fish for the beat's record book. As previously mentioned there's a colossal difference when it comes to success in this game between being able to throw a nice line and being able to fish effectively.
What You Need To Know To Salmon Fish Effectively
For success in this business to acquire you a close up inspection of one of these fine creatures you need to know how to use your fly rod properly and ideally with both hands to give you the versatility to be able to confidently fish from either side of the river in any wind condition. You must also know how to space each swing of the salmon fly correctly for maximising your chance of a predatory reaction from a fish that isn't in the river to feed. The big one that I see that would at least double the Scottish salmon catch records overnight is knowing how to set the hook properly when that hard earned take eventually commences. Thousands of salmon hooking opportunities are squandered each year in Scotland by anglers not dealing with the salmon take effectively enough which is a polar opposite from what's required when fly fishing for other species. Make the effort to introduce yourself properly to this amazing game and stay in this truly magnificent pursuit for life!