Fresh Run Early Spring Salmon
By Jock Monteith 4th February 2018
The early months of the Scottish salmon season gives you the chance to see an example of what silver should really look like on the flanks of God's finest marine creation. This can best be described as 'more silver than a big bag of silver things'!
Early Spring Salmon Fishing
Most of the Scottish salmon fishing fraternity prefer the later Spring months when there are more fish about and the water levels are down with warmer more tolerable air temperatures. Personally as a former River Tay professional ghillie I'd be scratching at the back door of the house like a demented werewolf to get out and into the Tay's fresh air at this time of year for the chance of a real fish like the 27 pounder that showed up on the middle Tay earlier this week.
The Early Spring Salmon Challenge
During the early Spring when higher water conditions and fewer salmon are present to target it increases the cubic foot of water to salmon ratio which is a great time of year to hone your persistency & river reading skill levels for a chance of success. This time of year separates the men from the boys as the men will be out there where it matters and the boys will be thinking up different excuses why they shouldn't be. The men however understand the exceptional prize they are playing for and that's the main difference.
The Scottish River Opening Days
While the opening day ceremonies on all the Scottish rivers are heavily attended it amazes me how the thousands of anglers who show up for the celebrations are mainly nowhere to be seen for the following 2 or 3 months. This year on the Tay the rising coloured water conditions ruined any real chances of success on the 15th of January which was a shame but a brilliant basic lesson from the salmon river who cares not a jot for big attendances, river reports or TV cameras.
Take Early The Salmon Fishing Months Seriously
These early months are some of the best of the year and highly under rated for a chance of connection with a Loch Tay destined 'clunker' of a Spring fish. This was the time of year on the Tay when the 'Yellow Belly' devon minnow was used with great effect in the 70's as was a big whiskered long tailed 'Yellow & Orange' tube fly when systematically and expertly swung over the salmon lies from the boat. This was also the time of year to sit beside a coal fire in the fishing hut with a quality dram in your hand listening to the amazing stories of the Head Ghillie while still as 'high as a kite' from the capture of your first Spring fish of the season.
Get Yourself Out Onto The River
Don't be deceived or put off by a big flowing Scottish salmon rivers at this time of year nor be surprised about the lowish 'catch stats' reporting crap that's sadly had a strong 'grip of the nuts' of Scottish salmon fishing over the last decade. None of these above factors mean that the timing of your fly or lure won't coincide with the square metre of salmon pool where a huge brute of a fresh run Spring salmon has just pitched tent before its deadly hunting attack begins the scrap of a lifetime!
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