Life On A Salmon River

By 3rd May 2018

If you've chosen the ghillie route in life then thank your lucky stars you can spend your days in such beautiful natural surroundings and in such an amazingly natural pursuit. There's huge 'life value' in turning up on a salmon river each day.

The Highs & Lows Of Salmon Fishing

The Spring run is running late this year or the big floods washed out the redds a few Winters ago or our salmon have been nicked! What's new if you really sit back and analyse the 'highs & lows' of Scottish salmon fishing. With zero oceanic security and no wild smolt output targets or even effective fish counters to know the salmon river stock positions isn't it amazing that salmon are still there at all. If you've trained your head to react to catches like a goldfish waiting for its feed pellets to be thrown then it's best you reset your focal point as negativity is so contagious and dangerous for any business or unprepared mind!

Beautiful Cyclical Wild Salmon Runs

I recall my late colleague & mentor advising me that there was a period back in the 30's where salmon stocks on the Tay were running low and his most favourite word of all was 'cyclical'. The psychology of the salmon angler is the most fascinating thing of all as it's easy for a fisher's head to go down when they've not had success after a day or even an hour on the salmon river! I recall picking up 2 anglers who were sitting on the riverbank once who said it was a complete waste of time even though we'd caught 2 perfect long tailed 10lbs sea licers in the pool directly upstream of them to their absolute amazement. I could see they were despondent while approaching them in the boat even though my guest and I were as high as kites!

Develop A Salmon Fishing Mindset Of Steel

Staying positive in your head whether you're a ghillie or salmon angler is crucial for success and forgetting the dreadfully thought out 'Catch Stats' theme that has 'afflicted' this beautifully unpredictably amazing sport which was always going to bite beat owners in the arse when 'Old Sam' decided to stay away longer or whatever! Human beings are like sheep that can be fairly easily lead and especially by the luxury of a 'convenient' negative thought. Not only I'm 100% convinced that astute wild Atlantic salmon can sense negativity but it spreads like wild fire among anglers & ghillies and will massively reduce the actual fishing effort if its flames are not quickly dowsed!

Stay Focussed And Keep Salmon Fishing

If you really think about the facts of life regardless of how many salmon are in the Scottish rivers at any point in time at best one in ten anglers will catch a salmon on the average fishing day. A proportion of that guesstimate is to allow for those who turn up with no fishing skills or no proper equipment which always still amazes me. I don't see any beat, agent or ghillie having ever given a guarantee of a salmon nor ever have done! Get a grip and understand the game you are playing as a fresh run salmon can easily sneak up on you at any moment during the fishing day and if your head isn't down (or your backside sitting on the grass riverbank!) then you've always a chance of catching one. I've seen this so many many times where the 'lucky' angler manufactured his own luck by keeping his fishing effort going throughout the entire fishing day and placed galvanised steel between his head and the 'cup half empty' negativity that was flying about!

Changing Scottish Salmon Runs

Personally I think if it were too easy to catch salmon it would diminish the accomplishment of doing so! In saying that it's been a national disgrace that this wonderful God given asset hasn't been better managed to date. A few old boys who know little about salmon or river life who peaked commercially some 30 years prior advised by fishery managers who only want the 'easy route' in life to the pension is never ever going to cut the mustard. Scotland is well worthy of a team of precision thinking action men & women with proven track records in salmon stock regeneration to be brought in and realise the easily attainable bigger picture where exact stock positions at any time are known, where wild smolt outputs are controlled and where much more consideration for the value of the dependent Scottish rural economy is 'genuinely' also figured into the plans!