Salmon Fishing Assumptions
By Jock Monteith 10th April 2021
You know what they say about assumptions being nine tenths of all errors! I can tell you for certain that assuming there's no chance of a salmon is a direct line call to our 'Salmon God' who's always tuned into careless words on the riverbank!
Drop The Ego On The Salmon River
Don't let your ego trick you into thinking there's no 'taker' in the pool you've just perfectly covered just because you've been unsuccessful. Salmon fishing is a great 'soul stretcher' and often a great 'ego leveller' too when a novice appears at the back of you to catch the only fish of the day!
Salmon Pool Coverage Timing
Caw canny with your assumptions when near any salmon river would be my personal advice as even if there wasn't a 'taker' there to intercept your fly on your last swim through a pool there's absolutely nothing to say one hasn't swum in and placed itself right in front of the next angler who fishes through the pool or you've livened up a resident fish for them!
No Jumpers Doesn't Mean No Salmon
Many fishers turn up on a salmon beat and allow their heads to go down because no fish are showing. I recall many excellent catch days over the years where the only time salmon were showing was once you'd hooked them so often they'll keep their heads down which you cannot really blame them for! Don't expect instant results from your day on the salmon river either and manage your aspirations & energy levels to last through the entire day and not fizzle out after an hour or so as is often the case with salmon fishers.
Always Assume Salmon Are Present
Always assume there are salmon present as 95% of the time on most Scottish salmon beats they will be. Stay focussed and thoughtful regarding your salmon fly choice, depth & speed of swim and don't be shy at changing tactics if you feel the slightest urge to do so. On a riverbank your mind should be 'alive' to the sub surface side of operations and great success in this business is achieved from developing that 'sub surface' water column sixth sense mindset.
Become A Salmon Fishing Psychologist
After you've experienced enough hard evidence of what can happen on the riverbanks of Scotland (and often when you least expect it!) you'll approach the river with an inner self confidence that will keep you going throughout the full course of the fishing day. Training your hands to get the best out of your Spey rod is one thing but what is more important is training your head to remain positive (& patient) and making sure you stay confidently focussed on the task in hand via thoughtful tactical agility. Total consistency of your water coverage spread over the entire fishing day is also a very important factor for success in this business.
The Best Rural Pursuit In The World
Let's not kid ourselves on that there's no real magic to be felt on the banks of a Scottish salmon river or that there's no soothing & tranquilizing effect from the flow of the stream. This is the king of all rural pursuits as the components that make it so special are not present in any other pursuit. Catching a fish that's not in the river to feed has always been challenging with no guarantees given and respecting that challenge also plays a big part of the attraction. Allow your mind to start focussing in closer on exactly how you're going to hit objective when salmon fishing and drop the 'robotics'. If you're effective at doing so a whole new tactical thought dimension will open up which comes via a confident and expectation 'paced' state of mind.