Salmon Fishing Catches
By Jock Monteith 18th June 2019
The biggest injustice I've seen in Scottish salmon fishing to date which supersedes the damage done to the ecology of Northern Hemisphere rivers via expanding populations, hydro power generation, salmon farming, thoughtless agricultural practices, commercial forestry, pulseless fishery board officials and scientists that haven't checked their own lineage to discover that they did not evolve from one specific 'breeding population' is without doubt the introduction of 'catch statistics' as the main marketing driver for Scottish salmon fishing.
Assessing A Salmon Beat Correctly
How can you accurately assess a salmon beat's fishing potential where one beat lacks a regular returning client base to fish its pools each day which another beat may benefit from. Many salmon beats also have zero effective internet marketing presence which again attracts less anglers to the venue. Catch statistic marketing is seriously flawed and something as beautiful as a Scottish salmon beat should only have ever been marketed with good visual salmon fishing graphics and informative salmon fishing scripts that focus on the potential of the salmon beat's pool formations.
The Theme Of Salmon Catch Statistics
In the 70's when I first started fishing the River Tay salmon fishing was not driven by catch statistic marketing. It was the excitement and anticipation of going to the salmon river which was the main driver for all fishermen. The beat ghillie would talk about what had been caught recently or what the total for the previous season had been (only if asked). If a salmon beat is only marketed on current catches then it's created a marketing trap for itself in periods of lower stock levels or when less anglers are present to cover its pools consistently. The financial loss to a salmon beat created by the inevitable poor 'catch statistics' during low rod pressure periods represents a loss of revenue for that individual salmon beat and its local economy.
Flawed Salmon Fishing Marketing
For a catch statistics based marketing approach to ever be remotely accurate you'd logically need to apply the exact same daily rod pressure to all salmon beats to gain the accurate picture as to the current fishing potential. As an example of that a beat can record 2 salmon that 6 anglers have fished for and still look better on paper than another beat which has caught 1 salmon for 1 angler fishing. The actual daily or weekly rod pressure is never taken into consideration to back up catch statistics therefor if you're looking purely to catch statistics for guidance you're not necessarily getting a true picture when it comes to assessing the potential of a salmon beat.
Why Is A Rested Salmon Pool Better
From a salmon fishing point of view a rested salmon pool will always stand you the most potent chance of a cooperating salmon as the less a salmon sees of a fly or lure the more likely it is to respond. If you're fishing on salmon pools that have been completely bombarded morning, noon & night then salmon will switch off completely more often than not. To my mind this is not true salmon fishing as there has to be an element in the fishing day where you know you're approaching a salmon pool that hasn't been over-fished.
Salmon Catch Statistic Marketing
Personally if I was the chairman of any Scottish salmon fishery board I'd instantly ban catch statistic internet marketing as all it has done is train homegrown salmon fishers to react primarily to the catch peaks which don't highlight actual rod pressure or other relative factors like how competent are the visiting salmon fishing guests. A fishery board chairman should be encouraging or demanding high quality graphic visuals from salmon beats for marketing purposes and encouraging beat ghillies to become more involved in sharing video footage & salmon photographs on social media platforms to inform anglers visually of individual fish being caught.
A Wild Salmon Is A Unique Creature
How can you effectively take some 'city hatched' statistical graph and effectively apply it to something as magically wonderful as the mind set of a totally independent migratory creature that ultimately decides itself exactly when it is going to appear home in its native river. We don't necessarily always see the physical presence of salmon in our rivers to know that there's a high probability they are there. Nor should we be relying on a statistical digit to give us the faith needed to pursue them. Good old natural anticipation is a key component that makes up the magic and draw of Scottish salmon fishing.
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