Salmon Fishing Pleasure Dome
By Jock Monteith 3rd February 2018
When Khan in Kubla Khan was dreaming about his 'Pleasure Dome' I think he was actually dreaming about being out salmon fishing on the River Tay in Springtime! There's nothing at low altitude that compares to the natural brilliance of a Scottish salmon river like the Tay at this time of year.
Tingling Senses On The Salmon River
Taking a deep breath of fresh Spring riverbank air and casting your eyes out across the 'Springer' zone with a deep suspicion of the presence of a highly prized silver flanked power house is one of the greatest natural feelings of all. Your kit has been carefully prepared and your riverbank movement is perfect so you know it's only a matter of time before the 'Salmon God' tips you the wink!
The Salmon Game We Are Playing
Understanding the educational qualities of the salmon game is important as a salmon river and the inevitable blank fishing days can both be daunting. In an instant gratification society we are all trained to expect results and we can speed these results with credit cards or cash. You cannot however buy a salmon into making it take so controlled patience is vital and even when you're fishing the most prolific of salmon beats. Switching your mind and fishing approach into logical 'water coverage' mode will put you well ahead of the pack especially if that is paired with 'sub surface' lure or fly thoughts.
Managing & Pacing Your Salmon Fishing Expectations
There's a great sense of excitement for any angler who's heading to a salmon river for the day and that same buzz is felt by all the professional Scottish ghillies too. It's important that you manage that free natural energy carefully and don't burn out after the first hour or two because the fish you seek is playing hard to get! The key to this game is without doubt having the ability to keep your expectation levels low and your persistency levels high and drip feed yourself that energy throughout the full course of the fishing day.
Making Your Own Salmon Fishing Luck
When you're out on the river your part of the deal is to effectively cover as much water as you can in both the morning & afternoon fishing sessions. Don't stay in the one spot hoping a salmon is going to come to you or bombarding a salmon lie where you know salmon are holding. If a salmon wants your fly or lure it will let you know about it fairly quickly so bombarding a particular salmon lie is counter productive as you're only training salmon to accept the presence of your lure or fly.
How To Look At A Salmon River
Whatever pools you're allocated by the Head Ghillie on arrival at a salmon beat switch into Google Earth 'Satellite' mode. What I mean by this is take that aerial snapshot in your mind and make your objective to fill that entire river map in with precision sweeps with your fly or lure that are all identically spaced by 3 or 4 feet. When it comes to lunchtime or 5pm you'll have covered not just the 'hot spots' properly but all the rest of the water too. This is the logical approach to Scottish salmon fishing that has been completely missed by the majority of Scottish salmon fishers who give effective water coverage zero thought or they've never been shown.
Pairing Water Coverage With Lure Depth & Speed
If you adopt the above water coverage and add into this a careful thought process regarding the presentation of your fly by intentionally trying to achieve the correct 'depth & speed' of your fly or lure now you'll now have transformed into a absolute salmon fishing machine. By adding this additional thought process & skill to your salmon fishing approach you'll also have added yourself to the top 5% bracket of Scottish salmon fishers. You should be taking just as much satisfaction from the effective water coverage you're deploying as you do from the inevitable salmon you catch!
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