Salmon River Dusk

By 7th April 2019

While most of the Scottish salmon fishing ends at around 5pm on the fishing day it's always worth running past the beat's Head Ghillie the viability of an evening cast and especially in late Spring or during the long hot days of Summer. Like all forms of wildlife the fading light brings excitement to fish too as trout come on the feed and salmon start to move.

Observing The River At Dusk

I recall many times in my professional career sitting observing the river during what my late mentor Willie Laird used to refer to as the 'witching hour' and seeing the water displacement surge of a shoal of salmon pushing up through the thin water at the tail of the main salmon pool on his Tay beat.

Evening Salmon Movement 

These running salmon will have been sat down all day and probably completely unobserved in one of the deeper holding areas downstream before being 'triggered' by the fading light to push on again. If you've been fishing on any salmon beat during bright light & low water conditions with nothing much showing it's important you treat each day with renewed anticipation as to what the darkness brought into the pools the night before.

Trout Fishing The Tay At Night

As a young man I used to love fishing the River Tay through the night for brown trout near Dunkeld. If I stayed still for long enough I'd see the dimpling of surface feeding trout come right in to within a few feet of me as they picked away at the flies that were drifting down the river. There's definitely something magical in the air on any river when the light starts to fade and under certain river conditions the last hour or so of daylight will give you a good chance of a salmon.

Plan Your Salmon Fishing Appproach

Many salmon beats like to rest their pools in the evenings as 'over fishing' is a major yet largely unspoken issue on the rivers of Scotland. Showing salmon that are holding in the pools too much of the fly is a bad thing as everytime a salmon sees a fly its chances of taking the fly diminish. With this in mind focus your fishing effort into well covered and tactically thought out approaches instead of just thrashing away without a 'true' battle plan. In the lower water, bright light periods of the season you should consider the 'witching hour' in your fishing plan if permitted on the venue you're fishing.