The Salmon River Sparkle
By Jock Monteith 22nd December 2020
While I've seen salmon caught in all conditions from a full coloured & debris ridden spates to complete thick fog 'white outs' the one condition I just know will result in salmon action is that sparkling glimmer of sunlight whenever it appears during the fishing day.
The Barometer & Salmon Fishing
There's been much brilliant work done observing the behavioural patterns of Atlantic salmon in the fresh water of the river. One of the findings was that older resident salmon become more alert on a rising barometer as that used to signify 'dinner time' for them as juveniles due to the subsequent hatch of flies the rising pressure would bring. As far as the 'sea licer' goes that hasn't previously seen too much they tend to be far more 'mackerel minded' and are still in full oceanic hunting mode when they've recently arrived back in the river.
Salmon River Light Conditions
If you study the revolving photographs on this post you see one obvious thing in common and that's the appearance of some amazing natural sunlight sparkling through the clouds on the surface of the river. The other much less obvious fact that you'll not pick up on is that these shots were all taken within minutes of salmon being hooked and landed. Always expect the unexpected in Scottish salmon fishing but for me when I see that subtle sparkle of sunlight on the water my expectation levels soar and especially during the Spring or early Summer months.
Salmon Fly Bling
That little sparkle of sunlight on the water not only often seems to trigger salmon into having a go but will also transfer your salmon fly into the most amazing light show if it has been tied with some of the modern shiny glittering fly dressing materials. Whether that truly makes a difference to a salmon I really don't know but it certainly makes a difference to me as a salmon angler on the salmon fly 'faith' level side of things when I see a fly that has come alive in the water.
Developing A Nose For Salmon Taking Times
Salmon often catch us 'off guard' when our minds are 100 miles away from thinking about hooking one almost as if they are true mind readers. If you spend enough time on the river you'll start to link certain environmental water & light conditions as optimised chances for catching salmon and these little subtle natural occurrences can be present for only a brief period of the salmon fishing day. With that in mind never switch off your water coverage 'consistency' levels as on any Scottish salmon river fishing conditions can change by the minute which can often trigger that much desired take from a salmon.