How to Catch a Spring Salmon

For fly fishers, the arrival of spring means that it’s time to get back on the river. After a long winter, many anglers are keen to ensure that the season ahead is a successful one.

Our fishing expert, Ian Farr, is based on the River Tweed and tells us his top tips for spring salmon fishing, which we hope helps you to land the elusive springer!

“The most important thing to think about when spring fishing is the water levels. Due to changeable weather the river bed can move and change quickly – at the moment, due to the amount of rain we’ve had, my beat on the River Tweed is very deep and the pools keep changing as a result. This means that staying safe and knowing what is underfoot is extremely important.

In the springtime (particularly up here in Scotland) the water can be very cold which means that fast sinking lines are ideal, particularly in deep pools or sections of the river which are fast flowing, as the fish will be lying low and close to the river bed.

Due to temperatures, the fish will also be fairly inactive and their senses will be slightly dulled so a big profile, colourful fly will help to grab their attention. I’d suggest a fly with a tube size of 1 ¾ inches. As you may only be looking for a few fish on the beat, it is important to fish the pools quickly and cover the water with the fly. If you’re still not having any luck then try switching to using a spinning rod.

As spring in the UK can often mean lots of showers and changing water levels on the river, this can cause the river bed to change. Particularly if you’re wading in deep water it’s important to know what’s underfoot and how deep the water is. To help you to stay safe in the water I’d always recommend using a wading stick and a life jacket.

To help you see the river bed and to judge the depth of the water, a good quality pair of polarised sunglasses are also extremely useful.”

Ian’s suggested products for spring salmon fishing

Snowbee Raptor Max Range Spinning Rods

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Snowbee Spectre Spey Fly Rods

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Snowbee XS-Plus XS-tra Distance Fast-Sink Fly Line

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Gill Sense-Bifocal

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Crewsaver CrewFit 290 N Work Vest Life Jacket

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Don’t forget that in Scotland, the ASFB’s spring salmon fishing legislation is enforced which means that salmon must be returned to the river. If you want to find out more about Scotland’s catch and release policy, please visit our blog about how to safely release a salmon.

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