The new 2015 salmon season has finally arrived and a few rivers, such as the River Tay, have already opened! Spring salmon fishing offers the chance for the greatest catch of all, the elusive springer. In this article, I’ll take you through some of the key points from last season along with some of my top tips and tackle recommendations ready to help you get set for the season ahead.
So when does the spring fishing finish? Realistically it’s the end of May, as we are then into early summer fishing. With this being the case, you have around four months or so to catch an early season springer. If you are intending to wet a line in the spring months but have not yet booked your fishing, our friends at FishPal can help you out with some fantastic opportunities. They have established themselves as the leading provider of salmon fishing. 2014 saw a few success stories however, on the whole, most catch returns were below their spring 5 year average. Last year’s indifferent spring season has seen many tenants jumping ship making many slots available – so get online and take a look!
The Association of Fishery Boards has brought in new statutory measures to combat the decline of spring salmon returning to our rivers. As of the 9th of January you are legally required to put back all salmon caught in Scotland up until the end of March. This measure is one of many that need to be put in place to guarantee the future existence of our spring fish. One further measure is an online petition that seeks to end any killing of wild salmon in Scotland before July 1st for the next five years. However, we are much better at putting fish back in the spring, the catch and release rate for Scotland stands at 80% rising to 92%.
Tom’s Top Tips for Spring Salmon Fishing
- Replace your nylon if using Maxima.
- Use a good quality hook such as Kamasan for your tubes, you may only get one shot!
- Check your waders for leaks etc; you can check Gore-Tex waders yourself!
- Choose your beat carefully. The colder it is the slower the fish will run. Check FishPal out and look at the 5 year average. Don’t just look at last year!
- Maximise your day by fishing hard during the warmest part of the day.
- Remember, it’s now zero tolerance, so be careful the next morning!
- Communicate with the gillies prior to your trip. They can advise on flies etc.
- Make sure your wading boots have enough studs in them.
- Remember to renew your rod licence if applicable.
- Always wear glasses of some description. Use a yellow lens if using polarised glasses.
- Use a wading staff, for balance and safety.
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Remember, its illegal to kill any salmon in Scotland until the 1st April 2015
As we all know, through technology, tackle, clothing and accessories have all excelled in development in recent years providing us with even better functionality. These improvements make our lives far easier as anglers. Fly lines are slicker; they are more stable in the air and fly further. Shooting heads and Skagit systems tend to be used in the spring due to their ease of casting. People seem to be veering away from the generic 15’ #10/11 rods and shorter rods are taking over the market. Reels are getting lighter, with large arbors becoming the norm. With base layers and insulating layers taking over from woolly jumpers and PrimaLoft taking non-waterproof jackets by storm, our lives have never been more comfortable in the spring!
Tom’s Top Tackle & Kit for Spring Fishing
- 13’9 9/10 Guideline Lxi Rod
- Lamson Litespeed IV 4.0 Reel
- Mackenzie DTX Multi-Tip Shooting Head System – 9/10
- Rio Skagit Max VersiTip Kit 600 grain
- Simms Waderwick Thermals – Tops & Bottoms
- Simms Exstream Fishing Jacket
- Simms Windstopper Half Finger Fishing Gloves
- Simms Exstream Wading Socks
- Simms G3 Guide Fishing Jacket
- Simms Rivertek BOA Wading Boots
- Simms Exstream Hat
- Aquapac Protective Phone Cases
DON’T FORGET: If you need to brush up on your casting & get some advice before your head off on your trip, book a casting lesson at our tuition centre in Reading, Berkshire!