Catch a trout on a Scottish salmon river
There are some big trout to be caught on Scotlands big 4 salmon rivers. The River Tay, Tweed, Dee and River Spey are renowned for Atlantic salmon fishing. In March the spring run fish on these rivers are the ultimate prize, however at this time of year, salmon are not in abundance. If you hook and land a springer, bragging rights indeed, some say the ultimate accolade in salmon angling. These early salmon are pristine, sometimes elusive and very strong.
The wild brown trout on these big rivers don’t give themselves up easily. Survival is their prime instinct and they are always cautious and easy to spook. There are occasions though, when your changes as an angler increase. With trout, none more so than in April. Fish are keen to feed after the winter and gain condition. Big hatches of Olives come on and trigger heavy feeding. Sea trout and brown trout, kelts and salmon kelts have all been known to join in the spoils it’s a bit of a frenzy!
Wild trout, the perfect interlude to a days fishing
Our fishing days are often complimented with cooked lunches and whilst meals are cooking, I take 10 minutes out, to make up a trout rod and a dry fly set up just in case a hatch occurs.
Why? This is because, at this time of year in Scotland, we get tremendous rises of olive duns. I get tremendously excited when I see fish turning on the surface for dries anywhere, but none more so than a Scottish river. It an also add real spice to a days salmon fishing. An interesting interlude.
Norwegian fishers on the River Dee
One spring, we hosted five very competent salmon anglers from Norway, members of the Norwegian Association of Hunters and Fishers. We were salmon fishing for springers on the River Dee, and the weather was perfect.
We broke for lunch and when everyone was tucking into a hot beef bourguignon, I sat outside in the spring sunshine and watched the rise come on as the first few olives appear so do the sporadic responses from the trout and a few rising fish here and there increase in frequency. I was watching a group of fish downstream of the hut on the south side of the river, shaded by big conifers. There looked to be some really big fish..
One fish, in particular, was easy to mark, he was 6ft from a rock on the shore. I was using Orvis Clearwater 10ft 4 weight rod. This works well with a Lee Wulffe triangle taper fly line. On the business end a size 14 CDC dry olive..
Heart thumping fishing
I got into position downstream of the fish, taking care to stay off the skyline and got down on my knees..it doesn’t matter how experienced you are at this if your hearts not pumping with excitement your dead! The first cast was a wee bit short, next one wasn’t and the head rolled over on my dry and I was into a good fish, but not a brown trout. This was a long sea trout kelt of about 3lb and I hurried it in to avoid too much stress.
I had two small sea trout in the next few casts and then the guest came out to have a try. He had a few sea trout too and lost a good fish. It made a great interlude to the salmon hunting. It was great to see the River Dee bouncing with so many fish. I’ve witnessed this on the Spey too, and last week on the Tay.
Lower Tay near Scone palace – big trout on the dries
We were on the Tay at Lower Scone for a day with the Orvis Endorsed Guides. One of our guides was not interested in the slightest by salmon fishing, and we chatted about the superb trout that can be caught on the Tay. He made up a Helios 5 weight and off he went, downstream in search of trout.
I stayed in the hut preparing lunch for my fellow guides, but was hearing murmurings later that he had a couple of trout, a sea trout and a salmon kelt all on a size 14 dry fly. He had hooked and released a 3lb wild brown trout, and dropped two other decent fish.
I’ll conclude this blog post with this thought, if you’re going to try to catch an early spring fish, do not leave home without a dry fly trout outfit. There will be an opportunity to enjoy a short session trout fishing in your day. Make sure you have an early lunch, and keep a window between 12-2pm (approx) you won’ t regret it!