The Secrets of Salmon Fishing in the rivers of Scotland (part one of four)
- Atlantic salmon in Scotland – an overview
- What to expect, when fishing for salmon in Scotland
- Why salmon fishing in Scotland can be so challenging
- Ownership and access to salmon rivers.
- Fishing rights, rules and permits
The Atlantic Salmon in Scotland – an overview
Scotland is blessed with clean running rivers and streams (burns) ideal habitat for salmon to return from the ocean to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch into small fish (salmon parr) which grow and live in the rivers for a few years and then make their way back to the sea. The young salmon (smolts) migrate to sea to feed off Greenland and the Faroe Islands, where there is an abundance of krill, sand eels, squid, shrimp, fish and crustaceans to feed on and pack on weight.
After a period of feeding (varies with salmon) they return to the river in Scotland where they were born. Even the best GPS could not compete with the accuracy of the homing instinct of the salmon. They are able to travel thousands of miles to return to the very stream where they originated, to spawn again. It is a remarkable feat and has baffled scientists for years.
A remarkable journey for salmon
Around 0.1% of the eggs laid in streams and rivers, result in a salmon completing this remarkable journey. Unlike Pacific salmon, a small percentage of Scottish salmon (kelts) survive this spawning process and return to sea, however the majority die. Scottish salmon usually range from 3 to 35lbs with most in the 6-15lb class.
Anglers in Scotland realise the pressures that the salmon faces and most practice catch and release. Certainly if you are a passionate salmon angler, this would be second nature. Most permits you buy will be catch and release only. This is a great thing for our sport. In an effort to protect the spring run fish, it is pretty much universal across most rivers, that all spring fish are returned.
There’s an expression in Scotland “dead fish don’t spawn” and because the salmon faces many pressures, we anglers want to practice sustainable fishing to preserve the sport, and protect this magnificent species.
What to expect, when salmon fishing in Scotland?
Why salmon fishing in Scotland can be challenging
- Atlantic salmon in Scotland do not feed when they are in the river. They are fixated on breeding. They take a fly or lure sometimes through a conditioned response or aggression. There’s no rhyme or reason. There certainly is no formula!
- Access to fishing is somewhat complicated and being at the right place at the right time is part of the planning process. That is where our team at Alba Game Fishing can help.
- Salmon fishing requires an element of skill. If you’ve never tried fishing with a double hand 15ft fly rod, don’t be phased! We can help and get you up and running very quickly.
- Finally you will need to be persistent and focused. Reading a river and covering likely salmon lies requires experience and skill, this is where Alba guides can help. Salmon Fishing Packages Here.