Spring Salmon Fishing in Scotland

What is it about Spring Salmon fishing in Scotland that is so appealing? In the early spring months of January and February it is essentially winter-time and we have a cheek to call it Spring! At this time of year the Atlantic Salmon are pretty thin on the ground and one requires hard work, dedication and a dash of luck to connect with that prized bar of silver!

Catching the elusive “Scottish Springer” is no easy feat. However if you are fortunate to get your fly or lure in front of a springer, it could be the catch of your season.  It is this level of anticipation that captures the spirit of the die-hard Salmon angler. A Spring Atlantic Salmon in Scotland is the ultimate, the “pièce de résistance”  if you like. If you were to ask any die-hard Salmon fishermen what’s their favourite time of year to catch a Salmon, I reckon 95% would tell you it’s the Spring. You can even include ourselves in this statistic.


A stunning example of a spring Salmon from the River Tay for Australian Guest Mark!


When fishing for Spring Salmon you have to get into the correct mindset. Personally, I try not to think and over analyse my fishing too much or listen to theories. I’ll fish methodically, covering as much water as I physically can. The more water you cover the better chance of getting your fly or lure in front of a Salmon – that’s how I always approach my Salmon fishing.

The good thing for us anglers is Spring Salmon are generally more aggressive, therefore, better takers. Although numbers aren’t as prolific as they are during the back end, if you can cover them, you stand a very good chance of inducing a take.



Fly fishing for Spring Salmon in April

What makes Spring Salmon or “Springers” as they are more affectionately known such a sought after quarry?

  • Fishing is more accessible & affordable to anglers
  • There is more satisfaction at catching a spring Salmon
  • Greater admiration among your angling peers
  • They take and fight with unrivalled power and aggression
  • The fish are in peak condition, beautifully proportioned, bright silver and often sea-liced

The Spring Salmon Fishing Season in Scotland

Spring Salmon fishing in Scotland effectively starts in January with the Helmsdale starting proceeding’s and then the Ness and Tay following on. The Tweed then follows, opening in February.

The spring Salmon season ends in June.

I must admit, it feels nothing like spring when fishing in those early months of this “Spring” period, in particular January and February, then through to the beginning of March. One must invest in good thermals!

Despite the cold, this time of year offers a great chance to connect with a spring run Atlantic Salmon!


A beautiful spring salmon from the River Tay system – our favourite river system!

Our Best Spring Salmon Fishing Rivers in Scotland

The River Tay
The Tay offers the best value spring Salmon fishing in Scotland. Scotland’s largest river can boast one of the highest numbers of rod caught Salmon in Scotland. During the early months of the year the traditional Tay method of Harling (Boat trolling) is without doubt the favoured method. From opening day the lower beats of the Tay around Stanley fish best, particularly when cold as fish back up below the first real temperature barriers in the river.

These early runners tend to be headed for the upper reaches of the system, Tummel, Isla, Ericht, Loch Tay and Dochart and some can be well in excess of 20lbs!

As March begins and the water temperatures rise the Salmon runs increase with the arrival of the spring tides. as the early spring Salmon run to the furthest parts of the system and the Loch itself can produce a number of big fish in the coming weeks.

April & May sees the peak of the Spring Salmon run and during this period they can be caught throughout the system with the Middle Tay beats often the most productive. This is one of our favourite times to be on the River Tay.

The Lower River Tummel
The River Tummel is part of the excellent Tay system. This short river has a hydro electric dam at Pitlochry which acts as a temperature barrier for migrating Salmon. Salmon will congregate in their hundreds and thousands below the dam until the temperature reaches 12 degrees. Like flicking a switch, the fish counter on the dam will start rising rapidly as Salmon run the fish ladder in their hundreds daily. As the Salmon run the fishing in the lower river Tummel becomes tougher.


The River Teith in Spring, a beautiful river with great potential…

The River Isla & Ericht 

One of the most prolific spring salmon systems in Scotland. These small tributaries of the Tay offer outstanding value for money Salmon fishing and can be fished with a single handed fly rod. What the Lower Isla lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in the numbers of fish it produces.

The Ericht is a river for the more adventurous angler, access can be a challenge but for those prepared for a scramble it offers an excellent chance of a spring salmon in Scotland, particularly in April & May.

North & South Esk
The North & South Esk have to be the two most under-rated Salmon rivers in Scotland. The Esk’s are spate rivers, fishing better after a rise in water levels. If you can time the conditions right they can offer an outstanding chance of landing a Scottish springer! The beauty of these little rivers is they can easily be fished with a single handed fly rod.

The River Tweed
One of the big four Scottish rivers more noted for its Autumn Salmon fishing. In recent seasons the Tweed has seen an increase in its spring Salmon run. The Tweed is a fly fishers dream and boasts more fly caught Salmon than any other river in the central and borders region of Scotland. It is an utterly stunning lowland river and an absolute must for the avid Salmon angler!

The River Teith 
The Teith is one of Scotland’s most beautiful rivers, given the right conditions it can compete with the best rivers in Scotland. The Teith is a big fish river and many twenty pound plus Spring Salmon have been landed from this system in recent years. It is where I caught my first ever Salmon, and holds a special place in my heart. Another must in our eyes!


Head Guide Callum Conner admires a true Scottish Spring Salmon

The Salmon

A true “springer” will be bright silver with glints of purple down the flanks and dark grey or blue backs. (As above)

As well as fresh run spring Salmon you may also encounter a few other classes of Salmon.

Kelts are what we call spawned out Salmon. These Salmon returned to the river the previous season and have spawned during winter. The Kelts are now in a recovery stage before beginning their journey back to sea again.


A not so well mended Salmon kelt caught in spring. Note the thin appearance and fungus on tail, this is not prevalent in well-mended kelts.

Although silver, Kelts are much thinner in appearance having used up all their body fat. They are often carrying gill maggots (see above) and are known to attack anything that comes in their general direction! Many inexperienced anglers can mistake Kelts for Spring Salmon.


Gill maggots, a clear give away it is not a fresh Salmon and indeed a kelt.

There is also the opportunity of Rawners or Baggots, which are male and female Salmon (respectively)  that have entered the river and haven’t managed to spawn.


Salmon Baggot caught in April

Baggots and Rawners carry more colour, faded grey, purple & brown shades along body, with brown colouration on their heads. Many will have gill maggots and ragged fins (as above). They may not be a spring salmon but they do still put a welcome bend in the rod!

Good sport can be had in the beginning months with these fish.

During the early months of spring it is vitally important you wear appropriate clothing to endure the elements and increase your chances of success.

Spring Salmon Fishing Clothing

  • Thick Merino Wool Socks
  • Merino wool or synthetic base layer top and pant
  • Fleece layer top & pant or Primaloft top & pant
  • Waterproof outer layer jacket
  • Breathable or Neoprene waders
  • Wool hat
  • Wool or windproof gloves

Click the following link to read our informative article about layering your clothing.


Never under estimate the importance of tackle choice…

After a few months of lying redundant it is important to double check all your fishing tackle and make sure it’s in fine order, replacing any old and damages lines and leaders for the new season ahead.

Spring Salmon Fishing Fly Fishing Tackle

12-15ft fly rods to suit the river size and med-fast actioned to aid sunk lines and skagit casting.

A smooth reliable drag is important and must match the size of fly rod and store approx 150 yards of backing.

Fly lines
Skagit iFlight, Hover sink1 shooting head, Intermediate head sink 2/3 shooting head & Full floating shooting heads.

10ft Poly/Versi leaders in various sink rates.

25lb Fluorocarbon for heavy tubes and 19lb for flies. And the old faithful 18lb or 20lb maxima chameleon

Monkeys, Black & Yellow, Willie Gunn & Ice Maiden in copper, tungsten and brass tubes during the colder months when it is imperative to get down to the fish.

As the water warms the usual dressed flies including Ally’s Cascades, Yellow Ally’s, Gledswood shrimp’s, Willie Gunn’s or Flamethrowers among many others work.

I am still great believer fly choice is more down to confidence and size/depth holds greater importance. Follow the rule, big water, big fly and vice versa


Australian lady Liz spin fishing for Salmon on the mighty River Tay in May

Spring Salmon Lure Fishing Tackle

Megabass Vision Oneten’s, Devon Minnows, Toby Salmo’s, Rapala Max Raps & Kynoch Killers are the mainstays.

9-11ft rods are the norm. I prefer a shorter 9ft rod for spinning but 10ft is considered standard. An 11ft rod is better suited to fishing Devon Minnows.

I prefer a 4000 or 5000 series front drag reels with 40lb braid for Salmon spin fishing. Traditionally many use Shimano bait runners in the 6000, 8000 & even 10000. Although fine, they are are not actually designed for spinning and can be quite cumbersome reels to fish with all day, although ok for harling.

Other Handy Items For Spring Salmon Fishing

Landing Net / Gye Net
Rubber Meshed McCleans Salmon Nets take some beating. One with a gye strap when fishing alone for transportation. You don’t want to lose that elusive springer when trying to beach on your own!

Can aid line choice and give yo an idea of how the fish will behave. You can then alter your tactics to suit.

Towel & Spare Clothing
In the lucky event you take a tumble you don’t want to end your day early. It still amazes me how many anglers don’t do this!

Auto Inflate Life Jacket
We really shouldn’t fish without them.

Wading Staff
Acts a stabiliser and third leg when negotiating the riverbed.


An angler awaits in anticipation as his fly swings round…

Fishing Tips For Spring Salmon Fishing in Scotland

  • Get some casting lessons from a qualified instructor during the closed season on techniques for sunk line and skagit lines
  • Layer your clothing correctly. Base layer, mid insulating layer & waterproof layer
  • Listen to local & ghillies advice – they know the river better than anyone
  • Thorough check your gear for wear prior to your trip
  • Fish deeper and slower to suit the colder conditions
  • Fish higher and faster in warmer conditions – Don’t be afraid to work the fly faster
  • Cover the river methodically, visualising your fly or lure fishing through the pool
  • Monitor any catch trends in specific areas, especially in the early stages of the season
  • Hire a guide if unfamiliar with the local fishing

If this wets your appetite for a Spring Salmon fishing in Scotland package please get in touch with us to discuss further.

Tight Lines

Callum Conner

Head Guide & Owner Scotia Fishing
Loop Tackle Design Ambassador
SGAIC Single & Double Hand Instructor


Fishing Near Dundee For Trout, Grayling, Salmon & Pike

We can arrange fly fishing near Dundee for Salmon, Trout and Grayling on the River Tay or Pike on scenic lochs only forty five minutes drive from Dundee city centre!

Dundee, Scotland’s fifth largest city,  is not a famous Scottish fishing destination, however, it benefits from being situated on the Tay estuary. Within a short drive you can be fishing on some of the finest beats of the River Tay system and some tranquil Perthshire lochs.

Allow us to give you some ideas for fly fishing near Dundee.


Fishing near Dundee on the Stunning River Tay in late Summer


Salmon Fishing Near Dundee

Dundee is only forty minutes from the Lower River Tay which has some of the most productive Salmon beats in Scotland.

This mighty River is one of our big four Salmon rivers and produces the most consistent Salmon catches in the country.


Salmon fishing near Dundee on the River Isla a prolific tributary of the River Tay

Dundee is also not too far from some of Scotland’s lesser known gems – the South and North Esk’s!

These picturesque little spate rivers rely heavily on rainfall to fish at their best. Provided you get these conditions they can offer some of the best value Salmon fishing in Scotland!


Couple enjoying a days Salmon fly fishing on the South Esk

These mini rivers can be fished with single handed fly rods or spinning rods. Ideal for those on a short time-scale and no spey casting experience.

Between the Tay and Esk’s Salmon fishing is available from January 15th – October 30th.

You can find out more information about Salmon fishing trips here.


Family from Italy enjoy a days Pike fishing with this good Pike


Pike Fishing Near Dundee

Pike are a favourite among our guides. These apex predators are one of the most under-rated sport fish to be found in Scottish waters. Pike grow big in Scotland, twenty pounders are not uncommon but average sizes tend to be 4-8 pounds. Even these smaller average size Pike will give you a tremendous fun on balanced tackle.

In the water months Pike can be targeted using surface flies and lures. This is the ultimate way to catch Pike as they break through the surface with bad intentions.


Monster Pike on the fly in Scotland

We use 9ft #9 fly rods for all our Pike fly fishing from Loop Tackle Design and spinning rods and reels from the excellent Sakura Fishing lure range.

Our flies are homemade by our resident Pike fanatic, head guide Callum Conner.  A man who knows this species behaviours well and one of only handful of Scotsman to land Pike to 40b 6oz in Scotland.

Pike can be fished for all year round using bait, fly and modern lure fishing techniques.

You can find out more information about Pike fishing trips in here.


A large Tay Brown Trout for American guest.


Trout & Grayling Fishing Near Dundee

The best Trout & Grayling rivers in the area are all part of the world famous River Tay system.

The River Tay itself provides excellent Brown Trout & Grayling fishing with fish averaging 3/4 of 1lb.

The Wild Brown Trout grow to huge proportions, alb plus fish are caught every year on the Tay but mostly as a by-catch when Salmon fishing.


A typical Grayling from the Tay

The Grayling average 10-12oz but can be found larger up to 2lb in the upper reaches of the system or in the tributaries such as the Tummel and Isla.

Grayling offer year round sport and peak times are November – March.

You can find out more information about Trout & Grayling fishing trips here .

I hope this has helped to wet your appetite and consider Fishing near Dundee when on your travels.

If you would like to enquire please use this Contact Us button here or above.


Fishing Trips near Loch Lomond & Cameron House

Scotia Fishing can organise guided fishing trips near Loch Lomond for Salmon, Pike, Trout and Grayling.

Loch Lomond is an iconic Scottish Loch. You may have heard the famous song about the “bonnie, bonnie banks, o Loch Lomond”. Never has a truer word been sung as this is one of the most beautiful still water surroundings you could ever cast a line.

At an impressive 24 miles long and 5 miles wide at its longest, Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater loch by surface area in the UK and second largest by volume.


The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond at Cameron House Hotel

Loch Lomond itself is home to a number of species – the most of any loch in Scotland in-fact! Salmon, Sea-Trout, Brown Trout, Pike, Perch, Bream, Chub, Roach, Ruffe, Eels and the rare and protected Powan inhabit this Loch.

Loch Lomond is a wild life haven. Here you will find Ospreys, Kingfishers, Cormorants, Pheasants, Mergansers and Deer to name a few. There is even a pack of Wallabies inhabiting the island of Inchconnachan!

In the surrounding areas of Cameron House, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park there is a number of exciting fishing opportunities to the visiting angler. Allow us to tell you all about them!


Salmon fishing near Cameron House on beautiful private estate

Fishing Trips Near Loch Lomond for Salmon

Fish for Atlantic Salmon & Sea Trout on the stunning River Teith only 30 minutes from Loch Lomond and Cameron House.

This bonnie spate river is the gem of the central belt. The location is idyllic, surrounded by woodland and the only other people you will meet are other anglers which is limited to four per day.

The Teith is known for its quality summer sea trout fishing, spring and back end Salmon runs. Not to mention a renown big fish river – Atlantic Salmon over 40lbs have been landed here in recent years!


Stunning fresh Sea Trout caught on the Teith by head guide Callum Conner

Not just a great fishing river it supplies the water to make the excellent single malt from Deanston Distillery.

The Teith is our local river and our guides know it well. Our head guide caught his first-ever Salmon from this very river!

This level of local knowledge and experience is paramount when hiring a fishing guide to ensure the best chances of success.

You can visit our Salmon Fishing in Scotland Package here. Or Enquire Here.



A lovely family enjoy a day on the big pond!

Fishing Trips Near Loch Lomond for Pike

Fish for Scotland’s Apex Predator on the bonnie banks or from boat on Loch Lomond. Lomond produces 30b plus Pike every year and is arguably one of the finest Pike fishing lochs in the country.

At 25 miles long Lomond is ocean like, an in-depth knowledge of this vast expanse of water is required in order to locate the predatory Pike.

Our guides have fished this Loch for years and know all the hotspots to help ensure you success.


Pike Fishing Near Loch Lomond Cameron House

We can fish for Pike using a variety of methods including fly, lure or bait. Pike Fishing is mostly done from boat, except in the winter months.

Float tube fishing with lure and fly is great fun in the summer months, if the weather is calm and you’re relatively fit this is a very exciting way to fish for Pike!

Perch are an exciting alternative to Pike when fishing is tough. Big numbers of these fish can be caught with specimens up to 3lb!

You can visit our Pike fishing trips in Scotland Package here. Or Enquire Here.



Fishing Trips Near Loch Lomond for Trout & Grayling

There are some good Wild Brown Trout Lochs near Loch Lomond offering better fishing opportunities for our spotted friends than the loch itself.

Fishing on the relatively local rivers also allows the opportunity to target one of Scotland’s best kept secrets, Grayling. These fish are a firm favourite with our guides for the beauty and sporting prowess.


Stunning wild brown trout

There are some lovely Highland-like streams in the Trossachs National Park that are ideal for wild brown trout.

Although these fish are small they pose a real challenge to the fly fisher and a stealthy approach is essential. What they often lack in size they make up for in spirit.

You can visit Trout & Grayling Fishing in Scotland Package here. Or Enquire Here.


If you would like to find out more information about fishing trips near Loch Lomond and Cameron House Hotel please get in touch using the various links throughout the post or by using the “Contact Us” button.

Trout Fishing Edinburgh With Professional Fishing Guides

We can have you Trout Fishing not far from Edinburgh in the beautiful tranquility of the Scottish countryside – only 40 mins drive from the city centre!

Our talented team of knowledgeable, professional fishing guides have years of Trout fishing experience, particularly in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Under their guidance you will not only have fun, but maximise your chances of having an ultimately successful day.


Great guys from New Zealand enjoy a day on the river.

Let us explain some package options for Trout Fishing in Edinburgh.

Wild River Brown Trout Fishing

The lowland rivers are rich in natural feeding and this is where the best river Trout fishing can be found in Scotland.

Wild Brown Trout average 8-10’oz, but at certain times of year you stand a good chance of landing the real specimens over 2’lbs.

Early season is best for dry fly fishing. Mid March to Early June, when the temperatures increase and hatches occur more frequently the hungry the Trout will rise freely. This period provides ‘us’ (fisherman) with the best opportunity to tempt them.


A beautiful dry fly caught wild brown trout from a river near Edinburgh.


As the season progresses the bigger fish become meat eaters, feeding on smaller fish they become more difficult to tempt during the day.

Good sport can still be had throughout the summer months with the average sized Trout employing stealthy French/Euro Nymphing tactics. This devastating technique is very straight-forward and your guides can teach this within minutes, regardless of having any fly fishing experience at all.

There are a number of productive rivers not far from Edinburgh and our guides will use their knowledge to put you on the best river to suit the current conditions and your experience.


Grayling are one of the most beautiful species found in Scotland.

Grayling are a frequent by-catch when fishing these stunning lowland rivers. They often provide sport when the Trout are not so obliging. They make a very welcome addition and a worthy target in their own right.




Scotia Guide Lennie Fuller scans the water for surface feeding Trout.

Trout Fishing on the Iconic Loch Leven.

Leven is one of Scotland’s most prestigious lochs and only a short drive north from Edinburgh. It offers the serious Trout angler a challenging, traditional Loch fishing experience in Scotland.

Spring and Fall is best for daytime fishing where traditional Scottish wet fly fishing and nymphing can work well when there is little wind or when the buzzer hatches are in full swing. We use a mixture of floating and sinking line tactics during these periods.


The famous “Last Cast” in the falling light…

In the summer evening sessions are often more productive. This period can be hit or miss, but if we get the correct conditions the Loch can come alive with rising Trout!

Blessed with history and an array of wildlife, Leven is a national nature reserve & site of special scientific interest.  Not to mention home to some outstanding Trout fishing on its day!

Loch Leven has some of the richest feeding of any loch in the country and produces specimen Trout approaching 10lbs in weight every season. It is a national treasure in our eyes and one of the best Trout Fishing lochs in Scotland.


A typical sized Loch Leven Trout – seriously well fed!

Our packages start from £259 for 1 person, £309 for 2 persons and include:

  • Transportation
  • Permits/licenses
  • A qualified & insured fishing guide per 3 anglers
  • Scottish themed, home-made lunches & non alcoholic drinks
  • High-end fishing tackle hire
  • Breathable waders & boot hire
  • Full safety equipment
  • Photographic memories from your day to keep as a souvenir

Upon confirming your booking with a deposit you will receive a comprehensive PDF welcome pack with all the information you need for your upcoming trip. This can be downloaded and saved to your smart phone, tablet or iPad for easy access.

If you are interested in fishing in Edinburgh please do get in touch by using the contact us button here or at the top of the page.

We look forward to hearing from you!