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This is a great time of the day to be out during the hot low water Summer fishing months. Salmon can often be caught at this time of day and this shot was taken a few moments after I landed a perfect Summer fish on my fly rod.
This is the tail of the Rock Pool on the River Tay near Dunkeld at dusk. You can see that the sun has just dipped down behind the Perthshire hills and the light is starting to fade.
I love bright light fishing days as they make your salmon fly sparkle and any salmon you catch too! Look at the illuminated detail a little bit of sunshine creates. This perfect salmon was caught on the River Tay near Dunkeld.
There's not much to this salmon fly in the way of complex dressing materials but you'd better believe this is one of the most deadly low warm water Summer salmon flies ever created. This is the 'Silver Stoat' and I could honestly write a book about the times I've seen it work its magic over the last 4 decades.
Here's a perfect bright light early Spring salmon fishing shot which was taken from the salmon boat at Dunkeld on the River Tay in Perthshire. In the distance you can clearly see the historic Telford Bridge which was build from sand stone over 200 years ago.
This fine early Spring photograph shows the flicker of sunlight shining through the leafless beech and oak trees on the River Tay on the Kinnaird Beat' Rock Pool near Dunkeld.

What Is The Best Time Of Day To Catch Salmon

Professional Scottish salmon fishing guide advice on the best times of the day to catch salmon during the fishing season.

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What Is The Best Time Of Day To Catch Salmon

Learn how to catch salmon at different times of the Fishing Season

This is really a great question with many variable answers so I'll elaborate on a couple of the obvious times of the day when salmon are likely to cooperate and take an angler's fly or lure. Let me start by firstly mentioning the early Spring optimal taking time of day when the riverbanks are likely still frozen and the air temperature isn't too far above zero before looking at the optimal hotter weather warmer water taking times.

When To Catch Salmon During early Spring

The early Spring actually defies logic on many Scottish salmon beats that stop for  lunch at 1pm which reduces the best part of the early Spring fishing day by 25%. The best salmon fishing time in the early low sun Spring months is between 11am and 3pm when the day is at its warmest when maximum early Spring sun warmth is present. A temperature increase of 1 or 2 degrees is big news to an early run Spring salmon even though it's bearly noticeable to the salmon anglers. As a former River Tay Head Ghillie I'd always promote a big breakfast to my guests and that we not break for lunch until 3pm during early Spring to increase the chances of catching a perfect early fresh run Spring salmon which often occurred between 1pm & 2pm when all other Tay beats were stood down for lunch.

WHEN TO CATCH SALMON on Hot Summer days

Another obvious time for picking up a fish during the hot Summer months would be starting 1 hour prior to sunrize and fishing for an hour afterwards then coming back 2 hours before dusk and fishing into the fading light. This approach should mainly be deployed on those blistering hot low water bright Summer days (subject to the beat ghillie's permission) however never underestimate the salmon hooking ability of a small 'Silver Stoat' fished deep right in about bottom holding salmon even in the brightest of Summer days during anytime of the fishing day. The books say that low water conditions with bright light dictates a full floating line but logic dictates your fly should be down deep with a heavy sinking tip as salmon naturally seek the cooler deepest holding positions in such warm water bright light conditions and older resident salmon aren't likely to come up several feet for a fly. The books also say that salmon aren't cooperative in bright light but I've known the opposite to be true on too many ocassions however dawn & dusk are also good times during warmer water and bright light conditions.

How to catch more salmon throughout the fishing season

Another less obvious daily salmon taking time is when you start listening to your inner gut feelings about your salmon fly, its swim pace & depth and where you suspect there to be salmon holding. This ability to listen to these subtle tactical thoughts and make adjustments is a really good salmon fishing skill to develop because if your sub-surface salmon fishing mind is fully engaged it will make most hours of the fishing day a potentially good one! Too many salmon anglers from what I've seen over the decades are far too easily put off by what appears as less than favourable water or weather conditions however I can assure you that a salmon take can occur at any time of the day and even in the worst conditions so stay focussed, tactically alert & persistent as these are some of the vital components for success in salmon fishing. Follow this link to Learn salmon fishing skills from a professional salmon fishing guide which will enhance your chances of catching salmon on the rivers of Scotland.


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