Scotland : salmon fishing paradise

These are 10 of the best salmon fishing rivers in Scotland
Scotland is famed for its salmon rivers – providing anglers with one of purest and most exciting forms of the sport.

The country has almost 400 different rivers that have populations of the migratory fish, attracting people from all over the world to cast a fly or lure and try their luck.

The Atlantic salmon is a remarkable creature that live in freshwater as juveniles, but migrate to sea as adults before returning up river to spawn.

They are able to find their way back to the particular stretch of their native river where they hatched with incredible accurancy – sometimes even returning to a specific rock.

Researchers have found salmon that have travelled as far as 2,400km during their migration.

As a general rule, the salmon fishing season in Scotland runs from early February until late October, with a few exceptions (the River Tay season runs from January 15 until October 15).

Peak times for catching salmon tend to be in April and May and then from September to October, with spring salmon, or ‘springers’, particularly highly-prized due to the bright silver colour, which means they’ve only recently returned from the sea.

While some of the best fishing beats command hefty prices, there are bargains to be had from fishing clubs and associations that offer angling opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Here are 10 of the best salmon fishing rivers in Scotland.

1. RIver Tweed
The Tweed is one of finest salmon fishing rivers in the world, producing more rod-caught salmon than anywhere else in Europe. It flows 97 miles through the pretty Borders countryside, before entering England and reaching the sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed. It is home to the Junction Pool, one of the most famous places to fish in Scotland, which can cost around £1,400 per angler per day to fish during the peak of the season.

2. River Tay
At 117 miles, the River Tay is Scotland's longest river. Originating in western Scotland on the slopes of Ben Lui, it flows across the Highlands, through Loch Dochart, Loch Iubhair and Loch Tay, then continues through Strathtay and Perth, reaching the sea at the Firth of Tay, south of Dundee. The lowest ten miles of the Tay, including exclusive beats like Taymount, provide the most productive fishing spots. It is famous for producing big fish - including the largest ever rod-caught salmon in Britain, landed by Georgina Ballantine in 1922, weighing 64 pounds.

3. River Spey
The River Spey is so intertwined with salmon fishing history that it even inspired its own casting technique - the spey cast, a method that allows the angler to make long casts without a lot of room for a back cast. The river is 107 miles long, rising in Loch Spey in the Highlands, flowing through Newtonmore and Kingussie and crossing Loch Insh before reaching Aviemore, before reaching the sea at the Moray Firth. People from around the world are drawn to the river not just for the fishing, but also for the majestic scenery

4. River Dee
The mighty River Dee rises in the Cairngorms and flows through southern Aberdeenshire to reach the North Sea at Aberdeen. It lends its name to the area is passes through - Deeside, or Royal Deeside - which became popular with the Royal Family after Queen Victoria so enjoyed a visit she built Balmoral Castle. The Royals still enjoy fishing the river during their regular trips north of the border. One of Scotland's shallower rivers, its fast-flowing, crystal clear waters are home to a succession of salmon pools that provide a perfect challenge for anglers.

5. River Nith
Flowing through south west Scotland, the River Nith rises in the Carsphairn hills of East Ayrshire and traveles south through Dumfries and Galloway to the Solway Firth. Much of the river is available to visiting anglers and, if the water levels are just right, it can be one of the most productive rivers in Scotland for both salmon and sea trout.

6. River Teith
The RIver Teith is formed from the confluence of two smaller rivers, the Eas Gobhain and the Garbh Uisge, that flow from Loch Venachar and Loch Lubnaig respectively. It flows through Callender and continues through Deanston and Doune before flowing into the River Forth. The Stirling Council Fishery beat on the river can be accessed by purchasing a permit, with the Bathing and Pipers Pools the most productive.

7. River Deveron
The 60-mile-long River Deveron rises in the Ladder Hills, in the Grampian mountain range, flowing east through farmland and being joined by first
the River Bogie and then the RIver Isla,
8. River Don
The 81-mile-long River Don rises in the Grampians and flows eastwards across Aberdeenshire, through Alford, Kemnay

9. River Naver
Not all of the best Scottish salmon rivers are large. The relatively diminutive River Naver

10. River Brora
The River Brora flows through Sutherland, in the Scottish Highlands of Scotland, forming at Dalnessie, then travelling down Strath Brora to Dalreavoch.
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