Fishing Weather

Needle Tubes and Tube Flies

How the Weather Affects our Fishing

Fishing success on river and loch often depends on the right fishing weather..... while the wrong kind of fishing weather provides us with a ready excuse on those all too frequent days when we are not as successful as we would like.....

But what kind of weather is "fishing weather"? How does weather affect the fisherman? There is a general perception among non fishers that the fishing will be good when it is raining. Perhaps we fishermen have ourselves to blame for this misconception, brought about by our most earnest prayers to the rain gods throughout the summer months. Those of us who fish our rivers, particularly for salmon, are certainly reliant on frequent rain to swell the rivers and encourage fresh fish to run in from the sea.

So, fairly obviously, our rivers need rain on a regular basis if they are to fish well. During the fishing season, we keep a close eye on the weather forecasts for any hint of rain. A good downpour up in the hills might just produce a spate on our local river, perhaps enough to bring in a few fresh fish. Few fish will be caught at the height of the spate but, if we can arrange to be on the river at the right time, when the spate begins to run off and the water begins to clear, we will be in with a good chance of a fish, for, of all the factors influencing our success with salmon, and, to a lesser extent, sea trout, the height of the river is often the crucial element. If the river is too low or too high, even the most expert among us might struggle to catch a fish. This dependence on river levels, of course, provides the less expert among us with a ready excuse for an empty bag. In addition to our modern addiction to the television weather channels, and, more recently, weather websites, fishermen in Scotland are fortunate to have access to information on river levels through the excellent Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) website, which displays accurate graphical readings of the levels of most of our rivers, updated on a daily basis. A check on the SEPA website (see link below) on the morning of a river fishing outing would now be standard procedure for most of us.  The Environment Agency now provide similar information on river levels in England and Wales (see link below)

Having said that, it is not unusual, even with the river at a "perfect" height, for a salmon fisherman to return home from a day on the river with nothing to show for his efforts. I suppose that is half the attraction, the uncertainty of it all, for success in salmon fishing so often depends on the interaction of a whole host of things, all coming together in the right way at the right time. Predicting when and where conditions will be right is not easy. A barely detectable change in atmospheric conditions might be enough to change our fortunes. A glimpse of sunshine on a dull day; a slight rise in barometric pressure; a drop in wind strength; a change in wind direction; the passing of a thunderstorm; a rise of a degree or two in air or water temperature; a change of light; any of these might be enough to bring a salmon "on the take". We must be alert to any such change if we are to make the most of our chances. Of course, the constant changes in atmospheric conditions might be so subtle as to be imperceptible. What this means for most of us is that the secret in catching salmon or sea trout is application and perseverance. We know that, eventually, we will be rewarded for "good attendance".

Similarly, the trout fisherman drifting the loch might look for a steady westerly breeze and a bit of cloud on a mild day. A flat calm is of little use on a highland loch. A cold, gusting wind, bringing squally showers from the east or north will also make for difficult fishing. Like the salmon fisher, the trout man has no shortage of excuses for an empty basket, due one day to a bright sun, the next to no sun at all; often a cold wind will be to blame and, just as often, the absence of it; sometimes the water temperature will be too cold, at other times too warm. Just occasionally, though, the trout fisherman will have no need of an excuse, on those rare days when temperature, wind, sun and cloud combine to create the perfect day, when trout fight to get at the fly and he comes home at the end of the day with a few trout for breakfast. It is on those days that the fisherman will congratulate himself on his wise choice of recreation.

See the links below for useful information on moon phases, tide times, water levels on Scottish rivers (SEPA website) and English and Welsh rivers (EA website) and for weather forecasts.  After all, you can never have too many weather forecasts...... you never know, one of them might get it right!

Useful Resources for the Fisherman


fishing weather - river levels

click logo to check levels of Scottish rivers


Click Logo for river levels in England and Wales


Predictions of high and low tide times throughout the UK can be viewed at



Book - Sea Trout Nights




fishing weather - BBC

click logo for the BBC weather


fishing weather - Met Office

click logo for the Met Office




salmon fishing ] trout fishing ] sea trout fishing ] maps ] fishing articles ] fly tying ] fishing photographs ] salmon fishing photos ] trout fishing photos ] sea trout fishing photos ] book of flies ] fishing diary ] fishing books ] fishing in Scotland ] where to stay ] fishing clubs ] tackle shops ] fly fishing knots ] [ fishing weather ] salmon recipes ] flies online ] fishing links ] book-sea-trout-fishing ] sitemap ] contact ] privacy ] Anti-Angling-Bill ] Wild Fisheries Bill ] Wild Fisheries Reform in Scotland ]

Trout and Salmon Fishing