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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    8,142

    Default Salmon! Now you see me - now you don't!!

    Been mulling the graphs that Seeking has been putting up over the months (or should that read years!) and have never been able to put my head around why they show a rosy picture in their main, compared to my own observations and of course that of ghillies and others I know, who are on the water 6 days a week and in some cases for 30-50 years.

    I am also a idealist/dreamer in that do recall when the rivers used to be bouncing with fish. So much so that when I used to fish some rivers for trout with the brandling worm, they would believe it or not be a bloody pest taking my offerings for the trout on 4lb leader (gut as we called them in them days) and invariably would break you, time and time again.

    That was the case on many an outing, but apart from that you would see them bouncing about in all the pools and 2-3 at a time. Rosy tinted glasses it may be, but it is my genuine observations over the earlier years.

    What I have noticed in recent years is that fact they don't show like they used to do. Nothing like it it would seem, which is in a way reinforced by a blog post that Tony Andrews put up on his Finavon Beat report.
    Tony is the owner of the beat most will know, and is as concerned as the rest of us on the issues rivers and anglers have with falling catches and returning fish.
    But on this particular blog last year he mentioned that he sent a diver down into one of his largest/deepest pools and the diver reported back there was lots fish just sitting there, awaiting water or the urge to head up.

    But my point is they never showed, or showed enough that would indicate they were there in those high numbers, making anglers assume the river had no or little fish in it.
    This would make some sense, when read in relation to the North Esk counter thread, (see here: http://www.salmonfishingforum.com/fo...d107055-8.html) post 77

    As can be seen salmon are actually increasing in numbers, if the counter results can be taken as read. But the catches haven't risen in line.
    Guys fishing would say there is less fish in the Northie than before etc etc. So are we looking at a behavioral change in the salmon?

    Its not just the warm dry last two years Im talking about here, as I have noticed this for far longer, when on the Nith salmon were getting caught (in those days) but didn't show as they used to!

    No doubt there will be exceptions to the above when there is a genuine lack of fish due to being more easily spotted in the smaller rivers or redd counts down etc, but I suppose the questions is, why salmon don't show like they used to?

    Answers on a post card to..............
    Last edited by kingfisher; 02-03-2015 at 02:56 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Easy Answer,
    Over more than half a century of salmon fishing I have on many occasions sat on a high bank overlooking a pool stuffed with salmon and not see a fin move for hours. Then a run of fresh fish enter the pool and it erupts. The trouble nowadays is the reduced runs so that stale fish can lie for days/weeks before some fresh fish enter the pool.
    Tight Lines

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    8,142

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wee-Eck View Post
    Easy Answer,
    Over more than half a century of salmon fishing I have on many occasions sat on a high bank overlooking a pool stuffed with salmon and not see a fin move for hours. Then a run of fresh fish enter the pool and it erupts. The trouble nowadays is the reduced runs so that stale fish can lie for days/weeks before some fresh fish enter the pool.
    Tight Lines
    Maybe if the pools were stuffed, that was the run up

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    949

    Default

    Thought that was C&R. Now you see me, now you don't.
    Bill Cook

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allysshrimp View Post
    Thought that was C&R. Now you see me, now you don't.
    Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Yorks
    Posts
    3,925

    Default Now you see me

    It's one of the mysteries the salmon pose us. Therefore, as I don't have a structured logical response, here are a few thoughts based on observation:

    - When it comes to running and movement, there's far more goes on at night than during the day, so there's a lot of activity we don't see. Pools can fill and empty without us ever knowing. In one pool,where I hadn't seen a fish show for a week in October, there were 200 salmon. Perhaps if they're calm and content, they just lie doggo.

    - Very big fish (i.e. 30+) tend not to be exhibitionists. I've never seen a fish of that size show, but the imaging counter and its nice pictures tell me they're present in good numbers.

    - After the night run, in the morning, when the residents can see (rather than just smell or sense) who's arrived, then there can be a burst of activity, especially by male fish later in the season when the testosterone is running high (see Morning Glory).

    - Big males get territorial as the season progresses. One August afternoon on the Ure I watched from a high bank as the large dominant resident cock fish in a pool reacted to each and every male fish that ran into and through his domain. Once I'd established his pattern, I descended to water level and caught him - he came to the fly from 15 feet and more in pure aggression.

    - Cock fish seem to get bored and 'itchy', especially in higher water temperatures. You watch them come up from the depths, go up to the head of the pool for an oxygen fix, splash about, do a circuit and return to their lie.

    - Some early season runners ('home runners'), especially hens, who get well up river quite quickly, then seem to bed down in complete limbo. I spotted a very big (25+) fish in a lie in May: she was still in exactly the same place in October. She hadn't moved and I'd never seen her show during any of my visits. For such fish energy conservation is the absolute priority: they might show once or twice per day, but often, not at all.

    - Based on my Findhorn research, in that river at least, hen fish display a different daily activity cycle to cocks (see Good Morning Ladies), with 2 daylight peaks.

    - Sometimes it's almost like they're operating on a timer: along a substantial length of river everything seems to wake up at the same time, play up for about 15 minutes and then subside. One day the Carron, three of us caught fish within the same minute with a quarter mile between us.

    But do I have a universal answer? No.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    west london
    Posts
    627

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MCXFisher View Post
    It's one of the mysteries the salmon pose us. Therefore, as I don't have a structured logical response, here are a few thoughts based on observation:

    - When it comes to running and movement, there's far more goes on at night than during the day, so there's a lot of activity we don't see. Pools can fill and empty without us ever knowing. In one pool,where I hadn't seen a fish show for a week in October, there were 200 salmon. Perhaps if they're calm and content, they just lie doggo.

    - Very big fish (i.e. 30+) tend not to be exhibitionists. I've never seen a fish of that size show, but the imaging counter and its nice pictures tell me they're present in good numbers.

    - After the night run, in the morning, when the residents can see (rather than just smell or sense) who's arrived, then there can be a burst of activity, especially by male fish later in the season when the testosterone is running high (see Morning Glory).

    - Big males get territorial as the season progresses. One August afternoon on the Ure I watched from a high bank as the large dominant resident cock fish in a pool reacted to each and every male fish that ran into and through his domain. Once I'd established his pattern, I descended to water level and caught him - he came to the fly from 15 feet and more in pure aggression.

    - Cock fish seem to get bored and 'itchy', especially in higher water temperatures. You watch them come up from the depths, go up to the head of the pool for an oxygen fix, splash about, do a circuit and return to their lie.

    - Some early season runners ('home runners'), especially hens, who get well up river quite quickly, then seem to bed down in complete limbo. I spotted a very big (25+) fish in a lie in May: she was still in exactly the same place in October. She hadn't moved and I'd never seen her show during any of my visits. For such fish energy conservation is the absolute priority: they might show once or twice per day, but often, not at all.

    - Based on my Findhorn research, in that river at least, hen fish display a different daily activity cycle to cocks (see Good Morning Ladies), with 2 daylight peaks.

    - Sometimes it's almost like they're operating on a timer: along a substantial length of river everything seems to wake up at the same time, play up for about 15 minutes and then subside. One day the Carron, three of us caught fish within the same minute with a quarter mile between us.

    But do I have a universal answer? No.
    fascinating stuff as always, thank you

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hapton Lancs
    Posts
    2,037

    Default

    It's really interesting reading up on what the fish are actually doing, when there in the pools. The rivers I fish you can't see the fish on the bottom, either that or I'm blind, in all the time I've fished for salmon I've never seen one on the river bed, even when the fish show in low water.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ayr
    Posts
    1,442

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MCXFisher View Post
    ........
    - Based on my Findhorn research, in that river at least, hen fish display a different daily activity cycle to cocks
    - Sometimes it's almost like they're operating on a timer: along a substantial length of river everything seems to wake up at the same time, play up for about 15 minutes and then subside. One day the Carron, three of us caught fish within the same minute with a quarter mile between us.

    But do I have a universal answer? No.
    Have observed this behaviour over many trips to the Findhorn. River dead as a dodo for hours then up they all come for a few minutes, and then it all goes quiet again.
    There are no changed indicators which might give a clue to this synchronised leaping....strange indeed, just wish we could crack why this happens.
    Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Yorks
    Posts
    3,925

    Default Salmon

    Quote Originally Posted by clydesider View Post
    Have observed this behaviour over many trips to the Findhorn. River dead as a dodo for hours then up they all come for a few minutes, and then it all goes quiet again.
    There are no changed indicators which might give a clue to this synchronised leaping....strange indeed, just wish we could crack why this happens.
    Mike
    As the time of day is fairly consistent within each month period, it tends to rule out variables like water level, atmospheric pressure and so forth. By elimination you wind up thinking about light levels as a possible stimulus.

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