Autumn season salmon fishing notes
After a few years with really unpredictable weather in May - June some of our guests turned their heads to Autumn fishing period. I can't say that Autumn period is better or more productive. September and October also occasionally surprise us with its weather conditions. We remember extremely early winter in 2014, when ice appeared on the river in early October. Salmon run and its activity heavily depend on water level and temperature. But as for me, salmon run in Autumn is way more predictable than in Spring and fishing in lower water level is more emotional for me. Before we discussed advantages and disadvantages of Spring and Autumn run of salmon, a lot depend on conditions of the river and personal preferences of the fisherman. This year we open Autumn season from 5th September and carry on till 15 of October. We hope the weather will behave and the fishing will be great!
2017 is a year of pink salmon running into the rivers of Kola Peninsula. Pink salmon or as locals call it ''Gorbusha'' appeared in the river in the end of June and max amount could be seen in July. Its still hard to say how pinks influence salmon running the river in late August. I can only say that in the last few years it did not change much the situation. Salmon run intensifies from the middle of August to mid October. As soon as pink salmon go for spawning in the shallows, the resident and fresh salmon take their places.
Therefore i can forecast the situation this Autumn a little bit. With water temperature going slowly going down in the first weeks of September we can expect a positive change in the activity of salmon which ran from the sea fro spawning. Those will be the last Autumn fish and also fish from June-July. Fish that entered the river from the mid August will be the most interesting. This batch will spawn next Autumn. Why interesting? Usually the biggest salmons are from this run, fish of 7-9 kg are not rare. They are usually caught at the end of September and loosing activity quiet fast compare to smaller fish.
With temperature of the water going down to approx 8 degrees most resident fish start spawning. Usually this period takes about 3-4 weeks but sometimes depending on temperature factors it only takes a week. Just before spawning or in pre-spawning time fish are extremely aggressive. As i mentioned before we usually change the potential of the river by the catch, but its not always true. The real potential can be seen exactly in Autumn when you can clearly observe the whole situation. September is the month when we catch the biggest fish that we always dream about, but sadly those are the huge residents that are going for spawning and not the silver bullets from the sea.
When spawning begins, the majority of resident fish disappear from our catch. Its fascinating to observe the whole process of spawning, but we have to concentrate on fresh fish that comes from the sea at this time. The amount and intensity of the run hugely depend on the river conditions at that time. Ideally the water level should be a little high after the Autumn rains and the temperature around 5-7 degrees. Its important to note that stable weather(levell, temperature) is vital for salmon o run into the river.
First week of October is one of the most interesting time for fishing buts its challenging. With enough water in the river and stable temperature of 5-7 degrees, salmon run could be huge! Some cold days could slow the things down as fish could be inactive. The temperature could go down to 1-2 degrees and active fish could only be found in estuary pools and around. But as soon as its getting warmer everything goes back to normal. For example in 2015, when the water level in mid September rose from 1 degree to 6. One of the best weeks in my memory.
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