Professional career based salmon fishing advice on where the main likely salmon hooking areas are to be found on Scottish rivers.
The salmon rivers of Scotland are fascinating from many different viewpoints and knowing or expecting where salmon can be found has always been a personal obsession with me. I could write a book on this 'where to hook salmon' topic but I'll start with detailing one almost certain salmon holding area especially in medium to high water when salmon are or have been on the move.
The tail of a pool where there's fast steamy water immediately below has always been an area I'll pay close attention to. Running salmon that have powered up through fast water will always usuallly stop when they reach the calm tail of the pool above. A running salmon is usually always a taking fish too as they're already in a state of alert excitement. When you hook a salmon at the tail of the pool (if it's a new arrival) often it will about turn back down through the fast water below so always work out in advance how you plan to follow a fish if that happens to you.
The fast flowing neck of a salmon pool is a low water / warm weather area to pay close attention to. If there are any riverbed features that create a break in the current where deep lying salmon can tuck into then they will. The reason salmon will hold in such areas is because during warm water periods there's less oxygenated water so the faster flows compensate for this as a fish can process more water through its gills in the faster streams as long as it can find a holding position that gives it a break from the fast current.
Learning true rivercraft water reading skills takes years of riverbank experience and cannot be taught effectively from reading books. Once you master this skill you'll be able to go to any salmon river in any water condition and know exactly where salmon are likely to be holding. If you book a professional salmon fishing guide you'll be shown all of these likely salmon holding areas so on future fishing trips you'll know where you should be focussing your fly swim time for the best chance of success.