Where To Catch Salmon In The UK – Fisherman’s Guide

Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) are found in hundreds of rivers throughout the United Kingdom. Most notably in clean, fast-flowing, and well-oxygenated rivers. Such rivers are typically found in Scotland, Wales, North, and South West England. If you happen to be located in the Midlands or the South, there probably won’t be many, if any rivers that produce Salmon in your local area.

While its true that the population of Salmon in UK rivers has been decreasing, you can still have a very good chance of landing one of these fish if you’re at the right river at the right time. The most productive months are July, August, September, & October. Fishing any of these rivers during the right or wrong season will largely impact your success.

Listed below is a table showing the most prolific rivers for catching Atlantic Salmon in the United Kingdom:

Where To Catch SalmonFish size
The River Wye (Wales & England)5-20lbs
The River Spey (Scotland)5lbs+
The River Dee (Wales & England)10lb-30lbs
The River Tay (Scotland)5lb-45lbs
The River Tweed (Scotland)13lb-42lbs
The River Avon (South West England)5lb-30lbs
The River Esk (North Yorkshire, England)5lb-20lbs

Prerequisites For Salmon Fishing

  • Fishing License Requirements: As rules and regulations surrounding fishing change occasionally, we recommend checking the government’s website for the most up-to-date information before fishing somewhere. You can find the ruling for salmon fishing on the gov.uk website.
  • Size Of Fish: While it may seem obvious, the size of the fish you want to catch is an important consideration when choosing a location to fish. Especially if you’re fishing for consumption.
  • Rivers Running Through Private Land: Its important to ensure that when fishing rivers you’re not fishing on private property as that could potentially cause legal issues and complicate things. If you do happen to be fishing on private land, you need to ensure you have been permitted to do so by the rightful owner or someone who can legally give you permission to fish on that land.
  • Tackle used to catch the fish: Depending on where you’re fishing you may want to use lighter or heavier tackle. If you know you’re going to be targeting larger salmon, then it would advisable to bring slightly stronger gear. However, if the salmon are small, then using lighter tackle is more appropriate.
  • Time of year: Some places don’t produce large quantities of fish during certain times of the year, hence why its important to do thorough research on the river that you’re fishing to give yourself the best possible chances of catching a salmon.

River Wye

LengthBasin AreaLocationSourceMouthMap
250km 4,136 km²Wales, England PlynlimonSevern EstuaryThe River Wye

The river Wye is known for producing some seriously big Salmon, especially throughout the spring months. It’s arguably one of the most popular rivers when fishing for salmon. The season starts on the 3rd of march and continues until the 17th of October. Competitions and tournaments from multiple organizations often include fishing the river Wye. The river runs through England and Wales and is a whopping 250km long. It then feeds off into the Irish Sea.

When it comes to fishing this river for Salmon it may seem a daunting task to some. The size of the water may cause uncertainty, especially when locating the fish. Salmon are very good swimmers and travel huge distances throughout their life spans. The main reason behind this is dependent on their spawning cycles.

The River Wye is home to many salmon along with other species of fish. Its rapid increase in popularity is a result of the monster salmon that are caught every year. Being such a popular river, it may be your best bet when fishing for Salmon. If you’re just starting out, fishing water that has been trialed and tested by many is always the safest option.

Species of fish that inhabit the River Wye include but aren’t limited to:

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Roach
  • Eel
  • Gudgeon
  • Minnow
  • Carp
  • Rudd

The River Wye Inhabits The Cities Listed Below:

  • Ross-on-Wye
  • Hay-on-Wye
  • Hereford
  • Monmouth
  • Symonds Yat
  • Chepstow
  • Builth Wells
  • Tintern
  • Rhayader

River Spey

LengthBasin AreaLocationSourceMouthMap
158 km3,008 km²Scotland Loch SpeyMoray FirthThe River Spey

The Spey is one of the most famous Salmon fishing rivers in the world, it is among the four large Salmon fishing rivers in Scotland and it’s specifically known for producing Atlantic Salmon. This river runs through Scottland before eventually leading off into the northern ocean. The river Spey is around 158 km in length and is a stretch of fast and powerful water, ideal for salmon fishing. Prices to fish at the river start from £30 and vary depending on how long you fish and the time of year. However, this number does go up significantly as the season improves.

Salmon are an extremely sort after fish, the high demand may be the reason behind some of the higher prices. Salmon have to be caught and killed to maintain the population. It’s one of the few fish that if not caught will eventually go extinct. When searching for a well-stocked, healthy river packed with tons of fish, the Spey is certainly a top contender.

Species of fish that inhabit the River Spey include but aren’t limited to:

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Brown Trout
  • Sea Trout

The River Spey Inhabits The Cities/Towns Listed Below:

  • Newtonmore
  • Kingussie
  • Aviemore
  • Grantown-on-Spey
  • Aberlour
  • Craigellachie
  • Rothes
  • Fochabers

The River Dee

LengthBasin AreaLocationSourceMouthMap
113 km1,817 km²Wales, England DdualltDee EstuaryThe River Dee

The River Dee is another river that runs through England and Wales. It’s known for being packed with fish and is especially popular for salmon fishing. Being 113km long with lots of amazing views and bridges, the River Dee is also a Tourist attraction. Nevertheless, there’s always plenty of space for anglers to enjoy fishing on this beautiful water.

Salmon, pike, trout, and even river carp are all fish you should expect when fishing the River Dee. This variety is one of the river’s most impressive accolades. There are many reported trips from anglers who have traveled from all over the country to come and fish the river Dee. If you are someone looking to fish for some seriously big Salmon or just to see what the river throws at you. The river Dee is definitely worth considering.

There have been reports of some absolute monster Salmon caught from the river Dee. Here’s a link to see those fish: River Dee’s Biggest Catches.

Species of fish that inhabit the River Dee include but aren’t limited to:

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Pike
  • Brown Trout
  • Sea Trout
  • Grayling
  • Carp

The River Dee Inhabits The Cities/Towns Listed Below:

  • Chester
  • Shotton
  • Flint
  • Holywell
  • Mostyn
  • Neston
  • Parkgate
  • Heswall
  • West Kirby
  • Hoylake

River Tay

LengthBasin AreaLocationSourceMouthMap
193 km4,970 km²ScotlandBen Lui Firth of TayThe River Tay

The river Tay is the longest river in Scotland, it’s 193km long and is full of salmon. The Salmon fishing season starts on the 15th of January each year, as fish migrate through the river leading up to the spring months anglers notice a significant increase in numbers. When fishing for salmon, the spring months are always your best bet for catching the most fish.

As the River Tay is full of Atlantic Salmon and is known all over the world due to numerous huge catches. Its no surprise the river Tay made it onto this list. Another fantastic river to fish when looking for Salmon. The river Tay is primarily full of Salmon, Sea Trout, and Brown Trout.

Species of fish that inhabit the River Tay include but aren’t limited to:

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Pike
  • Sea Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Roach
  • Arctic Char

The River Tay Inhabits The Cities/Towns Listed Below:

  • Perth
  • Dundee
  • Dunkeld
  • Aberfeldy
  • Kenmore

River Tweed

LengthBasin AreaLocationSourceMouthMap
156km4,970 km²ScotlandTweeds WellNorth SeaThe River Tweed

The River Tweed is another lengthy river that runs 156km through East Scottland and Northan England. The river is recognized as one of the most profound salmon waters. In 2010 a staggering 23,219 salmon were caught by rod and reel, this statistic gives anglers a good indication as to the vast amounts of salmon that swim the Tweed.

This stunning river runs through many towns making it a practical and easily accessible river to fish. Its most commonly known for salmon, however, the river is also home to many brown Trout. The huge numbers of fish attract anglers from all over the world, this has proved to have a positive impact on the local economy and boost competition.

If your looking at where are you most likely to have a good day of salmon fishing, then the river Tweed is definitely a place worth considering.

Species of fish that inhabit the River Tweed include but aren’t limited to:

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Sea Trout
  • Brown Trout

The River Tweed Inhabits The Cities/Towns Listed Below:

  • Peebles
  • Galashiels
  • Selkirk,
  • Hawick
  • Kelso
  • Berwick upon Tweed

River Avon

LengthBasin AreaLocationSourceMouthMap
134km 1,750km²South West EnglandActon TurvilleSevern EstuaryThe River Avon

The River Avon is located in the southwest of England. It’s 134km in length and is another hot salmon fishing spot. There are multiple rivers called the river Avon, however, in this instance, we are referring to the one located in the South West. Its a very well-known stretch of water and Salmon fishing may not be the first thing you think of when you hear the river, Avon. Nevertheless, this river is full of fishing potential.

The Salmon fishing season starts on the 1st of February and runs up until the 31st of July. Throughout this time anglers are allowed to fish by a rod. However, in recent years the number of salmon caught has decreased slightly.

Species of fish that inhabit the River Avon include but aren’t limited to:

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Sea Trout

The River Avon Inhabits The Cities/Towns Listed Below:

  • Bristol
  • Bath
  • Keynsham
  • Bradford-On-Avon
  • Melksham
  • Chippenham
  • Malmesbury

River Esk

LengthBasin AreaLocationSourceMouthMap
45km362 km2North YorkshireWesterdaleWhitbyThe River Esk

The river Esk located in north Yorkshire, its one of the smallest rivers on this list at 45km but is widely known for salmon fishing. The National Park Authorities, fishing clubs, and anglers all play a major role in ensuring that Salmon fishing is maintained properly throughout the river Esk.

Fishing permits are available for £30. The river Esk supports both leisure fishing as well as commercial. It contains a huge number of salmon and is another great pick for any angler looking to catch some stunning fish. Salmon as big as 31lb have been caught.

Species of fish that inhabit the River Esk include but aren’t limited to:

  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Sea Trout

The River Esk Inhabits The Cities/Towns Listed Below:

  • Whitby
  • Westerdale
  • Castleton
  • Danby
  • Lealholm
  • Egton
  • Briggswath
  • Ruswarp

Similar Posts