The River Conon season runs from February 11th to September 30th. The first fresh fish are usually caught in late March, with mid-April to mid-May being the most productive time for spring salmon. Water levels can be very high in the spring, and spinning is permitted on most beats throughout April. The grilse runs usually begin in late June and continue throughout August, the most productive month, and into early September. The Lower Blackwater tributary can fish well in the late spring, but salmon don’t generally arrive in the Upper Blackwater until June, with August and September being the best months.
The River Alness is considered a ‘late river’ with spring salmon arriving later than on the Conon and runs of grilse and summer/autumn salmon continuing into early October. The Alness season runs from 1st April to 31st October. There is a small run of quality spring salmon from early May to mid-June, but the main runs of grilse and summer salmon start in early July. Given rain and good water levels, sport can be excellent through the summer months, with August through to early October regarded as the prime months.
Casting for gold on a hill loch
Most of the lochs in Easter Ross open on April 1st and close on 30th September, though there are some minor variations around these dates from loch to loch. Typically shallow and/or low lying lochs will start to fish well in early April, though it may be sometime later before the trout are in peak condition. It takes much longer for the water temperature to rise in hill lochs, and those with deeper water, so depending on spring weather some of these lochs may only really start to fish at their best in June, though they can then fish well throughout the summer.