What Time Of Year Do Salmon Leap?

All year long, you may see fry and parr, but the greatest times to observe leaping adult salmon are in the late summer and early fall. The optimum times are early in the day or late at night, particularly after a lot of rain.

Scotland’s Prime Salmon Leaping Season

Scotland’s salmon leaping season runs from October to November. They migrate upstream around this time, which provides some amazing viewing chances. There are locations where you can see them from September to April, from fall to spring. Early morning or early evening is typically the greatest time of day to watch salmons.

How to proceed

The time, the calendar, and the weather prediction all want your attention. The greatest times to catch salmon in October and November are early in the day and late at night. A period of rain following a dry spell will also create the ideal circumstances for the salmon to leap. Search for sections of the river that have minor waterfalls, get a good viewing point along the water, and be careful on the wet, slick banks!

More than any other species, Atlantic salmon play a significant role in Scottish cultural mythology. When the Picts engraved its likeness into stones and the Celts narrated stories about the Salmon of Wisdom, they were aware of this. Because it travels between rivers and the sea, this creature can be used to gauge a river’s health and awe many people who encounter it.

Salmon cluster in cascades, where their jumping against the current might appear to be nothing short of magical. Scotland is fortunate to have several salmon rivers and many waterfalls. The fact that salmon access its inland waters for most of the year is also remarkable. One significant “fall run” of fish, which typically peaks in October, is included in this.

Visit the Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre beside the River Ettrick, close to Selkirk, to observe salmon in their full fall jump (and to view video links from underwater cameras). In the north, between Bonar Bridge and Lairg, admire the falls along the River Shin.

In the early morning and late evening hours of October and November, especially after a spell of rain after a dry time, you are most likely to see leaping salmon.

Because there are falls and there is a lot of spray nearby, they can be slippery even when conditions are ideal. Take caution at all times if you visit these regions because they may be more slippery than usual and are best viewed in late autumn or early winter.

Tips for detecting jumping salmon

  • Plan your visit to maximize your chances of seeing salmon because fish are usually more active in the early morning and late at night. The months of October and November usually have the best sightings.
  • Take note of the weather; a sudden wet spell following a dry stretch frequently creates the ideal environment for salmon to leap.
  • Locate an excellent view position; weirs and bridges work well. You can travel closer to the river for a better view once you’ve determined where the salmon are leaping. On slippery, damp banks, however, exercise caution!
  • Apply the same strategy you would while viewing wildlife in any other situation. Fish, like many other wild animals, are sensitive to vibrations and noises, so it helps to be patient and remain still.


Really all through the late Spring, Summer, and even the early Fall. A observation platform is located above the falls, and it’s exciting to watch them struggle to climb the falls and reach the spawning grounds. Excellent place to grab a bite to eat and for coffee.

While comprehending the reasons why the salmon return to the Falls each year, we observe that starting in the early spring, they arrive from the sea after traveling hundreds of miles to reach the rivers leading into Scotland. The Salmon must migrate to deeper waters between July and September, at which point they jump and engage in an epic battle against all odds. You have the whole summer.


when the fish return to their breeding areas in the fall to spawn.

Seeing fish can be spectacular even though it’s not as common as seeing birds.

particularly when the salmon begin to leap as they head back to their breeding areas.

recognizable by their sleek bodies, brownish-reddish-silver bodies, and forked tails

announce some amazing salmon aerobatics. November is a fantastic month to view the

so plan your visit to make the most of your salmon in the morning and the evening

great view places to observe fish, especially early in your expedition.

for a better view still. Natural elements like swaying branches and partially submerged

When viewing animals, always don camouflage clothing to fit in with the surroundings.

Wear polarizing eyewear to avoid glare from light reflecting off surfaces.

locations to view salmon

The mature Atlantic salmon leaping over waterfalls, weirs, and fish passes on its trip home to spawn is one of nature’s most amazing and stirring sights. Whether or whether they fish, bystanders are sure to be fascinated by the spectacle. Indeed, for many who don’t fish, it might be their first and last opportunity to see salmon. It’s then that they’ll realize what an amazing, courageous, and resilient creature it is—and how it got its Latin name, Salmo salar, or “salmon the leaper”—from.

Salmon have been seen to leap at least 12 feet in an effort to reach waterfalls. Those who have witnessed these amazing achievements are aware of how the fish appears to practically soar rather than jump. A fish flying through the air and water!

The fish leap over some naturally occurring obstacles and others man-made ones. We are aware that there are differing opinions on the latter and that many people would prefer to have all artificial barriers eliminated. The public’s knowledge of the need to minimize artificial barriers to fish passage, or at the very least take steps to lessen their impact, is likely to be increased through salmon-watching.

The ideal time to see salmon performing aerial tricks is in October or November, especially after a period of heavy rain. The early morning and late night are typically when fish are most active.

1. River Wharfe in Otley Weir, West Yorkshire

2. River Pas at Puente Viesgo in Cantabria, Spain

River Blackwater at Blackwater Falls, Perthshire

4. River Teifi at Cenarth Falls in Ceredigion

5. River Carron at Larbert Weir in Stirlingshire

6. Lovers’ Retreat, Camowen, Tyrone – Foyle System and River Camowen

7. Edzell, Angus, Rocks of Solitude, River North Esk

8. Northumberland’s Hexham Weir on the River Tyne

9. Sutherland’s Falls of Shin – River Shin

10. Perthshire’s Pitlochry Dam and Salmon Ladder – The River Tummel

11. The River Ettrick and Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Center in the Scottish Borders, close to Selkirk

12. River Lyd at Lydford Gorge, Devon

River Braan at Falls of Braan, The Hermitage, Dunkeld, Perthshire

14. Banchory, Kindcardineshire’s Falls of Feugh – River Dee, Water of Feugh

15. Glen Tanar Estate, Aberdeenshire, Aboyne (River Dee)

15. Buchanty Spout in Easter Glenalmond beside Crieff, Perthshire – River Almond

17. Rivers Garry and Tummel at Linn of Tummel, by Pitlochry, Perthshire

18. River Ericht at Cargill’s Leap in Blairgowrie, Perthshire

River Ribble at Stainforth Foss in Yorkshire, 19.

When do salmon spawn in the United Kingdom?

Although spawning often takes place between November and December, in some places, especially along larger rivers, it may happen as early as October. All Atlantic salmon die after spawning in about 90 to 95% of cases. Those that live may reproduce.

Redds are gravel depressions where female fish lay their eggs. A mature juvenile or adult male fertilizes the female’s eggs as soon as she releases them. The female then scatters gravel over the fertilized eggs.

Water temperature affects how long it takes for eggs to hatch (the incubation period). Early spring is usually when eggs hatch. The young fish are referred to as “alevins” because they still have their yolk sacs attached.

The alevins spend a few weeks in the redd before emerging from the gravel in April or May after absorbing the yolk sac. The fish are now referred to as “fry” and are about 3 cm long.

The fish are referred to as “parr” once they have gained markings on their sides. Depending on the availability of food and the temperature of the water, the parr will spend two to three years in the river. The parr go through a physiological change at around 12 cm in length that enables them to survive at sea.

The baby fish, now known as “smolts,” continue to metamorphose and take on a silver sheen. In late spring, these “post-smolts” start to migrate from rivers to the sea; by June, the majority of the fish have left.

When do salmon migrate upstream in the year?

From July to December, fall-run Chinook Salmon travel upstream as adults, and from early October to late December, they spawn. Runs are timed differently in each stream. Chinook salmon that are part of the late-fall run enter the rivers between mid-October and mid-December, and they spawn between January and mid-April.