Please click one of the links to the country you are interested in for details of the fishing season opening and closing dates.
You can just about fish all year round for salmon in the UK and Ireland with the earliest opener being the Drowes in Southern Ireland which opens on the 1st of January and the latest closing date being 15th of December on the rivers of Devon and Cornwall which means that there are only 16 days a year when you cannot wet a line for salmon. The truth is that salmon run 52 weeks of the year and the only (and very sensible) reason we don't fish all year is to let the salmon spawn in peace.
The dates shown in the attached pages are as accurate as I can get. Please check with the fisheries before you head off to fish.
With the end of drift netting in Ireland and conservation measures in the rest of the UK season dates may be adjusted.. One significant change to regulations in Scotland is the mandatory introduction of a catch and release policy for spring salmon in 2015. By law you are required to return all salmon, dead or alive, up to the 31st of March. Individual Fishery Boards, fisheries and Angling Clubs may also extend this policy, the Aberdeenshire Dee for example is catch and release throughout the season.
In Scotland the Brown Trout fishing season starts on the 15th of March however many fisheries, especially in the north of Scotland, start on the 1st of April. The closing date in Scotland is 30th September (with the exception of a few major systems; Tweed and Tay being the most important, where the season extends to the 6th of October).
In England the trout season starts on the 22nd of March through to the 30th of September however some fisheries may go on for an other week in October, it's always worth checking locally before setting off on a fishing trip.
The is no closed season for Rainbow Trout (Brook, Tigers, Blues, Golden and so on) in the UK on the grounds that they are not indigenous species being imported from the US of A.
For those of you interested in coarse fishing please note that there is no closed season for coarse fish at all in Scotland nor for stocked fisheries in England and Wales. For natural coarse fishing waters in England and Wales the close season is 15th March to 15th June each years.
In Scotland Grayling are a non indigenous species and classified as coarse fish to boot therefore there is no closed season for them - but please leave them alone over the summer when they are spawning, they are worthy of our respect.
Closed seasons are specified to protect fish during spawning but we all have a duty to conserve and protect our fish for the future. In the case of salmon please return hens and coloured fish; handle kelts with care ( those that do make it back to the river are the big babies we dream of catching); do not mishandle fish when returning them, infact don't handle them if at all possible. In the case of any fish being returned here are just a few of the things you should not do: handle them, stroke them, kiss them, the slime on a fish has a purpose it is a barrier to fungal and other infections. Hanlding them, having them thrash about on sand, gravel, grass, splashing about in a net or drying out while you get that special picture damages the mucus layer and may condemn that fish to a horrible deadth.. When taking a picture think about the fish not your ego "Snap and Get it Back". The best pic I have of my biggest salmon, a 22lb hen on the Deveron, is in my head. She fought hard and I put her right back.
The above applies to any fish you are returning, but if you are keeping a fish knock it on the head quickly and then think - how many do I realistically need to take. We are anglers not fishongers. We take a fish for a great meal not to fill our freezers> Numbers of fish caught and killed do not make you heap big hunter, it makes you a greedy posterior orifice!
The UK and Ireland, what a place to go fishing, great trout, terrific salmon and sea trout, so many species of coarse fish including great pike and of course we still have some ace sea fishing despite over fishing by our commercial 'friends'. Lets keep it that way by being conservation minded, yes, but maybe more importantly by showing care and respect for our fish
There are hundreds of contact numbers in the Where to Fish Directory so you can check with the fishery directly to be asbsolutely sure that your planned fishing trip will not fall foul of the closed season.