Saturday, 7 October 2017
The very last session of my 2017 salmon fishing season, I caught and released two good salmon one was about 10 lbs and the other over 16 lbs both fish were male. I was hoping to reach the 20 salmon mark for the week but on the final day a big seal showed up to the party and really spoiled the fun. Having debarbed the hooks on my Flying C's I did lose a few salmon during the week but in the larger scale of things it was less damage to the salmon and faster on the release so that the fish were strong when being returned back into the river to continue their journey up to spawn the next generation of salmon. The big salmon was in great condition and will be the perfect specimen to produce big salmon in the future carrying that strain of gene. Over all I had a good season with some nice salmon being caught and released but I will take a note out of this years book and that is to take a good fish early in the season and not wait till autumn to try and bag a fresh fish. The salmon rods/ reels will be getting a nice cleaning and oiling before I put them away for next season and I must pick up some new braid for my spinning reel as the one I was using has definitely seen better days and maybe a new fly line, waders, sink tips, the list is starting already. Tight lines till next year.
Friday, 6 October 2017
Wednesday, 4 October 2017
This is the third session of the week where I caught and released five salmon spinning in high water, I had to modify some Flying C's by using a 28 gr body and a size four blade to hold depth in the very fast flood water. Using the size five blade caused the spinner to nose dive into rocks so putting on a size four blade allowed me to control the depth better and using braid really meant that I could feel every touch even in the strong flow. I will be putting up a video on my set up for spinning including how to maximize casting distance, accuracy and trouble shooting issues when fishing with braid.
Monday, 2 October 2017
This is the second video to my end of season salmon fishing session, the water was about .48 meters on the gauge when I arrived and was dropping quickly ending up at .30 m when I was leaving. The clarity was getting better during the late evening and I picked up few salmon on the fly on this beautiful run where there is a narrow channel on the far bank which holds the salmon in about 4 ft of water ideal for presenting a fly. The speed of the water really helps the angler as the salmon really only has seconds to react and the takes can be aggressive or in some cases a long draw away downstream and just a nice easy lift into the fish and your on. As you would expect at this time of year mostly all the fish here were coloured but my aim was to see if there were any big salmon in residence and as I was leaving I caught a glimpse of a magnificent fish breach out of the water and it must have been mid twenties at least. I had it in my mind to come back on the following day to see if I could persuade the big fish to come out to play but when I checked the weather forecast later on that evening I saw that there was heavy rain due and I knew that this stretch would be out for few days due to the fact that it rises very fast. I hooked about 5 salmon during my short session and landed and released 3 with a few beautifully spotted trout on a spinner while trying the dead slow water for a fish. There were plenty of salmon in residence but as I have said mostly dark coloured fish. The next video of my session will be up tomorrow night and that has some nice salmon caught in very trying surroundings, basically jungle fishing.
Sunday, 1 October 2017
The season has ended but I am just putting together all the footage that I have taken over the last week and trust me when I say that there is an awful lot of footage. I fished solid all week starting on the Lee river and then the Blackwater river and then back to the Lee when the Blackwater was too high to fish. Mostly I was spinning due to the big floods and water height but I had great sport catching 18 salmon ranging from 5 lbs all the way up to 16 lbs. I spent every evening of the last week of the season fishing from 4 o clock up until last light which was about 7 .45 pm and had done some prepping the previous week getting access to some spots which were well over grown with bushes and thorns but even that wasn't enough because when the high water came even those areas were almost impossible to fish from. Even the problem of playing and landing fish under tree canopies and among thorn bushes was nerve racking to say the least but it really tested my skill as an angler to be able to play the fish out and land them in this horrible environment especially in such high water conditions and sometimes gale force winds and lashing rain. The water was so fast that the spinner was not working and definitely not achieving the proper depth to cover the fish, so I had to make a few heavier Flying C's in one ounce weight and a size five blade but soon found that the heavier spinners were getting stuck very fast so I decided to leave the heavier bodies and just use a 4 blade to hold bottom and this did the trick. The most productive colour was the Black / Silver with a four blade in one ounce and spun upstream well above the target areas which allowed time for the spinners to achieve optimum depth and track well along the bottom moving the fish. I debarbed the spinners so that it would be easier to release the salmon and to be honest I did lose a few fish due to the salmon rolling and working out the hooks. I did lose a good fresh salmon on the second last day but to be honest I had such great sport it really didn't matter. On the second last day I hit a really good fish of about 16 / 17 lbs and that took some landing especially with the under water roots and thorns getting in my way and the fish knew where to go testing me out on every run. I eventually landed and released the salmon and the video will be up soon on this blog. The last day of the season I was hoping to get a couple more salmon to make it 20 for the week but arriving at the river I had a feeling that all was not right, call it intuition or a six sense but it didn't feel right, nothing like the previous few days all was quiet. I didn't meet anything or even get the odd bump from a fish during the first hour or so and I had been doing this all week getting a pull here or there and even a run and then dropping the spinner but not on this day. Going up to beat 1 I started spinning and suddenly hit something funny with a few head shakes and then nothing just a weight on the line I realized that I had a small jack pike on of about 5 lbs which I quickly unhooked and released but still things were quiet, no salmon jumping or any normal activity that I was used to over the last week. Then I saw the problem and it weighed about 200 kilos A BIG FAT SEAL had made it's way 7 miles upstream from the sea and was harassing the salmon all over the pool .... that was it my last day was prematurely over there was no chance of a salmon now so I decided to quit and call an end to my season. I must get my Shimano Stradic reel serviced and a new bail arm spring fitted, it has given me excellent service over the last 9 years not letting me down once and it's amazing what a small bit of oil does for it making it spin like new every time. I must get a new pair of waders for next season as I have Aqua sealed my ones to death, there is 40% wader now and 60% Aqua seal and when it's warm there is no way they are breathable more like a sauna. Over all I had a good season only gripe is that I should have taken a fresh salmon earlier in the year and not have waited till now, will know better next time. There will be five videos coming in quick succession over the next week showing the fun I had over the last week of the season and hopefully I will be able to do it all again next year. Tight Lines. If anyone has any queries on salmon fishing equipment, tackle. set-ups etc., just message me and if I can help I will.
Thursday, 21 September 2017
The end of the season is fast approaching and I have made it my business to try and get as many sessions in as possible even though they are short evening sessions they are still productive. The river has a lot of dark or coloured salmon and with water levels being high it's very hard to present the fly in such fast water especially near the Dam. I was lucky to arrive just as the water was rising from half load up to full load and caught it at the perfect speed to present a small tube fly with a 5 inches per second sink tip on a floating line and hooked up straight away to this nice male salmon of about 9 lbs. The take was strong and as you can imagine it went straight down stream on a good long run, the first thing that entered my head was that I should have swapped out the 10 lb tippet for the stronger 15 lb tippet but being in a hurry to fish I assumed that it would be okay. The strong pull of the fish in conjunction to the heavy flow of the water really tested out that 10 lb tippet but the soft action on my Spey rod cushioned the impact on the line and allowed me to bring the fish up river into calmer water where I played it out away from the main current. I must admit you really get a different fight from a coloured salmon they know all the snaggy areas and it's the first thing that they will do is get in amongst the rocks and boulders and rub up against them to get rid of the fly or spinner. I had to find a soft patch to beach the salmon as there has been a lot of work going on at beat 1 over the last week or so improving the croy's and lie's and it looks promising so far, I beached the salmon on some soft grass and with one pull on my pliers the fly was out, holding the fish for a few moments I waited till it was ready and released it back out into the river. This time of year I make sure to have a long nose pliers handy because the salmon at this time of year have sharp teeth and you don't want to tear you fingers up retrieving a fly especially from a coloured fish. I met and lost a few fish downstream on spinner so for the few hours that I was out it was enjoyable especially in that nice autumnal sunshine. I will photograph the new croy's and put the pictures up in my next post, the water was just too high to take any good pictures, I can't wait to see them in low water to see what impact they will have on water flow and direction hopefully it will improve the river for the 2018 season.
Saturday, 2 September 2017
In this video I show how I set up my Spey salmon fly rod for efficient and productive salmon fly fishing. I have made the video quite simple and shown the stages that I go through to have all the tackle ready to just wade out and cast. When your rod, reel and line is set up correctly you will never have to give it a second thought so that you can move on and spend the rest of your time concentrating on how to approach and catch a salmon. I always make sure that all my tackle, clothing, waders and flies are tidy and are located in the right pockets and compartments so that there is no fumbling or distraction when I start salmon fishing, I need to give my full concentration over to studying the water and movement of my fly line so that I can react fast because you may only get one chance in a day's fishing so you had better make it count. There is also the point that I see a lot of anglers suffering from the lack of casting skills and being frustrated with this especially because they can't put the line out where they want it to go so the best tip is before the season starts get casting lessons and make sure that the lesson is with your tackle set up. Getting comfortable with your fly rod, reel, and especially fly line will make the difference to improving your casting skills. I have a video with all the tackle that I use in fly fishing for salmon including my switch fly rod etc., which I will put up privately soon so if anybody wants to see this all they have to do is message me and I will give then the link to this video.