Having only fished the Inniscarra Salmon fishery a couple of evenings since the opening day i was pleasantly surprised to find that the water was low and clear compared to the higher levels it has been running at over the last few weeks. It was time to clean the cobwebs off the Switch rod and head down to beat 4 , on arriving at the river i noticed that the water had a bit of pace to it and it was running clear. At about a foot over low summer levels it was ideal for the 3.9 ins per second sink tip and due to the clarity i put on a 10 lb breaking strain flurocarbon tippet with my favorite size 15 Ally's shrimp fly. I fished through the pool and noticed a slight boil in the water near where my fly was fishing but no pull so i flicked the fly back to my hand to check that it wasn't knotted up and also to give the fish a few seconds to return to it's lie before recasting.
It's so important to make sure that your fly is fishing perfectly when covering known salmon lies as you will only get one chance at this time of year so everything has to be perfect, it's the small things that can make the difference between a bad day or a great day. Casting the fly back into the same area i mended the line and just as i was composing myself the fish took catching me slightly off guard as it came upriver at high speed then changed direction and tried to get in behind the rocks on the far bank. I put a lot of side strain on the fish with my switch rod and was able to turn the fish upstream and away from the rocks, between cartwheels and rolling the fish really fought very hard so i knew it was a good fresh fish and then seeing that unmistakable blue flash pass me it was confirmed... we have a springer. Playing the salmon hard and fast i quickly brought it into shallow water and beached the fish, it was a perfectly conditioned and proportioned fish with that blue sheen that only fresh sealiced springers have and at around 11 lbs a beautiful fish to catch on a switch rod. The fly was nicely positioned just inside the mouth and easily removed, holding the fish for a few seconds i was allowing it to recover but it had other ideas and shot back out into the river with a few powerful flicks from it's tail.If you want to practice catch and release you should play a fish hard and fast and it will return strong as it doesn't expend too much energy in the fight but if you play it slow and long more than likely the fish will be too exhausted to survive.