Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Grilse on the fly in low water.
Having fished the Inniscarra Salmon fishery for many years now i must admit i have never seen it so low and even worse with little or no flow through most of the beats. One can cross the river in almost every beat and not see a fish, even dropping down to tapered leaders doesn't improve the action or movement of the fly. I was using my 7/8 wt switch fly rod, floating line, a short 6 ft Rio intermediate tip and 6 ft of 10 lb flurocarbon tippet with a size 15 double Ally's silver / orange shrimp fly. Hitting the edge of the seam i was only getting a few seconds of movement on the fly and then i had to retrieve and recast, even a slow long pull or figure of eight retrieve was not getting any reaction from the salmon.
The salmon have either pulled back to the deeper water in beat 4 or gone right up under the dam where some can be seen pitching into the water coming over the sill. Moving down through the beat i was shallow casting, basically covering the only moving water in a short arc thus keeping the fly out in front of the tip and line. I see a lot of anglers fly fishing and allowing the fly line or tip to move ahead of the fly and especially in low clear water conditions that is a no no. If you are not turning over the fly line you are going to get a situation that allows the fly to fall back behind the sink tip or even the fly line and you might as well not be fishing as the salmon will see the line well before the fly. Just as i was about to retrieve the line at the end of the arc i got a short pull and immediately lifted into the fish, straight away i knew it was a grilse due to the lack of weight on the line and decided to play the fish hard and fast but there is one thing about grilse they have great heart and fight hard well above their weight. Even though i brought the fish into shallow water it was still powering out and giving me a good fight, landing the fish i could see it was chrome bright and just up from the early tide. Removing the fly i quickly released the fish and fished down through the rest of the pool, noticing a small gravel bar in mid stream i then realized why the fish were lying in such an unusual location. When the water gets so low and clear we can see much more of the structures that were well covered in high water and this gives the angler more information on where and why the salmon were lying in these areas. I fished through the beat and just as it got dark a cold breeze started up and i was about to call it a day when the line was taken from my hand and another small grilse of about 4 lbs was on. Quickly landing and removing the fly i noticed it was covered in sea lice and as soon as i released it's tail the fish shot off like a bullet. Hopefully there will be some rain soon as i have heard that there are some big fish in the harbour waiting for fresh water.