Thursday, 9 June 2016
Salmon on the fly.
Walking through the beats i noticed that there were a few fresh salmon moving up river and ever so often they could be seen cleaning themselves on the bottom, they do this to rid themselves of sea lice which can be very annoying probably the same as a human having fleas. The salmon were moving slowly from pool to pool so i decided to set up shop at beat 1 and wait for them to arrive a gamble that paid off but sometimes they will just sit further back down in the deeper water, wait till darkness and then run very quickly to the dam wall where they rest up for the night.
I was fishing a floating line with a 3.9 ips sink tip on my 7/8 wt switch fly rod and an Ally's size 15 double shrimp fly in bright yellow because there was still a slight tinge to the water, the yellow colour stood out better and with the longer tail had much more movement in the slow water. Slowly stripping the fly line to give life to the fly it suddenly tightened up and with a strong pull it was off down the pool but on feeling the tension the salmon ran up river against me and straight away it started rolling on itself and then running in between the rocks in an attempt to break the line. Having watched the fish pass me i had seen it was a big broad salmon so i knew it was going to be a hard and dirty fight and unfortunately the 7/8 switch fly rod was for once completely under gunned for this fight. When the fish wanted to run i had to let him and normally i can bully them upstream but this salmon hadn't read the rule book yet and kept turning back downstream in strong bursts that were impossible to stop. I can honestly say that i was taken to the cleaners for the first time in my fishing life, this fish thought me a few tricks that i hadn't seen and doubt haven't been written in any of the angling books yet. The fight was just a long surge of powerful runs followed by rolling and then diving in and around every rock in the river to shake the small size 15 fly but the trick is to give them just enough line to run and them shorten each run by decreasing the size of the circle and it worked. The salmon finally gave up and i was able to beach it 90 yards down river from where i first hooked the fish, the salmon was hooked under the tongue and on removing the hook it started to bleed out so i took the fish knowing it wouldn't survive the release. Even in very low water conditions it was amazing such a big fish had traveled so far in such a short time, it had sea lice and the scales were falling off so i reckon it had just come in on the early morning tide. The salmon weighed just over 18 lbs, my biggest so far on a switch fly rod using only 10 lb flurocarbon.