Thursday, 13 July 2017
The wind was a bit blustery on beat 4 and it was knocking over the camera so I decided to move upstream to the bend just below beat 2 to start some fishing and get out of the strong wind. I was casting the fly in tight against the seam line and allowing it to get some depth before it moved into the faster water, there are normally a few fish holding in mid stream but with the speed of the water the fly doesn't stay in the zone for very long. A few careful mends will get some extra depth but fishing that area with a heavier sink tip or even a small brass tube will allow you to get down that extra foot to provoke a take. Normally I will fish most areas with the 2.6 ins per second sink tip in summer levels but when it comes to a fast water area like this I prefer to change over to the 3.9 ins per second sink tip, one could also add a small brass tube fly to the lighter tip and achieve the same depth as the heavier tip but without the movement that the small fly can give. Fishing down the run I could see a fish boil at the fly as it moved across the river and then a short pull on the loop and the fish was on, the grilse rolled on the line once or twice and then headed for the far bank moving quickly upstream. I put a lot of side strain on the fish and brought it back towards me not allowing it to get back down through the run and at one point I could see the fly hanging outside it's mouth and when you can see a small size 15 fly there you have every right to start getting nervous as that's why most summer grilse are lost because they just snap at the fly and rarely hold it well. Gently coaxing in the fish I was able to tail it because there is no gravel or beach area above this croy to land a fish, quickly removing the fly ( actually it just fell out ) I held the grilse for a few moments longer than normal as the water was warm and low in oxygen and this allowed the fish to gain back it's strength before releasing it. It was a nice fresh fish of about 6 lb but as it didn't have any sea lice on it, it was probably in the system for a week or more.
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
The water was moving at a nice pace ideal for the fly so I went in with a floating line, a 2.6 ins per second sink tip and a light 10 lb flurocarbon tippet with my trusty Ally's hot orange shrimp fly. The run at beat 1 has been badly altered so the flow is now all over the place with confused water not allowing the fly to fish naturally down the run, instead the fly is now being pulled into eddies and high rocks. I now just pass this area and start fishing further down the run and this puts you on top of the fish which is bad especially if you are trying to get some depth to get the fly down to the salmon. The old lies are now vacant and the salmon have moved further up river towards the dam all due to the change in the hydrodynamics of the water. When you have a bit of flow like today it stops the confused water keeping it on a straight momentum and this does make the fly fish better giving it plenty of life as it fishes through the pool. Having seen a small grilse head and tail off the rock I fished slowly down the pool allowing the fly to get depth just before the rock and with a long slow retrieve I moved the fly out which can normally entice a response especially from fresh grilse. The fish took the fly and with a very fast turn of speed passed me up and headed for the submerged rock but with plenty of side strain I was able to bully the grilse back down stream. Seeing that it was a small fish of about five pounds I played out the fish fast and released it back into the river none the worst for it's encounter with me. At this time of year when the water is warmer it is better to get the fight over with as fast as possible so that when releasing the salmon they have a better chance of survival after being released, even holding the fish a bit longer in water helps it to recover better so that it goes back strong.
Monday, 3 July 2017
Having been tied up for the last few weeks I decided to give the Dam fishery a visit, on arriving I noticed that the water was up about a foot and running well with a nice bit of pace to it. I put on a small Rio 6 ft sink tip ( 2.6 ins ) and a size 15 Hot orange Ally's shrimp fly, I dropped down to a 3 ft tippet of 10 lb flurocarbon because there were a few grilse in the river and they can be very line shy especially in bright sunlight. Putting some nice well placed casts into the seam that runs along the far croy I felt a bump and then a nice draw away on the loop...fish on. As all salmon anglers know grilse can be very erratic and electric changing direction in the blink of an eye, jumping, cart wheeling and running at you very fast as if they were going to run up the bank behind you and this fish was no different. Using my 6 wt switch fly rod it was able to absorb the sudden shock and change of direction that the fish made and gave good protection to the 10 lb flurocarbon tippet, I played the fish hard and had it on the bank and released in under 4 minutes. It was a very fresh fish but no sea lice so it was definitely in the system for a few days. The hot bright weather has not been good for salmon fishing especially during the day but early in the morning or in my case late evening can be productive especially on the fly. I had two more salmon the next evening, both on the fly one was a very fresh 5 lb grilse and the second a nice 9lb coloured fish and that video will be up soon. There was a nice run of salmon last month with the high tides and maybe with a bit of fresh water we will see some more fish push through.