Thursday, 21 September 2017

Salmon Fishing Ireland 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

Setting up a Spey Salmon Fly Rod.

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.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Salmon on a Switch Fly Rod.

The water height was running at about 2 feet above normal low water levels and it had a very fast pace to it which didn't suit the fly to be honest. The clarity was very bad with a brown tinge running through it which made it impossible for me to see bottom in water over a foot deep and it must have been practically impossible for the salmon to see the fly whizzing past it. The salmon have been off the take over the last few weeks due to the warm water temperatures and oxygen quality not to mind the high algae content so I knew I was up against it before I started but I'm an optimist and any day out fishing apparently adds a day to your life according to an old Chinese proverb and that must be good right...I fished down beat 1 using a small bullet tube fly attached to a 3.9 ins per second sink versileader to get some depth and hopefully slow down the fly so the salmon could at least see it as it whizzed past them, I had two fast pulls that seemed to be from trout but looking back they were probably from salmon plucking at the fly. I had a very positive long draw away on the loop and the fish was on taking about ten yards of line in a short burst but then heading back upstream towards that new rock that was put in recently. It is a nightmare trying to play salmon in and around these rocks because you're more than likely going to break off or snag up and that's not good for the fish having a hook or line hanging off of it. I put a lot of pressure on the salmon and was able to bring it away from the rocks and keep it just outside me till I was ready to land it, it's amazing how coloured salmon can run straight for cover and into these areas the moment they are hit just the opposite of fresh fish. Beaching the salmon I quickly unhooked it and released it back into the river, it was a nice coloured wild fish of about 11 lbs. Later in the evening I hooked and played a very big fish that I estimated to be about 20 lbs that just sat in mid stream for ten minutes and just gave a few head shakes that buckled my 6 wt switch fly rod, I was able to bring it into quiet water for a few seconds and then it spat the fly.......if only I could have seen it....... it was going back anyway but I reckon the fish didn't know that. It is better to have hooked and lost than never have hooked at all. Hopefully with some fresh water we will be able to catch a few more fish before the season ends.