Some pointers for the upcoming season
- Cast across and slightly downstream. You certainly need to read the water you’re fishing and adjust accordingly, but in general if you’re fishing a broad, pool, the most effective presentation is across and maybe 20 degrees downstream from perpendicular to the flow.
- No big mends. No delicate mends here. In you are fishing a classic salmon pool, a point the rod tip downstream immediately after the fly lands and let the fly swing – strip the line a meter or two when the swing starts to slow down. Move a meter downstream and let the fly swing again
- Maintain a straight line to the fly. Salmon love a fast fly presentation. In most water this is best achieved by keeping your line as straight to the fly as possible. Don’t worry about perfection – just let ‘er swing.
- Don’t set until you’ve got a steady pull. The classic salmon take goes like this – Yank…yank…pause…deep pull. Wait for the deep pull to set the hook. We’re not always sure what going on underwater during a take, but I know you need to wait for the deep pull. Of course, if line just suddenly starts screaming off you reel, you don’t need to wait for much of anything.
- Set low, hard, and towards the bank. A lazy rise of the rod tip will not get the job done here. After you get the deep pull, give a hard, quick jab downstream and toward the bank with the butt of your rod. If your knots are tied well you’re not going to break him off– set hard.
- Don’t try to stop a running salmon. Particularly on the first couple of strong runs, let them run. If they’re headed downriver and you clamp down to try to halt the run– here’s where you are going to break them off. Unless you’re staring at your arbor knot and you’ve got no choice, let them run and work hard to retrieve line once they stop. Besides, this is the fun part! Enjoy every second
- Put the heat to ‘em. Once you’ve got the hook set, and after the mayhem of the first couple of runs, fight them hard. These are big, strong fish, and if you’re not working hard, they’re resting. The longer the fight lasts, the longer the hook has to work itself free, and the more time the fish has to be come dangerously exhausted. Fight them hard! You should be breathing hard after landing a hot Salmon – really.
- Walk backwards to land them. When the fight is nearly over and the fish is ready to be landed, the easiest way to end the fight is often to keep a tight line to the fish and slowly walk backwards until the fish is in shallow water. If you’re not in a spot where you can walk backwards (like up against a brushy bank), you may just have to get creative.
- If you’re going to take a picture, leave the fish close to the water. If not in the water, that is. It’s much easier on the fish and it just looks far better!
What did I miss? Well – the advice above are meant to be for Summer fishing from beginning of June towards end of September – in colder weather condition you can start to mend the line in order to slow down the “BIIIIIIIG Swing”