Sunday, 12 April 2015

Salmon Fishing Ireland 2015 " Salmon on the Fly ".



      
Well it took a bit longer than expected but i got my first springer on the fly, i had been busy over the last few weeks and couldn't put the time or concentration into my salmon fishing but i got a small break last evening and went up to the Dam for an evening session with my Switch fly rod. The water was very low and even worse still dropping but the clarity was good and i was surprised to see that the water was cold maybe only 6 degrees. One of the sluices was open and this was definitely oxygenating the water, i started at Beat 1 with my Switch fly rod using a floating line and a Rio 6ft sink tip ( 2.6 ins per second ) and my trusted Ahilles hot orange shrimp fly with a slight variation only known to me as every angler and his dog is using that fly these days so i have to give the salmon something slightly different. ( the pattern will be in my last post for the 2015 salmon season )............ I concentrated my time on a few known salmon lies as the water was so low that these areas were probably the only hot spots in the whole fishery that could have a fish present. Using a few different mends i allowed the fly to fish slowly around some of the rocks and faster through some of the lies, i am of the belief that salmon are like kittens, if you annoy them enough or send something past them fast enough they will chase it and then you have them.

The salmon hit the fly very hard and almost caught me off guard by running at me and then heading upstream like an express train taking lots of line off the reel, it made a few good jumps and long runs before i was able to control it in front of me and it still wasn't finished as it tried to shake the fly by rubbing off rocks and the bottom by rolling over itself on numerous occasions. Beaching the salmon i noticed that it was a wild fish with long tailed sea lice on its back just fresh from the sea and at about 11lbs a great specimen of a springer and my mind was made up it was going back. Unfortunately almost all the spring fish caught to date have been killed and that is sad due to the fact that salmon anglers are complaining that there are very few spring fish around and still only a few are being released. I have been releasing salmon for many decades well before it was fashionable to do so because i saw a decrease in the stock and also a lot more angling and poaching pressure that ever before. Next time you catch your first salmon think and if the fish is healthy let it go you will always remember the ones you lose or release and quickly forget the ones you kill, you can take the next fish for the pot.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Loop Knot for Fly or Spoon / Spinner.

     
         
This is a simple knot that can give a fly or spoon more articulation / movement when fishing. When larger flies are fished tied directly to flurocarbon or mono sometimes they will lack movement due to the thickness of the line but a loop knot will give plenty of movement to the fly as it is not restricted by a direct knot, this is especially useful when using flies with short tails.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Double Uni Knot with a twist.

   

        
Here is the Double Uni Knot with a slight twist, for all those anglers that want to try salmon fly fishing with a trout fly rod here is a great fishing cast / tippet that incorporates a running dropper on a tapered leader. Firstly i tie a tapered leader using 15lb breaking strain line tied to a 10lb breaking strain line with a double uni knot and then i tie a double over hand loop knot dropper and place it above the double uni knot that joined the two lines and loop it in place. The knot on the tapered lines will be the stopper for the dropper but it can slide back up the line towards the sink tip or fly line, this is a very handy system if using a net because the dropper will move up if it gets stuck or the main fly gets stuck which gives you time to react unlike a fixed dropper which will break off or even worse break the main line. In summer i use a small size 12 Wickhams Fancy or Thunder and Lightening trout fly as my dropper because i have found that salmon will take the smaller fly first before taking the shrimp pattern especially in the late evenings. I have used this system for many years incorporating it with 6ft ( salmon ) sink tips,  6ft intermediate  tips and tapered leaders. If using this system with a 6ft ( salmon ) sink tip i would use a 6 ft tippet tied in two 3 ft sections with the double uni knot again tapering the tippet down to 10lbs from 15lbs using either mono or flurocarbon, then putting the dropper on the top 3ft section above the double uni knot. When using a ( salmon ) 6ft sink tip i would never use a tippet more than 6ft long because then the fly's are fishing higher in the water column than the sink tip but when using  6ft ( salmon ) intermediate tips or tapered leaders you can extent out to one and a half times the rods length in total ( length of tip and tippet combined ) for better turn over and depth presentation. If using a 6ft ( salmon ) intermediate tip i would use a tippet of 6ft of 15lb line tied to  3ft of 10lb line thus giving you a better roll out and cast, they will fish better as the fly's have more life especially in slow pools.. If using a 10ft rod the ( salmon ) intermediate tip can be 6ft and using a 9ft tippet  (6ft of 15lb tied to 3ft of 10lb line) the total lenght is 15ft which is one and a half times the length of the 10ft rod but you can fish a little shorter if you wish it all depends what you length of tip and tippet you are comfortable with but i have found great success in these precise lengths. Having used this dropper system with both single hand and switch rods i haven't had any issues with casting or presentation but as with all fishing you must always check your  fly cast every few minutes just to make sure that they are all fishing well and not knotted up.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Unbelievable.



Having looked through my fishing clothing to see what needs to be replaced or repaired i decided to do a small write up on the gear that has been good to me in the past seasons. As all anglers we know the feeling of being cold and miserable on a wind swept January day fishing in waist high  freezing water with lashing rain beating against your fishing gear and if that gear isn't up to the job then not only are you going to be cold but your going to be wet as well. Here are the outer layers of fishing gear that i wear in all weathers.

THE UNBELIEVABLE.
The Simms Guide jacket is definitely my go to jacket for any weather conditions and i mean any weather conditions, i have been out in this jacket in storms, hail, snow and every weather that you can imagine and never got wet. This jacket is in its tenth season and only for a worn sleeve and slight wear and tear due to wearing a life jacket over it during my lake fishing it would still be perfect. Sadly i will have to go looking for a new Guide jacket soon and as they cost a few bob i will have to shop around. Just remember this when buying a jacket i got 10 years of hard fishing in fresh and salt water going through brush over fences and out in the worst conditions possible and the only thing that stopped this jacket was constant wearing against the velcro straps of my life jacket. If you put it all together i paid around 30 euros per year  (30 euros x 10 years ) for a jacket that kept me dry in all weather conditions and i see anglers buying jackets for 100 euros and still getting wet and having to change them yearly so next time your buying a jacket think long term and think comfort, spend on your jacket. As for the Simms Guide Jacket .... Unbelievable.

THE GOOD..


Having bought this Airflo back support belt last year it has definitely been one of my best buys for the season, it is great when deep wading and takes the strain out of casting  and fishing in high water conditions. I tried to get one locally but in the end had to get it from Fishtec in the U.K. but at only £19.95 it was a steal. I was out one day without the Airflo belt and i felt it in my shoulders the next day so it's always in my car every time i go fishing now. I remembered that i used to complain about the gorilla on my back after a long days fishing but those days are well gone now thanks to this buy.

THE BAD..


Having looked around early last year i bought these Sonik breathable waders and was hoping to get a few seasons from them but having gone wading deep during one of my fishing videos in May i found that there was a bad leak in the seam joining the legs together. Now i can only use them as a pair of thigh waders as i cannot wade deeper and as most anglers know you can't patch over seams, sadly i will have to look around this year for a new pair.


Thursday, 19 February 2015

Loop to Loop connection set up.

         

           
This is how i set up the loop to loop connection which allows tippets and sink tips to be easily changed with fly lines during a fishing session.

How to tie a Loop Knot.

   

       
In this short video i show how to tie a loop knot, i use this knot on all my tippet materials such as mono, copolymer and flurocarbon. Using the loop knot i can change the tippets very quickly when using either sink tips or tapered leaders.In the next video i show how to change a loop to loop connection which can speed up the time it takes to change tippets and sink tips to fly lines.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Knots " The Perfection Loop ".

     

             
I use the Perfection Loop on all of my Rio Versi tips, sink tips and tapered leaders because it is a very tidy loop knot that never lets me down and is excellent for interchanging sink tips and tippets on my loop to loop  line system .