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21 Great Salmon Fishing Tips

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Heikki Anttonen alias Mr Pompero Heikki Anttonen alias Mr Pompero

Finnish Fly Fishing and Fly Tying guru, Heikki Anttonnen (AKA Mr Pompero) shares his 21 best tips for fly fishing for salmon, and particularly with his famous dry fly - the pompero.


1. make the pool or fishing area familiar to yourself
 - walk the fishing area or pool from edge to edge and don’t rush to the water, you have time to cool down think little bit how to fish
2. look for the best places the fish to stay or rest in the water
 - same time you look for fish, you can observe essential factors in your fishing enviroment. colour and depth of water etc
3. make minimum disturbance, don’t let the fish know you are there
 - disturbed fishes are not so likely to rise for fly even they haven’t left their spot in river. Keeping quiet and cautious is always better than making noises in nature
4. Pick your ideal fishing spot concerning the sunlight
 - sunlight is one of the most important aspects in dry fly fishing. pick the best spot according to the sun. If there’s no light, fishing is kind of hard
5. pick your fishing spot high enough
 - from higher place observation is easier, because reflections from the water are less you can see better how fish react to your fly.
6. try to cast as well aimed as you can
 - good aiming is important. There is no point casting places where fish cant see your fly...
7. rather fish the fishes you can see in water
 - if you can see the fish, you can place your fly in right position and you don’t need to cast the every corners of river
8. let the fly float freely
 - in my experience, free floating fly gives best results in normal conditions but there is always exceptions
9. make your cast so the fly goes direct above the fish
 - - salmon is very lazy fish to move sideways expecially when biting the fly. Best results are when fly floats diretly above the fish to get it to rise.
10.  if you lose sight of the fly, make a new cast
 - when fishing with dry fly, to see the fish rise to the fly is essential. That gives you best possibility to catch it. Using only sound or feel makes the fish very hard to catch 
11.  make enough casts to the same fish
 - salmon may keep you waiting when trying to get it to rise. It may do it in first cast or later. Cast a long time at a fish you can see, chances are better.
12.  after you spot a fish, change the colour and size of the fly
 - if the fish doesn’t respond, first change size and after that colour. Try to find a combination that gives best result.
13.  when fish rises to the fly, don’t rush and panic
 - usually if you start hurrying, you will draw the fly out of salmon mouth before it has closed his mouth
14.  to hook the fish lift your rod up
 - best way to hook the fish with your fly is to lift your rod up and same time pull 20 cm of your line. this way you won’t do the hooking too roughly
15.  let the fish decide for rhythm of tiring it out in first seconds
 - worst thing you can do after hooking is panic the fish. Take it easy and let the fish lead the first steps of the dance. this gives you time to think your next moves.
16.  keep your rod up during tiring the fish out
 - this way you have all the power of the rod in use. rod will smooth out the pulls that the fish makes and fish has to fight against the rod. This will wear it out faster, because fish has to use it’s neck muscles which it has not been used to.
17.  don’t let the fish rest
 - salmon will retain its strength very fast. After 10 sec break it has 75 % of its strength back. Keep the fish on the move and it will wear its strength off
18.  check the place where your are going to land or pick up the fish
 - checking out places for fish pick-up makes it easier to get it out of the water especially when you are alone (only fair way to fish is man against fish, no hooks) check spare places too, because fish won’t always agree with you the first time
19.  tire the fish out properly
 - when tiring fish properly, it won’t take so many hot sprints in last minutes and fish pick-up is easier to do. Tired fish is easy to pick-up by its tail
20.  if taking the fish, knock the fish out and drain the blood out as first things you do
 - the fish will taste much better if you knock it out and drain the blood out. Good fisherman don’t let the fish suffer more than nesessary if you going to keep the fish (read: eat the fish, don’t take more than you eat)
21.  always use polarised glasses
 - polarised glasses makes it easier to read and see the fish in water. More than that they protect your eyes from failed casts and flying objects like dry flies.

There is no certain or right way to do dry fly salmon fishing. These tips have helped me to make my fishing trips more succesful  so tight lines and hopefully dry fly fishing offers a new experience for you too...

Heikki Anttonen alias Mr. Pompero

Check out Heikki's website at http://www.taoft.fi/flytiers/mrpompero.php

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