Last of 10 years me are carried away by catching of a salmon on flies which usually do not carry to the salmon. First of all flies of the small sizes, in the second it often imitating flies, wet flies, nymphs. In the third, catching to these flies is interesting to me by methods. Last years I collect a material on catching of a salmon on dry imitations of mayflies and sedges. If you have an information on this theme - please, share it. Completely illustrated article
"Different view on catching of a salmon" about theoretical preconditions of catching on not salmon flies is possible to read in Chavanga Blog (Chavanga - Home)
This summer was very interesting situation- hot and low water level. It was not good for fresh salmon run to the river. But it is great time to fish resident salmon and to see all best places of the Chavanga river. I was surprised of very hight salmon activity in 23-24 water temperature. But spawn period began early - in a middle of September.
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This Chavanga`s salmon was landed with dry Black Sedge in a middle of August
Have you tried a San Yuan Worm dry fly (bit of red microchenille burned on ends and cinched onto a light tiny hook with a few wraps of tying thread so it floats)? Works well in hot water and stale smart fish.
Your leader looked a bit thick in one of those first shots. We find thin clear leaders help with smart resident fish in warm water.
Another small dry fly for you to try is a crimson butt buck bug (tail end of body 1/3 or so is red deer hair, next 2/3 of body is natural deer hair, body palmered with yellow grizzly hackle all this on a small #8 or #10 hook or smaller).
Also a green machine tyed with a thin body...
Tiny #12 or #14 black ants are deadly! As are tiny black crickets skated like a caddis.
A huge mucelin soaked heavy deer hair dry fly with sparse hackles smacked on their heads with a bang works sometimes too (a savage take!).
Very very fast strips with a tiny #14 unweighted nymph on a strong hook works too in warm water with stale fish.
Its all about "catching them in the act" of feeding (these are fresh run fish NOT unspawned and over-wintered fish or post spawn kelts). They don't gorge themselves everyday or actively search for food like a non-anadromous trout. They have other things on their minds (migrating and spawning), but sometimes they are resting in a lay that has a lot of insects floating by. Even sea run trout and char can be hard to catch on a fly after they have been in freshwater for awhile.
Like the old wives tales about salmon not swallowing insects, most North American's thought Arctic char would not take a fly. This of course was ridiculous, and stemmed from writers that had encountered difficult to catch char that had been in freshwater for awhile and were coloring up.
Gut some fish and examine stomach contents for a while - you'll see insects.
thank you very much! It is very interesting for me. In our salmon fishing society in Russia we have some problems with understanding of roles of flies, techniques and tackles. Usually we lost the real place of salmon in fishing process.
My first info about salmon freshwater feeding was polish journal Pstrag&Lipien, two articles by Stanislaw Cios in #1 1995 and #3 1995. I don`t know is it possible to find it in library. He show several observation and documents and give us a common decision about possibility of salmon to interest, to attack, to eat.
Some time in summer and during autumn this BH Red Tag variant fish very well.
Next season on Chavanga river I plan to give more attention to surface fishing. Grasshoppers too!
".....This June on Chavanga river some hot days have warmed up water unusually early, the River remained as in spring high and rather turbid from an impurity of peat from the overflowed bogs. Such combination not too is pleasant to fishes, at them character and appetite on spring salmon is corrupted. Usually we pass to smaller and more modest flies, but wished all the same have not received. Or fish absolutely wishes nothing or it is necessary to change techniques of catching. It seemed to me that on large flies does not peck, and small I cannot spend as it is not necessary, I can achieve their correct position in water. ...."
I put this little note about nymph salmon fishing on my site Chavanga - Home in blog (April issue). Later, in July and August in low water condition there was not difference between salmon and grayling reaction on nymph ant method of presentation.
I already had some experience of fishing on usual wet flies which hardly you will carry to the salmon. For example, the salmon always not bad concerned flies with a metal head which could play a provoking role or to serve as an imitating detail. In some cases, the metal head, first of all, improves fly presentation to keep it in a current or in deep places where it is not easy to get on level of the fish nose. Only 100-th gramme, but for small fly it is a huge difference. And additional 15- 20 centimetres of depth are essential to such bait.
But in high, moreover and rather turbid water standard variants have seemed not absolutely effective. If have gone on this way it was necessary to connect them on tungsten heads (Bead Head Nymph). Only in their weight I can explain revival of interest of a salmon to a fly.
Distinctions between some wet flies and nymphs are rather conditional. More than that, the difference of classification groups is defined sometimes not by anatomy, but presentation method. When in a hand there was a fly with a tungsten head, it became clear that the fly has outgrown frameworks wet and it is time to catch it, as the nymph. And cast to do not across and downwards, but to throw it upwards and across, to make standard nymph cast.
lhomme, I use standart Kamasan trout hooks or Maruto wet fly hooks # 10-12, a combination of #6 rod and 0.25 tippet is good to safe this hooks alive. I notice that small hooks with short shanks don`t want to destroy. And delicate tackle set safe it too. In my practice I did`n lost more fish with small flies than with standart salmon hooks. Tippet is a problem when you need to land big fish in "bad" place, in rocks.
X-fine dry hooks is not good idea!!
But if you fish not a huge salmon, but 2.5-4 kg, ordinary dry flies for graylings or trouts you may use without any troubles. The main target is to provoke fish attack (presentation) and to land fish is only a second target, i think.