I take great pleasure in catching a spring salmon on a size 6 hook attached to a heavy Garry Dog Tube fly fished deep on a sinking line.
SALTWATER, SALMON & STEELHEAD TUBE FLY
$US each. Price does not include hooks.
The Spring Salmon is the most converted prize of many a salmon fishermen’s year. Once caught it is something to admire. It may take a couple of moments after having taken your Garry Dog One Inch Copper Tube Fly before the electrifying draw on the line kicks in. Then the salmon barges across the steam and races down to the tail of the pool. With your rod tip held high and your reel screaming, you let it take line before fighting it back again. Time after time this process is repeated until the fighting fish become exhausted and finally give itself up to the waiting net.
Such early season successes are rare due to the decrease in returning fish. This is why I return all my fish. In some rivers unfortunately it is hardly worth trying to catch an early season springer, because the fish are simply not there. Most of the rivers that still have a healthy population are in the most extreme locations that may mean enduring high winds, snow and ice to get to them.
If you are lucky enough to be fishing a river where there are spring salmon they will generally not be in a hurry. The deep waters of the ocean are able to maintain some warmth through the winter months but rivers, being shallow, are quicker to cool down and react to the chilled air. Until the river temperature rises to some sort of equilibrium with the sea, the number of salmon entering the river, and thus your prospects of catching one, will not be high.
Those that do enter the river in the coldest conditions do little more than ease their way into the lowermost pools and will certainly be halted at falls and weirs. Early season fishing can best be found in pools below such obstructions. Once you find some they may not prove too difficult to tempt because they are likely to be fresh and new to river conditions. Not too difficult that is, just so long as you present your Garry Dog One Inch Copper Tube Fly in an attractive fashion. That is the issue. It is easy to present a fly but a different matter to present it attractively particularly when it is a big fly fished off a fast sinking line, which is the normal standard combination for spring fishing.
Generations of salmon fishing experience has shown that the earliest of early season fish are most likely to be caught using a deep and slow style of presentation. Start on the pool by lengthening line, a yard at a time between casts, from the same spot until you have out your maximum casting length. Then reel in a yard or two to keep things comfortable. This length might be anything from 15 to as much as 30 yards depending on your casting skill. You can catch fish on a short line, of course, but you will catch far more on a longer one.
This is not simply because you will be covering more water. You will be able to cast at a far shallower angle and thus fish the fly slow and deep, just hovering across. Roll cast to bring the line and fly up to the surface, then use a single or double spey or switch cast depending on wind condition. Just wait for the electrifying tugging on the line, followed by the brief moment of hesitation before the salmon speeds off.