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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

    The footage regularly shared by the Ness District Fishery Board cameras shows how they hug the bottom as they migrate.
    Then they must have Chinook running this year.
    Atlantic salmon run in the upper level of the water column, generally a foot or so below surface. Targeting them with any more than an intermediate will bring no reward whatsoever.
    Respect My Authorita!!

  2. #12
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    In trying to answer this question it helps to be clear what we mean by 'running'.

    If we mean fish that are actually in motion swimming upstream, then yes, sometimes you do catch them. It is, however, largely a random event that requires the coincidence of a moving fish, a moving fly and a suitably aberrant-brained salmon at a particular point in time and space. Cock fish seem more prone to snapping at things while moving: several times I've had my fly taken as it hit the surface in fast water. But as someone else pointed out, these fish are moving upstream towards you, which slackens the leader, so on an unknown number of occasions you may not feel them mouthing the fly before they spit it out.

    The presence of visible running salmon is of course no guarantee that they have any interest in your fly, no matter what patterns you employ. They generally have other things on their mind. Two years ago on the Gaula at 4am I found myself fishing a pool through which truly enormous numbers of salmon chose to run in full view. Over a period of 30-40 minutes hundreds of fish came past me. One or two actually collided with my fly to no effect. It didn't matter what fly or method I tried: these fish had been held up for some weeks below the Gaulfossen and just wanted to get upstream to do their genetic duty.

    In normal circumstances you can tilt the tiny mathematical odds of catching a moving fish slightly in your favour by using calculated ambush tactics at suitable places on a river, which I explained in more detail in Close and Personal on Just One Week, and in 4 examples in high water in Lessons from Tomatin.

    The second definition of running, fish that are generally moving upwards between a series of short pauses, then is category is your most promising target of any. Salmon that are alert, awake and doing things are much easier to catch than those in long term resting places that have turned their functions and metabolism down to near zero. As others have said, these are the fish you will catch in the tails of pools where they pause after running up some fast water. They also need a little time to work out who else is in the pool ahead of them: their sense of smell is a much more powerful aid in that regard than eyesight which is limited to a few metres. And you will also catch them as they prepare to depart, either in the quicker water, or better still, in the short halt lies they will use before pushing on.

    Running fish entering a pool will also stir up the longer-term residents, which is also helpful to your cause. This effect becomes more pronounced later in the season when testosterone becomes an increasing factor in cock fish behaviour. I've often caught dominant males that chose to display in response to other males entering 'their' pool: a nice big fly fished aggressively near the surface generally does the trick.

    I hope all that helps: don't hesitate to come back with any supplementary questions.

  3. #13
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    Just wondering how you know when it is a running fish and not one that is resting. Personally I do not care as long as it takes.
    Bob.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by goosander View Post
    Just wondering how you know when it is a running fish and not one that is resting.
    Bob.

    I can't speak for others, but on the beat that I fish there are two pools, the tails of which are as smooth as glass and about 3ft deep. With it being shallow, You can see the fish coming, via a very pronounced wake from the tail. After a little practice, it is quite easy to judge their speed and the length of line required to swing the fly 3ft in front of their nose.

    So far, I have never had one take take the fly, but have had them take avoidance action.

  5. #15
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    I think there are two kinds of running fish?? , flat out that are not stopping for anything just straight full steam ahead jumping on occasion but straight forward these will take higher up and ones that move slowly through at a meandering speed playing a bit and dropping back not so high up but will take occasionally.. these tend to be better takers all round though.
    Then you just get resting fish that sit on the bottom behind or to the lie ,in the sides waiting to run... these will take on the swing past there nose or occasionally move out follow and take or just drop back to there lie... probably all *******s , there are so many variables though in salmon but I think you need to fish in every condition at all times of the year to even begin to understand the water unless you have a ghille...and then some one will come along when you think you have it all sussed doing the opposite and catch any way.

  6. #16

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    I was blown away by Cracking The Code by the much respected Henrick, but by golly this thread is a real eye opener. Iím assuming some on here must have several thousand salmon under their belt.

    DCH

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonCurlyHorny View Post
    I was blown away by Cracking The Code by the much respected Henrick, but by golly this thread is a real eye opener. Iím assuming some on here must have several thousand salmon under their belt.

    DCH
    I have not don but Iíve fished nearly every day of the season for the last 3 years and sporadically before , patterns emerge and you think you have cracked it but then something more often than not happens that completely contradicts your theory , I had it happen this morning catching when taking a theory that I was starting to be convinced was right that was told to me by a guy who has spent a life time fishing the best rivers on the world and has had articles published.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by keirstream View Post
    Then they must have Chinook running this year.
    Atlantic salmon run in the upper level of the water column, generally a foot or so below surface. Targeting them with any more than an intermediate will bring no reward whatsoever.

    That depends an where you are and the nature of the river. I used to fish all over the Westcountry on small clear spate rivers and chalkstreams where salmon could easily be watched. Almost without exception (on the rivers I fished) they stayed close to the bottom when running (and at all other times) and were only to be seen high in the water if they were looking at a fall or other obstacle.
    I now live beside the Naver and it is equally clear that hundreds of the buggers are swimming past me just below the surface off every spring tide. It is also equally clear that casting at bow waves is pretty much a waste of time!
    I guess it is simply a case of fish in small rivers staying deep to stay out of sight while those in big rivers aren't so worried.


    Andy

  9. #19

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    Maybe. It's not very easy to define. The river I'm fishing this week has significant numbers running and many of the fish I've caught have long tailed lice, but some are a bit older. I think when a pod of newbies arrive it stirs everything up a bit. I think you can catch running fish but most people, including me, don't very often.

  10. #20
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    As ever its how long is a piece of string question?.
    Yes Salmon can be caught when there're running, but and its a very big but, it depends on a lot of factors.
    It will depend on the freshness of the fish, proximity to the salt water, how far those fish have to run, where they've run from, water height, water temp, air temp., where they're going to. then there's the conditions relating to the beat your fishing itself, is there anything to hold them, make them pause, or are you in effect fishing a Salmon motorway!.
    If its perfect running water on a beat just off the tide with few features after prolonged low water, then any fish are quite likely to motor straight on through and off. If its lower water, maybe just above summer level on a beat higher up that same river, then fish are quite likely to meander through, maybe pausing at the choke points or features that might cause them to pause and be perfectly catchable.
    One very important point is when fish are running they are usually quite focussed and will often follow set paths at set heights. Fishing in the wrong manner outside of these paths will result in zilch, nada, nowt.As Kierstream says Salar will run at a depth of 1ft to 18" down, by n large, they might bob up for yer flee, but sure as hell never ever go down in the water column for it!.I'd also advise trying to fish yer flee broadside on right in these running lanes at that "magical" depth, give the fish a chance to see the flee right on their nose ends.
    There are times it will work perfectly, and others, every fish in the river will pass right on by you, heading, tailing, splashing through whilst waving gurt big flags saying "HERE WE ARE NUMBNUTS, COME N CATCH US" and wearing "I HEART WILLIE GUNNS" T shirts.
    We never learn all there is to learn about Salar, having as broad an understanding as possible about the river system your fishing(the fish in front of you may well have to migrate through your river, up another then into a loch!, or what ever!) and then the fish itself. Run timings may well be of great importance, certain runs bound for the head waters of ancillary rivers won't be for stopping until they have too!, back end fish that spawn lower down in the main river stem, may well arrive much later but travel more sedately and be perfectly catchable given reasonable conditions.
    All I can honestly say is if Salars bouncing past you in numbers then sit n watch, get the camera out and enjoy!. Might not be a sight we get to see for much longer.
    Pedro.
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