Game changers?

Chris Enstone

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I’ve returned to salmon fly fishing after a 30 year break.

I’ve witnessed developments in coarse fishing, boilies, and trout fishing, gold heads, that changed the way we fish and generally made fishing more productive.

I’m looking at the range of flies that are now around and wondered if the team felt that any of them were really game changers (over and above the usuals of making the fly work properly and not spooking the fish)?

TIA

Chris
 

LouisCha

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Welcome back to the sport! Tight lines for whenever we can all get out fishing again :fish2:

In my opinion no single fly has changed the game but the average salmon fisher nowadays probably has more weapons in his armoury than he did in 1990. Whether we (I mean "I") use all the tricks in the box or just the standard floating line and cascade double is another question...

IMHO the most significant developments are:
- Slim, transparent highly mobile scandi style flies with fox, monkey, goat, rabbit fur etc...
- Copper bottle tubes and tungsten beads to make very very heavy flies
- Skagit lines to easily deliver extremely heavy sink tips and flies
- Wider use of hitches and surface flies

These things have not been invented in the last 30 years, their use has probably become a lot more common

There are far more experienced members on here so I would be interested in other people's views
 
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budge

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I was in a similar position to you 3 years ago after a near 20 year layoff. I dusted all the old gear off then binned most of it after seeing what's available now. As for flies I have always tied my own, but it's the range of materials that are available now that has changed things the most. Not sure if they catch more fish, but a modern Scandi style tubefly looks far more lifelike in the water than a traditional one.
Good luck with your venture, I just hope we manage to get back out on the bank after this lot.

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Jockiescott

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I think the main changes in the past 30 years would be to rods and lines. Modern rods, in the main, are a lot lighter and easier worked with than the tackle of the past. Polyleaders and tips have been a great introduction and now it is possible to use a floating line for the bulk of the fishing and still get your flies quite deep by changing the Polyleader.

With regard to flies, I honestly don't believe that if you used the same fly patterns as you did 30 years ago that you would be any worse off.

Modern flies are easier to tie and are readily available so you won't have much bother picking a few up. Will they catch more fish than some of the older patterns? I honestly don't believe so.
 

Chris Enstone

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Thanks for the replies so far. I’m happy with the new rods and lines and now use Skagit and Scandi gear when using heavy or lighter, respectively. They’re light years ahead of the old Spey gear.

Regarding flies, my individual jury is out, I tie my own for better or worse. Interested in others views.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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Flies, no difference IMHO. I suspect more folk are fishing bigger, squarer and faster than previously; although the Collie Dog and similar flies were used square and fast 30 years ago, albeit not with the same frequency.

Double handed Rods and (especially) lines are the biggest change. The shooting head has made the most significant difference and opened up so much water..
 

simoncassidy

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I’ve returned to salmon fly fishing after a 30 year break.

I’ve witnessed developments in coarse fishing, boilies, and trout fishing, gold heads, that changed the way we fish and generally made fishing more productive.

I’m looking at the range of flies that are now around and wondered if the team felt that any of them were really game changers (over and above the usuals of making the fly work properly and not spooking the fish)?

TIA

Chris
Hi Chris for me Micro-Flies in #18s and smaller have been a real game changer for summer grilse,I have had some spectacular sport with them in the last number of years, Size 18 Micro-treble Collie Dog fished on long clear intermediate polyleader with a tapered leader is lethal for grilse,I have had days when nobody could turn a fish and i was getting them,Had 4 fish one day in bright sunlight on the Cathedral Beat Ballina,when not one of the other rods got a pull.I remember it well because I offered to give another lady angler the fly that was working for me only to be told that the green butt cascade was the only fly to be using.My best day was 12 grilse with it.
 

keirstream

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My best day was 12 grilse with it.
I'd go with that.
I once hooked 16 grilse one fine early June morning on the Finn at Killygorton.
Those were all on a size 14 Irish shrimp and it was the 1st time I ever fished a fly
smaller than an 8. Since then I have been drawn to smaller flies, 16s, 18s and micro tubes, both skated and swung, for grilse. With a bit of water though, on the surface and hitch a small sunray square and fast for electric fun.:thumb:
I have also moved to bigger flies on bigger waters in the spring and backend, monkeys and bananas with 6 inch+ wings. They work too.
So, basically, pushing the boundaries on fly size.
But-----lines are definitely the modern anglers game changer.:thumb:
 

Rennie

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Without a doubt lines are the biggest game changer. I'd also agree with poly tips too-they provided my own 'light bulb" moment!.
As a secondary thought for those of us advancing in years- - - - Zip fronted waders, work it out!lol,
Pedro.
 

ArchieL

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Biggest Game Changer for me has been the Internet . Gone are the days of checking other rods tackle set ups at the huts at lunch to see what the latest fancy lure or fly set up is. Internet has changed the way we book fishing and get reports and also see all the different set ups from foreign rivers. Even ordering tackle and fishing clothes. Now i am not saying the internet has changed everything for the better. But lets be honest everything and anything you want is just a click of a button away. Checking river levels and historic or live catch returns now within seconds.

Good or bad the web has changed almost every aspect of salmon fishing. If you are bored or want to read up on a certain style of angling or technique then you tube and on line blogs are there for all to see. I know i am prone to spending a few hours lost on web pages reading up on river reports or latest must have flies and how to fish them..One thing that has sadly worked against the beats during these poorer runs is the fact we can all see that beats are not catching fish so are less likely to book fishing there. I am guilty of this and i have done this when trying to book back end fishing at the last minute on the Tweed where i see the price of the rod and look at the catch returns then decide not to fish..
 

T7

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Francis flies and Snaeldas in various sizes and weights. Probably templedogs and scandi profile flies as well, although I don’t use them that much. In general more modern materials have been pretty game changing in fly tying with softer more mobile materials being used/available as well as arrays of flash, cone heads etc. Old patterns can be tied with different materials to come up with infinite variations- not necessarily revolutionary in terms of particular patterns but applies to basically every fly these days.

But yeah agree with the others- fly lines is the real answer
 

acerspader

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Hey Simon,

Could you post a photo of Size 18 Micro-treble Collie Dog?

Would love to see one.



Hi Chris for me Micro-Flies in #18s and smaller have been a real game changer for summer grilse,I have had some spectacular sport with them in the last number of years, Size 18 Micro-treble Collie Dog fished on long clear intermediate polyleader with a tapered leader is lethal for grilse,I have had days when nobody could turn a fish and i was getting them,Had 4 fish one day in bright sunlight on the Cathedral Beat Ballina,when not one of the other rods got a pull.I remember it well because I offered to give another lady angler the fly that was working for me only to be told that the green butt cascade was the only fly to be using.My best day was 12 grilse with it.
 

sneakypeter

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Apart from the obvious advances in lines and tackle, for me it was the use of a fluorescent pink tag in all my flies, it works very well, certainly a confidence booster, I see no reason not to use it now, maybe not the holy grail, but getting there!!!!!!
peter
 

Greegs

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Here you go acerspader


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Bought some micro flies when I was down at John Norris.

Struggle to tie the buggers onto my leader though.

Tried them on the Gaula last year but didn’t have any luck.


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Petekd

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How do you fish those Simon? I had great success on 16 and 18 green butt micro trebles on the blackwater on occasion, fishing a long leader fished square and with a really slow steady draw rather than a twitchy retrieve. On their day they would lift fish out of pools that had been flogged all day and often accounted for multiple hook ups of an evening. The tail of the Lug pool at Kilmurry and the slower sections of the island stream were the hot spots. Hot days, low water, heavy angling pressure, it didn’t seem to matter, they were mighty fish attractors and even at near darkness they would still hit fish. I remember standing in the lug one evening near dark, on the phone to my sister at the time who was running through last minute wedding preparations with the line on the dangle actually missing 3 solid wallops just mending the line across every minute or so. Hung up phone, landed 2 in quick succession landing them with the torch light on my phone... fun evening! Hopefully we get back to it in time to make the most of those heady June and July evenings. 14 and 16 I think below, the green **** glows like a christmas tree under the UV lamp.
 

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simoncassidy

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I fish them on a full floater with a 10ft clear intermediate polyleader with a 15ft made up leader,15lb-12lb to 10lb or 8lb depending on the river I sometimes finish with 12lb if the fish are bigger.But the fly is always tied on with a Rapala knot to allow movement.Fished in normal 45* swing but with the clutch turned to slack as takes can be very gentle long pulls tightened into slowly.When those little hooks bite they get a serious hold.But beware there are some on the market with **** trebles that straighten and break easily, The Collie Dog,Hauger,Stoats Tail and Blue Charm Micro's are lethal summer flies.
 

Jockiescott

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I am very fond of the wee stuff and I love my low water fishing. I haven't used anything with wings that length though and try to keep things within the length of the hooks.

I'll certainly be trying a few of those patterns on my wee trout doubles.

Thanks for sharing folks! :thumb:
 
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