Hitching part 1: hitch irons

Anthony

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Great threads Anthony and I know you do well on the hitch on your local! 👍 :)👍

As Keirstream mentioned I have had success with it on the lower North Esk and following that on the River Finn. Years ago I had dabbled with it on the Moy town beats and Balisodare and had some success.. but only really got 'the bug' after Morphie. It really is hard to beat seeing the visual take and something nice about fishing light and fancy free if that makes sense, as I find it allows you to fish little spots, pots and runs that are much harder with sunk lines and flies.

Here's a vid from last season that I've posted before but is quite topical:

Great video I'm still working on this technique as I'm convinced it will work all the time. The fact that I got them to react when I previously thought it was useless tells me there's more to discover with it.
 

easky

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Great video I'm still working on this technique as I'm convinced it will work all the time. The fact that I got them to react when I previously thought it was useless tells me there's more to discover with it.
thanks and yep I think there is a lot to learn and experiment with in terms of its versatility and breath of application, and its undoubtedly much more effective that just a 'low water technique' to be tried only when all else has failed!

Interesting you mention about tying the tube versions and in particular angling the hole - by coincidence I've been tying some recently and did two holes and straight through at a right angle. I normally change the leader depending on which bank which can be a faff, so using just one hole appeals, though I presume its best with a symmetrical/equal tying rather than a 'top and bottom' (wing and beard) ? And with the angling of the hole - is that just to increase how parallel to the flow you want the fly to hitch?
 

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Anthony

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thanks and yep I think there is a lot to learn and experiment with in terms of its versatility and breath of application, and its undoubtedly much more effective that just a 'low water technique' to be tried only when all else has failed!
Interesting you mention about tying the tube versions and in particular angling the hole - by coincidence I've been tying some recently and did two holes and straight through at a right angle. I normally change the leader depending on which bank which can be a faff, so using just one hole appeals, though I presume its best with a symmetrical/equal tying rather than a 'top and bottom' ? And with the angling of the hole is that just to increase how parallel to the flow you want the fly to hitch?
Honestly I don't think it matters.
I'm quite lazy when it comes to changing leaders a retying knots. It didn't seem to make any difference.
 

Anthony

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thanks and yep I think there is a lot to learn and experiment with in terms of its versatility and breath of application, and its undoubtedly much more effective that just a 'low water technique' to be tried only when all else has failed!

Interesting you mention about tying the tube versions and in particular angling the hole - by coincidence I've been tying some recently and did two holes and straight through at a right angle. I normally change the leader depending on which bank which can be a faff, so using just one hole appeals, though I presume its best with a symmetrical/equal tying rather than a 'top and bottom' (wing and beard) ? And with the angling of the hole - is that just to increase how parallel to the flow you want the fly to hitch?
I like to put a needle in the hole and push it out the end of the tube. I don't burn a hole anymore as it can buckle the tube and leave a black finish at the hole. Doing that I'm probably getting a 30 degree angle in it.

Doing that the angle of the hole is smaller and the fly fishes a little straighter.

Some do 90 degrees , Heinrich mortenson does 80 degrees. 90 degrees can be really awkward with two holes, on a cold or midge filled evening.
 

nickolas

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My next post

I have had any joy on dries either. But once I dropped a hook over a small bridge by accident. It stayed on the surface and got halfway down the pool when a salmon came clean out of the water for it.

This year I think we're going to try it in a tag team. I will locate the fish with a hitch and then my mate will step in with a dry fly.
Interesting I have seen sea trout on the Tamar taking dry fly of the surface, yet to ground bate with flies for salmon ✌️
 

Anthony

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Interesting I have seen sea trout on the Tamar taking dry fly of the surface, yet to ground bate with flies for salmon ✌️
There's a guy out there that had fantastic success using a large klinkhammer for salmon in an area where dry fly fishing wasn't used. Apparently then even announced it on his local radio station as he fished and it drew a crowd.

Might be a little better than the typical bomber type flies as there's some body under the surface
 

iainmortimer

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There's a guy out there that had fantastic success using a large klinkhammer for salmon in an area where dry fly fishing wasn't used. Apparently then even announced it on his local radio station as he fished and it drew a crowd.

Might be a little better than the typical bomber type flies as there's some body under the surface
Given that dapping on the lochs, and even in the sea, with a daddy long legs will bring salmon up I can't see why using a dry on a river wouldn't work.
 

nickolas

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Given that dapping on the lochs, and even in the sea, with a daddy long legs will bring salmon up I can't see why using a dry on a river wouldn't work.
While fishing in lakselv a few years ago, I came across this (I think Swedish )Guy who had a great smile on his face, he said he had come to fish the static bomber only for his weeks fishing and he had landed his third fish for the week and that one was 14kilo. The lakselve runs very clear so long as there’s no land slip up river, so clean it makes the Dee look dirty, I believe the east coast Canadian rivers run clear so maybe this has a influence on static dry fly. But for a skating fly that doesn’t ring true, at least on peaty rivers anyway. Normally the dapped fly is with a silk blow line and fly is skipped / skated across the waves. What ever it’s a very exciting way of fishing for salmon. And to anybody fishing those rivers across the top of Scotland and the Islands should give it a go, on its day can be very successful, a friend fishing a small river on Lewis with two pals one afternoon had I think 30 grilse.
 
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keirstream

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It keep you focus and you really learn to control the fly in my opinion.
The interesting thing is, the bigger the hitch the more acute your angle needs to be in my experience.
To the point where, from a tiny hitch fished at 45-60 degrees downstream and across I will steadily reduce the angle as I increase the size of hitch.
A sunray I fish square and strip fast across a fast neck a couple of times just to work the fish into a frenzy. Occasionally a fish will take but usually it's all slashes, splashes and swirls.
Then I step upstream a few paces, cast square again but then "high stick" only just keeping in contact `with the fly as it travels much slower across the stream. That is when they nail it.(y)
 

Anthony

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I haven't tried the second approach.

The 3/4" fly was definitely working for me with the high stick method. But then it just stopped at the same time 3 years in a row.
Only working the same tube like a sunray worked after that.
 

tcorfey

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Kierstream, that is an interesting observation. You suggest changing you casting angle while you also mention changing your rod angle i.e. you go to a "high stick" presentation.

So if I understand correctly as you increase the size of your hitch, you reduce your casting angle and at the same time you increase the angle of the line coming off your rod tip. Is that correct? Is this how you address it regardless of water speed, wind and water temp or do you have other considerations that may affect those angles based on environmental conditions?
 

keirstream

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Kierstream, that is an interesting observation. You suggest changing you casting angle while you also mention changing your rod angle i.e. you go to a "high stick" presentation.

So if I understand correctly as you increase the size of your hitch, you reduce your casting angle and at the same time you increase the angle of the line coming off your rod tip. Is that correct? Is this how you address it regardless of water speed, wind and water temp or do you have other considerations that may affect those angles based on environmental conditions?
Water speed is critical.
I only use this method in fast runs in the necks of pools, wind has little or no effect as the current speed does the work and unless you are dealing with some very strong upstream howlers or a bitter Easterly which chills the surface. Otherwise it's game on. The water temperature subject to the caveat above is rarely a consideration as this is a summer / early autumn pursuit which will build up and tail off from June to early September. Full floods restrict action too, it needs to be well running off and carrying a bit of extra water. Normal summer flows stick with the hitch.
 

Pete V

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The interesting thing is, the bigger the hitch the more acute your angle needs to be in my experience.
To the point where, from a tiny hitch fished at 45-60 degrees downstream and across I will steadily reduce the angle as I increase the size of hitch.
A sunray I fish square and strip fast across a fast neck a couple of times just to work the fish into a frenzy. Occasionally a fish will take but usually it's all slashes, splashes and swirls.
Then I step upstream a few paces, cast square again but then "high stick" only just keeping in contact `with the fly as it travels much slower across the stream. That is when they nail it.(y)
I have had situations when a hitched sunray has only produced splashes. I changed the fly to a small cone-head Francis and the fish took on the first cast.
 

Anthony

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Water speed is critical.
I only use this method in fast runs in the necks of pools, wind has little or no effect as the current speed does the work and unless you are dealing with some very strong upstream howlers or a bitter Easterly which chills the surface. Otherwise it's game on. The water temperature subject to the caveat above is rarely a consideration as this is a summer / early autumn pursuit which will build up and tail off from June to early September. Full floods restrict action too, it needs to be well running off and carrying a bit of extra water. Normal summer flows stick with the hitch.
More absolutes.
Hitching works very well in my experience from may to late September at the very least. Some of my best action has been in full spates.

There are no absolutes when it comes to salmon.
 

Anthony

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I have had situations when a hitched sunray has only produced splashes. I changed the fly to a small cone-head Francis and the fish took on the first cast.
A hitched Sunray is most likely a long tube. Due to the angle of the hitch the fish is most likely attacking the fly well away from the hook.
Those fish that leave the water completely and take on the way down are very accurate even with big tubes. I believe this is because they get a good look at the fly minus refraction.
But those fish that boil and suck at the fly have a tendency to miss the hook on a long tube. Fishing a shorter tube should put the hook in the zone.
 

Nigel Passmore

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There are no absolutes when it comes to salmon.
Actually, I'd suggest there are three absolute rules when it comes to salmon fishing :)

1. If your flee isn't in the water you won't catch a salmon.
2. If there are litterally no fish in your beat or river you won't catch them if they are not there no matter how good, bad or indifferent your skill level is
3. You never stop learning in salmon fishing, which your postings help demonstrate.

Speaking of which, on dead drift dry fly for salmon, there were two excellent articles in Chasing Silver 2/2020 and 3/2020 by Mika Vainio. I've never met him but my Norwegian friends regard him as being Norway's leading exponent of Dry Fly for salmon. His observations on tackle, flies, leaders and approach are very different to what you normally read about from the usual suspects on the Gaspe Peninsular.

I'm going to give them a whirl if we are ever let out of house arrest. Actually, I'm going to give it more than a whirl. I've caught salmon on a dapping fly on a loch but never a dead drift dry fly in a river.

Regards

NHP
 

nickolas

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Nigel.I think the guy in question on lakselve was him, but I can’t be sure, you meet quite a lot of fanatics up there that fish most of the time, I once sat down to dinner in the Ednam 30 years ago with two guys I had just met in the bar, they obviously did a fare bit of salmon fishing, I asked how many weeks they had spent on the river that year, one replied 15 weeks the other 25 weeks, that’s a lot of fishing knowledge.
 

keirstream

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More absolutes.
Hitching works very well in my experience from may to late September at the very least. Some of my best action has been in full spates.

There are no absolutes when it comes to salmon.
Anthony,
I never quote absolutes in salmon fishing.
This is not a competition. It's about imparting knowledge as best you can from experience.
Those are my experiences and my beliefs, you may think differently and so you should.
I always caveat by stating that my statements are In My Honest Opinion, nobody elses.
So, as you are quite adamant I am leading people wrongly with too many non existing absolutes, I will leave your thread to you.
It's your ball, kick it as hard as you want.;);)
 

Nigel Passmore

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Nigel.I think the guy in question on lakselve was him, but I can’t be sure, you meet quite a lot of fanatics up there that fish most of the time, I once sat down to dinner in the Ednam 30 years ago with two guys I had just met in the bar, they obviously did a fare bit of salmon fishing, I asked how many weeks they had spent on the river that year, one replied 15 weeks the other 25 weeks, that’s a lot of fishing knowledge.
Quite a lot of the rivers shown in the articles were in Finnmark so possibly so.


Regards

NHP
 
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Anthony

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Anthony,
I never quote absolutes in salmon fishing.
This is not a competition. It's about imparting knowledge as best you can from experience.
Those are my experiences and my beliefs, you may think differently and so you should.
I always caveat by stating that my statements are In My Honest Opinion, nobody elses.
So, as you are quite adamant I am leading people wrongly with too many non existing absolutes, I will leave your thread to you.
It's your ball, kick it as hard as you want.;);)
Even I learned from your posts.

But my point is salmon can be caught at anytime. Which is why I discounted old myths rather than stated when and where things will work.

I didn't mean to shoot down what you are saying. But many of these blanket statements are dead ends in terms of developing in those times that people say it doesn't work.

Even mr. Mortenson has caught fish on the hitch in Russia in 6 degree water.
 

keirstream

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Even I learned from your posts.

But my point is salmon can be caught at anytime. Which is why I discounted old myths rather than stated when and where things will work.

I didn't mean to shoot down what you are saying. But many of these blanket statements are dead ends in terms of developing in those times that people say it doesn't work.

Even mr. Mortenson has caught fish on the hitch in Russia in 6 degree water.
And where, exactly, did I categorically state that it doesn't work in cold water?
Again, I.M.E. only, the time it BEST works is within the guideline I set I.M.O.
Outside these parameters, yes, it will work, but you will spend a helluva lot of time and effort getting it to work.
Anyway, you continue to rubbish my posts so, as I said, your ball, you kick it.;);)
*-
 

nickolas

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You’re absolutely right you can never say never, I can rember fishing the tail of a pool after coming of a big spate with size 6 gp, the gp was skimming across the surface and up came the salmon.
 

Anthony

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And where, exactly, did I categorically state that it doesn't work in cold water?
Again, I.M.E. only, the time it BEST works is within the guideline I set I.M.O.
Outside these parameters, yes, it will work, but you will spend a helluva lot of time and effort getting it to work.
Anyway, you continue to rubbish my posts so, as I said, your ball, you kick it.;);)
*-
Alright. I was expecting this, I'm out.
I tried to share my information to the best of my ability , to help people get a better idea of this unknown form of fishing for salmon.

But someone always tries to turn it into a measuring competition.
 

keirstream

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Alright. I was expecting this, I'm out.
I tried to share my information to the best of my ability , to help people get a better idea of this unknown form of fishing for salmon.

But someone always tries to turn it into a measuring competition.
Again, where did you see me making it a measuring competition?
Another one of your absolutes, I suppose?:)
I never at any time rubbished any of your observations, in fact, I gave them several likes.
I tried to expand the thread and give my observations which you clearly disagreed with and made that very public.
Fine by me, but at least I would have thought that you would at least have embraced them rather than challenge them when I made it clear
that they were just my experiences and mine only???
On 2 occasions I bowed out of the thread graciously with a wee smile and left it to you alone.
I have no intention in getting involved in it again and again made that very clear.
So I have no idea why you have escalated the situation and made it look that you have been victimised.?
Anyway, final, final, time.
This thread is yours to carry on.
Please do, it is a very informative thread and this forum needs much more of them.(y)
 
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