Hitching part 1: hitch irons

nickolas

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Peter is that a seychells gt, looks quite a beast, how long ago was that. Tell me does the Rhine have a run of fish, or is a political boomerang as the Thames salmon returning. Sorry for this it’s a million miles away from skating flies.
 

Loxie

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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
A friend of mine catches on a dead drift dry on the chalk streams quite consistently. I'm hoping to arrange a day or 2 in August to see it in action.
 

MIK

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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 can you describe some of the hitching action you have had on rivers that have been in full spate
 

nickolas

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I would love to know if anybody has had a fish of the Tweed on a skating fly, if the have under what conditions, I.e. time of year, where on the the river, what the conditions on the river at the time. ? Not to interested in the fly type Or how it’s fished.
 

nickolas

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He's caught on both the test and Itchen.
Many years ago I did catch a sea trout down your way on the Tamar on a dry fly, the trout was continuously taking dry fly so just couldn’t resist the temptation, landed the fish to my surprise it was a sea trout. I have caught fish with a nymph on the Itchen I’m not sure who was more surprised me or the ghilly it was the first he had had on the Itchen that season and I was a guest. So I wish you luck, interesting that’s another river with sort of clear water. Love to know how you get on, and what type of fly.
 

Loxie

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Many years ago I did catch a sea trout down your way on the Tamar on a dry fly, the trout was continuously taking dry fly so just couldn’t resist the temptation, landed the fish to my surprise it was a sea trout. I have caught fish with a nymph on the Itchen I’m not sure who was more surprised me or the ghilly it was the first he had had on the Itchen that season and I was a guest. So I wish you luck, interesting that’s another river with sort of clear water. Love to know how you get on, and what type of fly.
I'll report back! We get sea trout on dries pretty regularly, especially school peal and both salmon and sea trout on nymphs on the Taw. I've caught a few salmon on the Itchen on nymphs too. My mate uses bombers, I think!
 

Pete V

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Peter is that a seychells gt, looks quite a beast, how long ago was that. Tell me does the Rhine have a run of fish, or is a political boomerang as the Thames salmon returning. Sorry for this it’s a million miles away from skating flies.
Hi Nickolas
Yes it is a GT from Alphose. I caught it quite a few years ago. It is still one of the biggest ever caught there.
There are alway rumours about salmon running the Rhine apparently many years that was the case. It is such a big river that it would be very difficult to fish.
 

nickolas

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Hi Nickolas
Yes it is a GT from Alphose. I caught it quite a few years ago. It is still one of the biggest ever caught there.
There are alway rumours about salmon running the Rhine apparently many years that was the case. It is such a big river that it would be very difficult to fish.
Peter you don’t realise how fast fish can travel until you get one of those boys on the end. What memories.😊
 

Anthony

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Anthony can you describe some of the hitching action you have had on rivers that have been in full spate
I've had fish of 10lb and more come at the hitch. Sometimes no more than a foot from the bank. Quite often they have missed it, but I've hooked up when I've been able to repeat my previous swing ( not easy in such fast water sometimes)
 

nickolas

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I've had fish of 10lb and more come at the hitch. Sometimes no more than a foot from the bank. Quite often they have missed it, but I've hooked up when I've been able to repeat my previous swing ( not easy in such fast water sometimes)
When you get another fish come at you and miss, I normally have a go at a couple of things, go away and come back after 10 minuets or so, hang a small micro treble out the back about 30-50mm, go with a conventional fly smallish 14 or so. I recon if to have a fish come at you on the surface you’re 50% of the way to getting the fish. If you get fish follow you all the way to the bank and the turn, it obviously intereste, try speeding the fly up, it’s followed you all the way and as you possibly lift the rod to recast the fly has speeded up in the water and the fish has turned away, obviously sometimes the fish nails the fly as it’s speeding up, this is what you want. It’s all a matter of trial and error but if you speed the fly up as you get to recast hopefully you will nail the following fish. I have in my time had two fish folllow the fly up a shingle bank with there backs out of the water and nail the fly, if they really want it they will have it. These were both very fresh fish.
 

Anthony

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When you get another fish come at you and miss, I normally have a go at a couple of things, go away and come back after 10 minuets or so, hang a small micro treble out the back about 30-50mm, go with a conventional fly smallish 14 or so. I recon if to have a fish come at you on the surface you’re 50% of the way to getting the fish. If you get fish follow you all the way to the bank and the turn, it obviously intereste, try speeding the fly up, it’s followed you all the way and as you possibly lift the rod to recast the fly has speeded up in the water and the fish has turned away, obviously sometimes the fish nails the fly as it’s speeding up, this is what you want. It’s all a matter of trial and error but if you speed the fly up as you get to recast hopefully you will nail the following fish. I have in my time had two fish folllow the fly up a shingle bank with there backs out of the water and nail the fly, if they really want it they will have it. These were both very fresh fish.
Thanks for the tips. Yeah I need to experiment with those to try and get more fish on the bank..
 

Mickfish

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I've found this to be a fascinating thread and have enjoyed the contributions of Anthony and Keirstream (whose views I see as complementary to each other btw) in particular, as well as the other posters. It's an enthralling subject in general and I remember reading in an Arthur Oglebsy book on salmon fishing I have that his friend Lee and Joan Wullf when fishing with AG either on the Spey or Dee, I cannot remember off hand which, persisted with the method over known lies for hours only to raise one fish that did not connect. Of course, LW had used the method on the eastern sea board of Canada to great effect, which is why it's still such an established method there, and now in Iceland, Russia etc. When I've fished the Pacific Canadian coast I've never seen anyone doing it, but they are coloured glacial rivers when all is said and done. But when staying at the Pitt River Lodge one time the guides tried to persuade me to visit in late May and early June when they get a good run of sea run Bull Trout. Some of these fish are very big and aggressive and the most exciting method to attract their attention is to use big surface mouse patterns to create a tantalising wake that would often see the fish making huge bow waves to attack them from some distance (and the Pitt is a glacial river for sure).

Crawford Little in his book "Success with Salmon" concurred with Keirstream in this thread saying once you were south of the Great Glen the method ceased to be so reliable. KS offers his reasons as to why this might be but it still seems quite puzzling. Using Tenkara to create a "dapping wake" can often produce savage takes from trout and grayling for me (I always think by annoying the hell out of them) and we know how night time sea trout love wake lures. But my success with riffling methods or dead drifting bombers has a been limited to one grilse taking a dead drifted Mrs Simpson lure on the upper Ribble, it eventually came away. I suppose I give up too soon and feel the pressure is on to catch a salmon by more conventional methods. But having said all that there is a keeper on the lower Eden who uses it as has main tactic and enjoys considerable success year on year - so perhaps the old Robert the Bruce adage should should encourage me to employ the method more consistently and determinedly.

Mick
 
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