Hooking Salmon On The Fly

ABK

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There has probably been more written about hooking fish on the fly than any other aspect of the sport, but much of that which has been in the past is merely regurgitated literature from past authorities. Today anyone taking up salmon fishing and reading books on the subject finds that there are as many ideas on the hooking of a salmon as there are books relating to the topic, and find themselves confused not knowing which practise to follow. Some contemporary anglers, including myself are starting to question the methods preached, and used by those still adhering to the old techniques.

When a salmon comes to a fly the two main practices are to either feed slack, or tighten as soon as a fish is felt. The first of these I question in some detail, because as soon as we give the fish slack line, its opportunity to eject it instantly rises to 50%. The majority who fish in this fashion strongly believe that the fish need to be fed line in order to secure a good hook hold. By feeding them line the logic behind this idea is that the current will pull the fly into the corner of the fish's mouth. This is all very well provided that the fish does not turn in the same instant as taking the fly, however a lot of fish that decide to take our fly will usually follow it round and take it either by turning away or towards the angler, or by taking hold of it and continuing on upstream before tailing back downstream with the current. If we look at the first of these, Figure 1, the fish that turns away from the angler when given slack line. Some of these fish will stand a good chance of being hooked, as the line is pulled downstream by the current dragging the fly into the right hand side maxillary bone of the fish's jaw. See Figure 1. However if the fish turns towards the angler see Figure 2, then the chances of the fly being pulled out of the fish's mouth will be greatly increased, because as the fish turns and heads downstream the current will start to pull the fly out of the fish's mouth, particularly if it is still open. If these fish are hooked at all, it is usually in the lower or upper lip, and as a result frequently come off.


Feeding slack line to a fish that has taken, and moved forward as shown in Figure 3 in the same instant will only be hooked if the current is strong enough to pull the line downstream before the fish starts to tail back in the current. If the current is strong however the hooks maybe pulled in while the fish is still moving forward, but if the current is slow, then the fish may start to tail back at a faster rate than the flow and if this happens the chance of the hooks being pulled out of the salmon's mouth will greatly increase. The overriding factor with the slack line method is the way in which the fish takes our fly, this and this alone will determine whether or not it will be hooked or not. Because of this fact of it not always being possible to tell which way that a fish has taken my fly the uncertainty makes me tend to shy clear of it.
Fish that move forward and suck in your fly, and then keep moving forward before tailing back downstream in the current, as shown in Figure 3 are the very devil to hook, because by the time you realise that they have taken your fly the chances are that they will have ejected it before they have tailed back far enough for it to register as a pull on the line. It is very difficult to detect these takes, because very often the fish will merely suck the fly in and carry it forward in a pocket of water between its open jaws. The only indication that the angler gets with this taking behaviour is a feeling similar to that when the fly comes into a slack dead section of water. If you suspect that this type of take has occurred start pulling in line at a good rate of knots, feeling for the fish as you do so. If it has closed its mouth you will feel the fish and the rod should be lifted into it, however if the fish keeps its mouth open the chances of hooking it will not be good, because all we will be doing is pulling the fly out of the fish's open jaws. One thing to watch is the two or three yards of line that you have just pulled in, don't let it get tangled around anything. As if you do feel the fish, and tighten into it, it generally disappears quickly once the fish realises what is going on.

Practitioners of the slack line method point out that if the water temperature is on the low side during the spring or late autumn the fish will come to and turn on the fly in a much slower fashion. This I can accept and if there is perhaps a time to give slack then this is it, but many who fish the slack line method also do so during the warmer summer months. This I cannot accept, because this is when we should in actual fact be lifting into the fish, and not feeding line, because the fish will be rising to them much more quickly due to the warmer water temperatures Many anglers who fish for grilse complain that they are very difficult to hook. If they are the same people who are in the habit of giving line then I am not at all surprised, because these fish usually rise, and snap at flies in a trout like fashion and because of this they should be tighten into. I do not know of any trout anglers who feed line!

My own preferred method of hooking salmon is to tighten by lifting the rod progressively into them. This is because until someone can prove to me that a salmon takes a spinning bait differently from a fly then I am quite content to lift the rod, and pull the hooks home as soon as I fell the slightest resistance. Anyway with the small modern outpoint trebles the force needed for them to penetrate beyond the barb is minimal, and the force transmitted along the line that tells the angler that a fish has mouthed his fly is usually enough for these hooks to take hold. At this point I merely lift the rod until I feel the weight of the fish. I see no logical reasons for feeding a fish slack that already has taken my fly into its mouth, and given it a good tug. I have yet to meet anyone who when spinning for salmon pulls a yard or so of line off their reel at the moment of the take. The governing factor which determines how well fish are hooked with any method employed is in the direction in which it moves or turns after it has taken the fly. Because we seldom see the take there is no "one" right way, or wrong way, there is only the preferred way.

Without any doubt if the fish turns away from the bank from which the angler is fishing, the fish will be well hooked, but if it turns towards the bank from which we are fishing, or moves forward in the same instant then the chances of it being hooked well, will not be so good. I can recall fishing one day late in the season on my local river, when a run of fish came into the stretch I was fishing. To cut a long story short I hooked played and lost 5 fish, all within the space of a few hours. At the time I put it down to just bad luck, but on reflection four of the fish that took turned towards me and was on for only a very short period of time. The final fish of the day turned away from me, and was only lost at the very last minute when the hooks came away, just as I bent down to tail it out. This instance in itself might not prove much, but since then I have been more observant when it comes to the direction in which a fish turns or moves in relation to where I am fishing from at the time. By doing so I have come to the conclusion that the only way in dealing with most fish is to lift the rod progressively into them immediately they are felt. Most of the fish which turn towards me after taking the fly, if tightened into at once, are nearly all hooked in the top left hand side of the mouth, whereas the ones that are tightened into, that turn away from me, are almost without exception hooked in the corner of the right hand jaw. In both cases the hooks very well in.

Some fish will merely pluck at the fly, and as far as I am concerned this is connected with a feeding response. I believe that this occurs when fish are very fresh run and still have their feeding instinct still partially intact, they are merely touching and tasting This type of taking fish is very difficult to hook. One method that works reasonably well is to keep the dressing well within the bend of the hook. This solution came to me one day by pure chance, I had been fishing away most of the day and was becoming very frustrated, because I had hooked and pricked a good number of these "devils". I tried all sorts, changing up, changing down, tightening and yes feeding slack line, but all to no avail. After a while I went full circle and returned to the fly that I had started the day with, a small Silver Stoats Tail tied on half inch of Biro refill. After tying the treble to the line I pushed the hook right into the end of the tube. The bends of the treble where now hard against the end of the tube. Next Time down the pool I took a fish of 16 lbs firmly hooked in the roof of the mouth and lost two others during play. The only difference now was that the hooks where now within the hair. Before they where extending about half an inch beyond the end of the tube.

The one take that I have not mentioned yet is the one that occurs when the fly has come to the dangle below the angler. If the fly comes to the end of its swim, and merely hovers with the force of the current any fish that do take at this time are usually not well hooked. I suspect that they have followed the fly round, and for some reason remain uncertain right up to the last moment whether to take or not. The take if it does come is generally from my experience a tentative one, with the fish being very lightly hooked on the end of their noses. One method to that I now use to overcome these tentative takes on the dangle is to increase the flies water speed by pulling in a yard or so of line before the fly gets to the dangle. This action usually results in the fish being well hooked, possibly because it arouses the fish's predatory instinct as it sees the fly escaping and heading off upstream. By speeding the fly up and pulling it away from the fish we usually get a much more positively response.

Not all fish respond to the fly in the same fashion, the four fish that turned towards me in the incident described earlier all took in a similar way, but this I think is extremely rare. I have witnessed fish from the same group reacting to the fly in a completely different fashion, with some turning away , and others turning towards me. I have tried to tabulate results from my diaries to see if the different takes fall into a specific pattern in relation to light conditions, time of day, freshness of fish, or clarity of the water, but there appears to be no consistency. I have tried all the other methods of hooking fish, rod point held high to create droop, with line held between index finger and the rod handle, being released the instant a fish takes. Another method tried was holding the rod at the point of balance with the handle tucked under my arm. The theory being that by the time I had felt the fish and moved the rod into the standard position the time delay between one position and the other being enough for the fish to turn. One technique used was fishing off the reel. This method allows fish to take line directly from the reel, and then after perhaps a yard or more had been pulled off clamping the line against the handle and lifting into them. Bill Currie uses this method to great success and describes it as "letting the reel speak". I have discovered that the last two techniques work relatively well when fishing with the sinking line and large flies early or late in the season, but after 30 years of fishing for salmon on the fly I prefer to tighten as soon as I feel the fish. Each method works well at times, however no method seems to work all the time, it is therefore just a question of trying each technique, and sticking to the one that produces the desired results. Tightening at once is my choice, because for me the hooking to landing ratio is far greater by using this technique than any of the other methods described, and tried. I like to use methods which I have confidence in and by tightening into fish as soon as I feel them I am happy, because this technique has landed me over 75% of all fish hooked for me, whether they took small flies fished just subsurface on a floating or a 2 inch tube on a sinker.



 

CLaG

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Thanks for taking the time to prepare such a detailed post. I'm sure there will be many who recognise a lot of what you have posted, and many more who will have new things to look out for.

I think you have neatly shown that there is no fool proof method for hooking salmon. However, some approaches will be better than others at different times; experience will eventually guide your instincts in any given situation. However, that is nothing unique to salmon. I'd say the same is true for every species of fish I have ever fished for from Trout to Sharks except eels which always seem too well hooked to fall off :mad:

Regards

CLaG
 

fredaevans

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Great read!

Though I'm fishing (normally) for steelhead the 'best' hook set (I used to use the 'feed a loop') has been to keep the rod tip low and set by sweeping the rod into to (down stream) beach.
 

jimthefish

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but after 30 years of fishing for salmon on the fly I prefer to tighten as soon as I feel the fish. Tightening at once is my choice, because for me the hooking to landing ratio is far greater by using this technique than any of the other methods described, and tried. I like to use methods which I have confidence in and by tightening into fish as soon as I feel them I am happy, because this technique has landed me over 75% of all fish hooked for me, whether they took small flies fished just subsurface on a floating or a 2 inch tube on a sinker.

I agree with this conclusion after 40 years experience although I learned the never to be forgotten lesson about 20 years ago. The scene was the Rome Croy Club Water of the Tay at Scone. As usual at the backend there we were fishing sinking lines of various densities with tubeflies in the strong Grainhead Stream. The Tay was enjoying a good run of fish and many were being caught by the Stormont Members. One week I had sustained a frustrating series of losses when one of the local experts (Bobby White) asked what I was doing. I explained that I was allowing a yard or so to be pulled off the reel before lifting into the fish. Bobby advised clamping the line and lifting into the fish immediately. Voila. I never lost another fish for the rest of the week. So that became my mantra for sunkline fishing and very successful it has been since. Let the line tighten & then slowly lift into your fish.

I think there is a subtle difference in floating line fishing however especially in milder water temperatures. Often the salmon will rise/travel through the water column a fair distance to take your fly and in doing so the turning circle can be a much wider arc with the fish(especially grilse) travelling at some speed. Here I am much more wary about lifting the rod too soon and am prepared to give my fish more scope to hook himself against the tightening drag of the line before lifting the rod, especially so when fishing big rivers with a long line out.
 

madkeen

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I agree with this conclusion after 40 years experience although I learned the never to be forgotten lesson about 20 years ago. The scene was the Rome Croy Club Water of the Tay at Scone. As usual at the backend there we were fishing sinking lines of various densities with tubeflies in the strong Grainhead Stream. The Tay was enjoying a good run of fish and many were being caught by the Stormont Members. One week I had sustained a frustrating series of losses when one of the local experts (Bobby White) asked what I was doing. I explained that I was allowing a yard or so to be pulled off the reel before lifting into the fish. Bobby advised clamping the line and lifting into the fish immediately. Voila. I never lost another fish for the rest of the week. So that became my mantra for sunkline fishing and very successful it has been since. Let the line tighten & then slowly lift into your fish.

I was told the same thing by SAC resident yorkshire man and it certainly worked for me since:)
 

Rennie

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Stormont A.C. apart when fishing with full lines I have always advocated fishing off the reel-allowing fish to take with controlled resistance-weather floaters or sinkers were being used.Nowadays I am not so sure,the reason being I now rarely seem to get a good pull that rattles off the reel in good style usually its a short gentle pull followed by the sensation something is there then nowt,fish gone.I am now following Eoin Fairgreaves advise and hold the line between the first two fingers of the hand scissor wise,if Salar generates a good old pull and waltzes off into the distance the lines pops between the fingers and purrs off the reel nicely allowing me to tighten safely and appropriately.However if the take is subtle and gentle then I can monitor this and tighten again appropriately.Interestingly enough this years Tweedy jaunt provided us with the water/weather conditions we wanted-2ft of lovely cold water,in past years the favourite wet 2 and tubes of 1 1/2" to 2" gave us those glorious Tweed takes that sometimes saw 20yds of line and backing slide off the reel before you dared to tighten,this year takes were much more subtle-a couple of clicks worth of line off the reel and a weighty feeling before-zilcho,no Salar unless you tightened.Mr. Fairgreaves advise proved its worth to me and is probably the way I am going to fish for a while at least.Now I know there are so many factors and questions to be considered about how we all fish at any given time and no method of hooking can be considered completely trustworthy,the only thing I am completely confident in is that you wont hook them all just give consideration to what will allow you to hook the greatest %age of them.Yours often completely perplexed but still fascinated,Pedro.
 

tweedbunnet

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ABK

You have handled a difficult subject with aplomb as usual

For me, the argument you make in favour of generally lifting into a fish - particularly if the water temperature is low - is compelling. Your comparison with Spinning is true. Who feeds line when spinning?

I know there many anglers - with substantially more experience than me - who like to fish "off the reel" but I think that as the angler has no control over the way a fish turns, one would have to be very well-tuned into matters to make a fast decision on what to do. Sometimes, hooking is just like comedy and all about timing.

The Circle Hook seems to be the latest development in ensuring that a fish is securely hooked but I have yet to see samples of Salmon Flies dressed on them. It seems they are all the rage in many types of Sea and Big Game Fishing and are creeping into some Salmon anglers' fly boxes

Do any Forum Members use them for their mainstream Salmon flyfishing in Scotland or Europe yet? On Tubes or as Dressed Singles? If so, any pictures would, I am sure be welcomed by all.

tweedbunnet
 
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Fruin

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Thanks for your thoughts ABK. This has been discussed a few times on the forum, and is usually prompted by a question from the "rookies" so it was good of you to take the time to make the post.
Personally, I change my mind every time I lose a fish :rolleyes:
 

Altmor

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ABK

You have handled a difficult subject with aplomb as usual

The Circle Hook seems to be the latest development in ensuring that a fish is securely hooked but I have yet to see samples of Salmon Flies dressed on them. It seems they are all the rage in many types of Sea and Big Game Fishing and are creeping into some Salmon anglers' fly boxes

Do any Forum Members use them for their mainstream Salmon flyfishing in Scotland or Europe yet? On Tubes or as Dressed Singles? If so, any pictures would, I am sure be welcomed by all.

tweedbunnet

I was fortunate enough to be fishing with Kercock (Dennis) last Saturday, and he had a couple of circle hook flies in his box. Looked different from the masses, and as single irons, I'm led to understand the extension of the "circle" aids the upright keel on which the fly swims, (acting like a rudder), which improves presentation to the fish.

The theory sounds good to me, so I'll be tying some up to "test" on waters over next season. I'll post some pics (once purchased and tied) and keep you posted on success or otherwise in 2009. At the moment, I have a positive mind, open to the benefits of this hook style.

Altmor.
 

gotoneon

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Thanks for your thoughts ABK. This has been discussed a few times on the forum, and is usually prompted by a question from the "rookies" so it was good of you to take the time to make the post.
Personally, I change my mind every time I lose a fish :rolleyes:

Agree Fruin:(:rolleyes:
Also used to let a fish take "off the reel" but now I use one of these modern jobs (silver and silent of the drag). I find it more difficult to "feel" the strength and purpose of "the pull"
I usually use a loop now with that reel or alternatively go back on the old "noisy" reel and fish off the reel.
As ABK said it is what you are confident with until as Fruin said you start to lose yin or twa:)
 

tweedbunnet

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Thanks for that

I've always admired the flies you tie and post on the Forum and look forward to some Circle "Specials"

tweebunnet
 

Springer

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I, like Im sure most others have messed about with many different theories on the best way to hook a fish. Every method I have tried has worked and at times also failed.

Salmon anglers I have found seem to take losing a fish far harder than other anglers, I guess this is due to the fact that we often fish for days without a take and when you loose it, it hurts. I imagine when you are grilse fishing in Russia and making contact with lots of fish each day you probably worry/think about it less, focusing on the ones you have landed instead.

I remember thinking about the spinning bait and thinking if giving nothing works for that method then why not for fly. For the last few years I have adopted this method most of the time because I fish shooting heads and/or shorter lines so tend to always be handlining, if Im not handlining I just clamp the line on the cork. When a fish takes I keep hold until I can feel its weight and then I keep hold a bit more before lifting the rod, hopefully this tension will set the hook. I do this regardless of line densities, current speed etc.

These days I use Salar doubles mostly and they are sharp with a relatively small barb which gives me confidence that the hook will pull in quickly and easily. I think if anglers paid as much attention to their hook points as they did their hooking tactics then their landing ratio would increase.
 

ABK

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Spot on Springer. Your description of "tightening into" I could not have put better myself. From my experience, having talked to many novice salmon anglers, is that many of them seem to confuss tightening with striking. The two actions are completely different and the latter I would certainly not recommend or practise for salmon when fly fishing. I was asked to be a consultant for a fishing video for few years back. The angler in question was a well known angling name on one of the Sky fishing programmes, but new to fly fishing for salmon. I explained the basic what and what not to do if a salmon should take his fly. Needless to say he choose the what not to do when the moment came. As a result the only offer of the day was lost.
 

fredaevans

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Circle hooks.

I was fortunate enough to be fishing with Kercock (Dennis) last Saturday, and he had a couple of circle hook flies in his box. Looked different from the masses, and as single irons, I'm led to understand the extension of the "circle" aids the upright keel on which the fly swims, (acting like a rudder), which improves presentation to the fish.

The theory sounds good to me, so I'll be tying some up to "test" on waters over next season. I'll post some pics (once purchased and tied) and keep you posted on success or otherwise in 2009. At the moment, I have a positive mind, open to the benefits of this hook style.

Altmor.

Alttie I use circle hooks for steelhead flies frequently. The actual hook design is thousands of years old and used by native Americans here the PNW/Alaska. Only thing you have to keep in mind is circle hooks are 'self setting' so let the fish do the work; DON'T set the hook, it will work on its own.

fae
 

fishingeoin

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Off the reel method works for me as i like to fish the line slow and deep and leave that loop in my hand off as soon as i have made the cast and raise the rod.Used to fish the with an extra yard of line in my hand but found i was caught napping an forget to give it.I now let the fish pull it off the reel and then lift gently and keep my hands out of the equation untill i lift.
 

allan crawford

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I just day dream and get lost in my surroundings, if I concentrate I don't seemed to catch anything. Start the day keen and concentrating and it isn't till the end of the day when I've mentally given up that I feel the line going heavy and a salmon is on ! If I pretend not to concentrate it doesn't work, I have to be totally lost mind wandering, I'm sure in this frame of mind there is something about my fishing ? Also I tend to keep fishing all day long which no doubt helps !

So I don't do anything until I have felt the line go heavy and I slowly lift (tighten) into the fish and its either on or not.
 

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You can be sure that whatever method you choose to set the hook you will always miss your share. As for using circle hooks for salmon flys I have one flybox that has nothing but circle hooks and I use them when fishing a river that has a heavy run of fish. You are not as likely to foul hook a fish with a circle hook, you use an entirely different method of setting the hook with a circle hook you just tighten up on your line and the hook slides into the corner of the fishes mouth and if you hook the fish it is in the same spot every time. If you give your line a hard quick pull when setting the hook with a circle hook you pull the hook out of the fishes mouth.
 

mcminnow

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I just day dream and get lost in my surroundings, if I concentrate I don't seemed to catch anything. Start the day keen and concentrating and it isn't till the end of the day when I've mentally given up that I feel the line going heavy and a salmon is on ! If I pretend not to concentrate it doesn't work, I have to be totally lost mind wandering, I'm sure in this frame of mind there is something about my fishing ? Also I tend to keep fishing all day long which no doubt helps !

So I don't do anything until I have felt the line go heavy and I slowly lift (tighten) into the fish and its either on or not.

I had to smile when I read this as it's just like me. Cast out, admire the ducks, kingfishers, buzzards etc. I have to make a conscious effort to concentrate and not go "sightseeing".
I don't think I lose any more fish than the next man and I wonder if being relaxed when a fish takes actually helps. When the line goes tight and then slack again, it's usually followed quickly by a call from the bank "was that a fish" followed by "no, I think it was a trout":eek:;). I was taught never to strike as such but just lift slowly into the fish.

I noticed Springers reference to a small barb and this is something which many people I've spoken to seem to prefer. The thinking appears to be that too large a barb is more difficult to set.
 

coedithel

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Hooking salmon on the fly

I have tried most of the recommended methods for hooking fish over the years. I now mostly fish "off the reel" with a reasonably firmly set drag. I tend to give a fish longer on a small floating line fly before I lift than I would a fish on a bigger sunk fly. I watched the "Salmon Heaven" film recently and was suprised at what a firm and solid strike Stephan Juhl used to set the hook, admittedly with a sub surface fly. If a fisherman of his experience does it , maybe I should too.

A very successful fisherman once told me not lift into a fish but to tighten sideways towards the near bank. This I think is very good advice but I rarely remember to do so.The only thing I am certain of on this subject is that there is no sure way of hooking every fish that takes your fly.

Recently I have hooked several fish while handlining- whats the best thing to do?-- I just lift into them with the rod and and keep pulling on the line as if the take is a trout on my single hander. So far I have been mostly lucky as they seem to stay on ........
 

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I have mate cheers. I think your talking a logical theory. I need to get out and get a Salmon to take (easier said than done!!!) and perfect a method Im confident in. But again as many a time youve said why give the fish time to reject the fly. I know how quick a trout can spit a well presented dry out! When my 1st take happens I know 2 things will happen! Either Ill make a total female's orifice of it or Ill manage to keep calm and clamp down. Again thanks for sharing your knowlage, this is what makes this forum an asset.
 

Ciarán

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What a fascinating and educational thread...

cacking read...unfortunately I find my 'trout fishermans' tendency to strike immediately is not going away ...


However I don't seem to miss a lot of pulls - so I ca't really complain..

Sterling thread.
 

silverleapers

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You are likely to raise some eye brows for that one ABK...it goes against too much Dogma not to have some eyebrows raised. BUT, in my humble opinion (100s of salmon and to many hours and years guiding to remember). You are 100% correct. There are very few instances where dropping line will help position the hook better and a few more when it will give the fish a chance to escape.

Of the 26,000 salmon anglers in NL, Canada, which are responsible for 75% of all landings in 2009 in Canada (Federal DFO stock assessment report). Virtually NONE drop line or pause to hook fish. They all strike immediately, wet, dry - doesn't matter. My guess is that many of these anglers feel that by the time they feel the fish pull on the line it either has the point of the hook in a good spot or doesn't (and likely already has the point stuck in by the time it is felt). It all happens so fast. One must bear in mind that the rivers being fished are predominately grisle rivers.

The one instance that dropping line has helped me and my clients hook a fish is when we were trying to hook a big fish. That is, it helped usget the fly in the fish's mouth so we could hook it.

Very large salmon feed somewhat differently that smaller fish, usually that is. A grilse or a teen weight often attacks a fly faster and moves its mouth/body over the fly to engulf it. A big salmon (20-40 pounds) often is slower and more purposeful in it's attack and simples rises "on spot" above the lay using its pectoral fins to move up in the water column. As the fly passes by it may give a small kick of it's tail if one is lucky (but more often it does not) and then it "inhales" by flaring its gill covers (in a big way - hauling in gallons? of water) to get the fly to come to it. People that grow up throwing flies at 20+ pounders on the river bank they live on will quickly remember these big pressure wakes and long pulls.

Similarly, if it is chasing a wet fly it often "inhales" once the fly is within its "eat zone"; which may be as much as 4"-6" from its mouth.

I try and rational this by thinking about its food habits and size. A big salmon can induce a much larger vacuum by inhaling when compared to a grilse or teen weight. It can employ this method of capturing small prey items where a smaller fish can't (vacuum to small and item to be moved is too big).

So, the moral of my story is, IF you have had a few offers by a big salmon without luck, or feel a long gentle tug that result in no fish being hooked, you have an option. We fish floating lines and wet flies in or very near the surface. Thus we can see that a big fish has given chase or risen. Usually it will offer in the exact same spot (if one has the patience to wait 3-5 minutes between presentations). At lot of times this "inhale" will be either above the lay as the fly passes by, or in a specific area during the sweeping chase. So, the next time we have the fly in the spot where the fish has risen to the fly or in the area where the "pressure wake chasing the fly" makes the gentle tug.....we drop line in anticipation of the "inhale" and let the fish suck in the fly. It takes nerves of steel, some practice, and some luck.

At this point in my post I bet some anglers are thinking back to when a huge wake was repeatedly chasing their fly and they felt a tug gentle or two on a swing or two....but went home without the fish. You have company...I missed a LOT of big fish for three years before I fixed my mistake.

Good thread ABK....I hope some anglers listen to your good advice.

Go on guys....hang out a car window and live a little....just try it. Its not all about landing fish ya know....its about learning to do it better....and to do that ya have to be constantly experimenting (which will cost you fish in the short term, but not often in the long term).

"Ironic" that an angler from the region that invented the "drop line technique" should suggest that what every Canadian Atlantic salmon angler does to hook fish might be the way forward. But then again we dry fly them....and heaven help you if you drop line or wait using that technique...or as ABK suggested, if spinning. Ironic that salmon angling book writers figured that this type of fishing was so different than fishing the other salmonids. Truly ironic.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jne9t8sHpUc"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jne9t8sHpUc[/ame]
 
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Newly From The Sea

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Silverleapers, You nailed it!!!

My guess is that many of these anglers feel that by the time they feel the fish pull on the line it either has the point of the hook in a good spot or doesn't (and likely already has the point stuck in by the time it is felt). It all happens so fast.

This is a no brainer for rookies and anxious salmon fishers out there, don't worry about it!!. In most cases by the time you feel the pull the salmon is either well hooked or not.
Just keep swimming your fly in the watter and if a fish wants it he will have it and if it comes off.. so what, that's fishing for you ("remember you cannot lose what you did not have in the first place").
 
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