Salmon on a Dry Fly

T

TonyPrior

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Just getting into a rather detailed book on dry fly fishing, generously passed on by one of our chalkstream afficionados: Fly Fishing Outside the Box, by Peter Hayes.

Chapter 1 summary: not to follow the self-defeating principle advocated by Halford and his disciples, of insisting on the totally dry fly. The upstream-cast, half-submerged, flymph, nymph, 'damp' fly seems to be the way to go, from decades of stomach content analyses of chalkstream trout.

It makes me wonder why our overseas friends set such great store on the high-floating and bristly Bomber, when a large Klinkhamer might well be better.
 
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jay gee

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Good luck to you MCX, with all that critical criteria me thinks you're going to need it. Shall look on with interest, though catching them with the tried and tested is challenge enough for me.
 

pete

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thanks for posting, enjoyable reading.... like yourself 2014 will see alot of my time spent drifting bombers over salmon.... i been to gaspe for the past 2 seasons where dry flies are the norm and have been picking the brains of our guide about the method, he reckons without a shadow of doubt dries will work here in ireland.... im not sure about the theory of bombers only working in more northen latitudes, ireland is more northern than gaspe...
ive been told that if conditions suit for a salmon to rise to a wet fly fished off a floater just under the surface then a fish will take a dead drifted bomber.... remember every year salmon are caught on dry mayflies on the big trout loughs here in ireland.... i think the main reason they arent caught is because nobody is fishing them over here, in over 20 years fishing salmon im yet to see anybody fish a bomber....
in 2012 i spoke with 2 anglers who both hooked salmon on dry flies while fishing trout, one of them hooked the fish on a large sedge the other on a big wulf... both of them said the take was just like a good trout rise with the fish confidently sucking the fly off the surface... both these fish were hooked in june on 2 different rivers on the east coast of ireland, the main runs of fish dont start running untill the end of july-september...
there was also a post on here a couple of years back of a lad taking a salmon on a dry fly while fishing trout on the river boyne....
i wish you the best of luck for the coming season and await the reports of salmon landed on the bomber:cool:

ps, if you need any bombers drop me a pm with your address and ill happily send you on a couple
 
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scottyboy9nro

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Good on you mate it is also something a have been thinkin about but given the time a get on the river a ain't sure a will have enough to give it a right good go! Pete feel free to send one a em coatbrig way!
 

pete

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Good on you mate it is also something a have been thinkin about but given the time a get on the river a ain't sure a will have enough to give it a right good go! Pete feel free to send one a em coatbrig way!
Pm me your address, I'm hoping to get tying a few this week, the more bombers out there the better;)
 

MCXFisher

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Salmon on Dry Fly

thanks for posting, enjoyable reading.... like yourself 2014 will see alot of my time spent drifting bombers over salmon.... i been to gaspe for the past 2 seasons where dry flies are the norm and have been picking the brains of our guide about the method, he reckons without a shadow of doubt dries will work here in ireland.... im not sure about the theory of bombers only working in more northen latitudes, ireland is more northern than gaspe...
ive been told that if conditions suit for a salmon to rise to a wet fly fished off a floater just under the surface then a fish will take a dead drifted bomber.... remember every year salmon are caught on dry mayflies on the big trout loughs here in ireland.... i think the main reason they arent caught is because nobody is fishing them over here, in over 20 years fishing salmon im yet to see anybody fish a bomber....
:cool:

ps, if you need any bombers drop me a pm with your address and ill happily send you on a couple
Pete,

many thanks for your kind offer. I've got some white ones, a couple of red and brown, and a small red and green with hackles. Do you have any large size that are a sort of light brown and white mix by any chance?

Michael
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YoungRyan

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On the last day of the season 2013, the salmon fishing was poor. A friend had a trout rod set up with a sedge and a nympy fished NZ style. I took a few cast with it and to the almost downfall of my cardiac rythym, a big brown fella made his presence well know as he boiled at the flees. No this could have been to the nymph or just pure chance that the flies were passing as he was showing but it gave me a bit of hope that it could possibly be done!

I also remember watching a programe (i think it was Paul Young) where he was fishing the mouth of a river on a lough, He was using ginked up wets that were on the surface and was nailing grilse on them to great effect.

Nothing is impossible, Best of luck pal!
 
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Gamlingen

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Depending on the month of the year
On the last day of the season 2013, the salmon fishing was poor. A friend had a trout rod set up with a sedge and a nympy fished NZ style. I took a few cast with it and to the almost downfall of my cardiac rythym, a big brown fella made his presence well know as he boiled at the flees. No this could have been to the nymph or just pure chance that the flies were passing as he was showing but it gave me a bit of hope that it could possibly be done!

I also remember watching a programe (i think it was Paul Young) where he was fishing the mouth of a river on a lough, He was using ginked up wets that were on the surface and was nailing grilse on them to great effect.

Nothing is impossible, Best of luck pal!
In the beginning of the eighties, when I was a regular on the Munster Blackwater, I caught grilse on a Sedge several times, while searching for sea trout at dusk! So it can be done! :)
 

pete

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Pete,

many thanks for your kind offer. I've got some white ones, a couple of red and brown, and a small red and green with hackles. Do you have any large size that are a sort of light brown and white mix by any chance?

Michael
Just One Week
No worries Michael, I'm gonna tie a few more up in the next week so I can knock out a couple to suit what you want, I've bomber hooks from size 2-10 most colours of deer hair... Hackle wise I'm a bit restricted, I've only orange, dark brown and grizzle in saddles long enough for bigger bombers... Let me know what size and body and hackle colour you want...
 
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MCXFisher

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Dry Fly

No worries Michael, I'm gonna tie a few more up in the next week so I can knock out a couple to suit what you want, I've bomber hooks from size 2-10 most colours of deer hair... Hackle wise I'm a bit restricted, I've only orange, dark brown and grizzle in saddles long enough for bigger bombers... Let me know what size and body and hackle colour you want...
Pete,

forgive my ignorance of fly tying terms. What colour is grizzle?

Michael
 

pete

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It's a creamy whitish with black mixed through the barbs of the hackle if that makes sense....
 

KVC

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Riffle Hitch

Hi Chaps, I thinks its a great idea to have a go at the salmon with a bomber.
The first salmon I caught on a riffle hitch was probably the best fishing experience I have ever had.

It was nearly the end of the season and I only had an hour before dusk as I got to the river late due to work being hectic. I had been wanting to try a hitch for ages, its quite a walk to where I was going to fish so i was in a big hurry. Arriving at the river I pulled the reel out of my pocket to find I had bought a buzzer line with a 4ft neutral density tip instead of a floater.

I vandalised the line there and then by cutting off the 4ft tip and then borger
knotting a 9ft tapered leader on. The water was fairly low and clear so I was on my knees in the neck of the pool hitching at 45% with a 1/2 inch blue charm, after very few cast a big old 12lb cock fish gently head and tailed on to the fly, the line went tight and the rest is history.

It still get a buzz thinking about that first salmon I caught on the hitch, I now prefer to hitch a fly if conditions are favourable, you will miss a lot of fish, well I do, but its so exciting to see a fish come to a skating fly.

Good luck to all with either bombers or a hitch.:p
 

MCXFisher

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Dry Fly

It's a creamy whitish with black mixed through the barbs of the hackle if that makes sense....
Pete,

is it possible to make up a mixture of the dark brown and grizzle to wind up with a sort of mousey shade? I'm advised to go for something with a lightish brown overall colouration if that's feasible.
Could you try a prototype on a size 8 single?
Let me know which charity you would wish me to donate to.

Michael
 

pete

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I tyed up a few yesterday just have to hackle them.... Is is a brown body with just the grizzle hackle or 2 hackles wound together? If you want to make a donation to LTC that'd be fine...
 

MCXFisher

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Dry Fly

I tyed up a few yesterday just have to hackle them.... Is is a brown body with just the grizzle hackle or 2 hackles wound together? If you want to make a donation to LTC that'd be fine...
Pete,

brown body with a grizzle hackle should do the trick.

Please expand on LTC: I assume I can donate on line.

Michael
 

pete

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No worries Michael, I'll get a couple done for ya before the weeks out... Drop me a pm with your address... LTC is let's tackle cancer, they a a section further down the forum...
 

nore fly

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On one occasion i caught a salmon on a claret dabbler (River fishing)which i ginked up to float high on the water .I was casting over a salmon I could see ,and the fish turned and rose almost vertically to the fly. It was heart stopping trying not to strike as I saw the salmon rise . I basically cast up river at a 45 degree angle and dead drift it over the fish of 8lb .I have also mentioned many times before about my success with a white bomber .I have been informed that dry fly fishing is best used for summer salmon in lower flows .and size 4 # flies are a good size to use .and blue bombers (smurfs) work a treat. I am also very curious about flies I have seen in Canada ,they are butterflies(dry flies) fished for salmon .
 

twentypunner

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Dry fly

The first salmon i had on a dry fly was 1996 on the lower Eden.The pool was full of stale fish & looking at nothing.I put on a tiny greased up yellow dolly,skated it across the pool & in approx 1 hour had 5 fish come for it,but only hooked & landed 1.This was a coloured hen approx 13lb.I was shown this method by Falkus.Although having tried this several times over the years since i hav'nt suceeded in landing any more on it.I have however since caught several on the riffled hitch,especially in low warm water conditions.Have also tried the bomber on several occasions last season, but to no avail so far.But to be honest hav'nt perceivered with the method.However last year in British Columbia i caught Steelheads on the bomber which is really exciting & visual fishing.Will give the bomber a try on our Atlantics again this season I'm sure it will work in certain conditions.
Neil
 

Eminem

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MCX - I look forward to the results of your efforts with great interest.
My efforts have been fruitless with just one splashy rise and a couple of half-hearted boils on the Dee.
Just to nit pick ;)....wouldn't co-polymer be a better leader option given its lighter nature compared to flourocarbon? Leader length also quite important to make sure you don't drown the fly too quickly. 9-10ft max I believe is v. popular with our brothers over the pond.
 

MCXFisher

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Salmon on Dry Fly

MCX - I look forward to the results of your efforts with great interest.
My efforts have been fruitless with just one splashy rise and a couple of half-hearted boils on the Dee.
Just to nit pick ;)....wouldn't co-polymer be a better leader option given its lighter nature compared to flourocarbon? Leader length also quite important to make sure you don't drown the fly too quickly. 9-10ft max I believe is v. popular with our brothers over the pond.
Thanks for the suggestion. I thought about this quite a lot following last season's experiment in which strong fluorocarbon did indeed drown the fly, leading me to try normal maxima. However, Bill's adamant advice was to avoid any form of leader track to the fly and sink it into the surface film using the normal methods (mud, wetting agent etc). I judged that a lighter fluorocarbon at around 9-10 lbs would achieve the same effect - I often use 12" of 3 lbs fluoro on the tip of my copolymer trout casts for that purpose.
What do you reckon?

Michael
 

MCXFisher

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Salmon on Dry Fly

Thankfully you set some parameters. Dead drift dry fly, that's the technique and topic in question.
Thanks: I judged it essential to frame the question, as you know better than most, we can catch them on riffled hitch tubes, skated sunrays, muddlers and all manner of surface effect lures and flies. On the other hand my Halford-esque purism may prove to be my downfall!

Michael
 
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