Understanding fly weights

ken3591

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Hi All, I was hoping someone could explain to me the purpose of weighted salmon flies and what weights to use when, what depths should be achieved etc. I've written below what my current (limited) understanding is but would love someone to provide me with some more info and advice if possible.

Basically, my understanding is that during late spring / summer months generally flies tied on double hooks is acceptable and that the size/colour of fly is then dictated by water level/clarity etc. For the most part a salmon will come up to the fly so should be fishing somewhere in the top foot of water. However when there is particularly high water you might want to consider say a 1/2" copper tube to cut through the surface better than a double would.

In the early spring and autumn months people tend to use heavier flies to fish deeper for salmon that are more lethargic in colder water. I've seen talk of tubes as long as 1.5"-2" which seems crazy to me, particularly when you are already using fast sink tips to get the fly down. This is also further complicated by modern fly weighting systems like the tubeworx and FITS systems, which seem good but to me give a kind of unnecessary amount of choice when it comes to fly weight. Also presumably making flies heavier affects the way they behave and over-weighting a fly can make it seem lifeless?
 

Richardgw

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Hi All, I was hoping someone could explain to me the purpose of weighted salmon flies and what weights to use when, what depths should be achieved etc. I've written below what my current (limited) understanding is but would love someone to provide me with some more info and advice if possible.

Basically, my understanding is that during late spring / summer months generally flies tied on double hooks is acceptable and that the size/colour of fly is then dictated by water level/clarity etc. For the most part a salmon will come up to the fly so should be fishing somewhere in the top foot of water. However when there is particularly high water you might want to consider say a 1/2" copper tube to cut through the surface better than a double would.

In the early spring and autumn months people tend to use heavier flies to fish deeper for salmon that are more lethargic in colder water. I've seen talk of tubes as long as 1.5"-2" which seems crazy to me, particularly when you are already using fast sink tips to get the fly down. This is also further complicated by modern fly weighting systems like the tubeworx and FITS systems, which seem good but to me give a kind of unnecessary amount of choice when it comes to fly weight. Also presumably making flies heavier affects the way they behave and over-weighting a fly can make it seem lifeless?
This might help

 

chriswjx

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Would anyone happen to have a copy of that article mentioned from T&S? 2015 "Which line for Spring Fishing?"

And thanks for the article, I was just away to add to the confusion by asking about how do you pick your multi tip system's density and then your polyleader/t-tip...
 

finreid

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This might help

Interesting, and has made me think twice about all the aluminium tubes I have sitting in my tying desk - not sure there is any point tying on them!?
 

Richardgw

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Would anyone happen to have a copy of that article mentioned from T&S? 2015 "Which line for Spring Fishing?"

And thanks for the article, I was just away to add to the confusion by asking about how do you pick your multi tip system's density and then your polyleader/t-tip...
Not the article you were looking but there is this. Interestingly they find that even T14 doesn't get that deep at hangdown in current suggesting a full sinking head if you want to fish really deep. But then there is fly weight ot add to the equasion

 

chriswjx

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Not the article you were looking but there is this. Interestingly they find that even T14 doesn't get that deep at hangdown in current suggesting a full sinking head if you want to fish really deep. But then there is fly weight ot add to the equasion


Cheers, very interesting read that, and does make the whole leader selection process more understandable, at least from a theoretical perspective... Measuring water speed might be a bit tricky though :ROFLMAO: but definitely handy once you can recognise roughly the speed from experience...

At the same time, what do the folk here do when fishing a new water by themselves? Feels like a lot of faff changing out your leaders before you properly start the day?
 

ken3591

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Good to see I've started a bit of a debate. One person asked about the old T&S articles I have a Readly subscription which gives you about 5-6 years worth of T&S back catalogue (also a ton of other magazines). It's great and only about £7/month.

I think a lot of this comes back to my original thought which is that we have a lot of control over depth with the tip/leader set up. In my mind, this allows me to use doubles for for 90% of my fishing, combined with suitable tip to achieve the correct depth. The added advantage is that the motion of the fly is unaffected by any weight added to it.

For the 10% of the time were significant depth is required (e.g. early spring) I will carry some heavier flies. The articles mentioning the weights of different materials was interesting, I think rather than carry copper tubes larger than 1" i would move into tungsten tube territory.
 
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