What've You Learned This Year?

Jockiescott

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Try to erase from your mind that the Autumn is the peak salmon season - like it used to be on most rivers I fish. Something has changed.

I have spent the past 4 or 5 seasons keeping my powder (fishing budget) largely dry for the Autumn and then finding the reported conditions don't merit the drive up.

The long summer evenings of June and July are a precious commodity, and great to be out and about in - as 30 hours of continuous rain and dark, miserable sky reminded me this week!
This is something I've become more settled on over the past few years. It is just so much nicer fishing a summer evening, in short sleeves or a light pullover, passing a few hours.

I start to notice a difference in the evenings around the second or third week in August. After that, I would have to go earlier in the evening which I don't particularly enjoy. As the season moves into September, I really only fish if there's water that I like. As September goes on, the layers start to build up. When I have to wear a coat to keep warm at the river my interest goes completely.

Muffled up, hands sore with cold, battling through leaves to catch coloured fish really does nothing for me. It is 10 years this year since I last fished in October and I really don't feel I've missed anything.
 
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Rrrr

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This is something I've become more settled on over the past few years. It is just so much nicer fishing a summer evening, in short sleeves or a light pullover, passing a few hours.

I start to notice a difference in the evenings around the second or third week in August. After that, I would have to go earlier in the evening which I don't particularly enjoy. As the season moves into September, I really only fish if there's water that I like. As September goes on, the layers start to build up. When I have to wear a coat to keep warm at the river my interest goes completely.

Muffled up, hands sore with cold, battling through leaves to catch coloured fish really does nothing for me. It is 10 years this year since I last fished in October and I really don't feel I've missed anything.
I enjoy my summer evenings on the river but must say i also love early season fishing with snow on the ground and wrapped up warm. Hands/toes hurt, face is numb but for some strange reason i quite enjoy it.

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Clydebuilt

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Interesting thread gents.
What I have learned is to stop making excuses, eg weather, water, whatever and just go...you won't catch them sitting on the couch and I find it makes you think more about tactics etc when you "get what you are given" with respect to river conditions.
I work away half the year so need to make each visit count
Cb
 

Rrrr

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Interesting thread gents.
What I have learned is to stop making excuses, eg weather, water, whatever and just go...you won't catch them sitting on the couch and I find it makes you think more about tactics etc when you "get what you are given" with respect to river conditions.
I work away half the year so need to make each visit count
Cb
Totally agree with this, most of my fish this year have been when totaly knackerd after work or late in the day when ive been ready to quit and go home, push through and get rewarded. Also heading out with the spinning rod and rapala in high water has produced.

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Jockiescott

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I enjoy my summer evenings on the river but must say i also love early season fishing with snow on the ground and wrapped up warm. Hands/toes hurt, face is numb but for some strange reason i quite enjoy it.

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This is something that I've never experienced myself. There's nothing open that early in the year here.

There should be no leaves in the water which would be a great bonus too. I really do detest catching leaves!!! :lol:
 

Rrrr

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This is something that I've never experienced myself. There's nothing open that early in the year here.

There should be no leaves in the water which would be a great bonus too. I really do detest catching leaves!!!
1st of feb here but thats when we tend to see the coldest weather here, Only issues you have is when the river freezes over but only seen that a couple of times.
My dad rekons its senseless to fish early season before the first fish is caught but i like the idea of getting the first one so got to put the hours in.

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lax0341

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1st : There are still salmon and seatrout in the rivers.
Not in the numbers we‘ve had let say 20years ago but they are there.
IMO that you can see often a lot fewer fish than the years past has to
do with the sharp increase of the predators. Splashing salmon makes them
attentive and so the fish which lesser surface action have a better chance to
survive and to spawn.

2nd : Throw away the hooks, or their relatives, with which you loose often fish .

3nd : There are a lot of great characters here in this forum with a lot of local and
also more wide spread knowledge.
It‘s a pleasure to meet them on the river(s).:)
 
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carbisdale caster

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I learned just one thing: If you want to actually have a season then whatever you do DON'T try to walk down wet wooden stairs in the piddling rain wearing welly boots during the opening week of the season......
 

lefthandup

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I guess it really dawned on me last year but even more so this year, where I spend my cash and what I really want from my fishing.
 

MCXFisher

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First, I wish to echo Gauldalen's excellent philosophical post. That lesson came home to me in Norway in 2017, when I was lucky enough to see quite a lot of him. Thank you.

I didn't learn anything startlingly new this year, but did recycle a range of enduring lessons:

- Never despair. On 1st August the season was looking dire. Then the rain came and it all worked out well in the end.
- You don't need to catch a lot of fish to have a good time. Even if you don't land them, if you're getting takes there's something there that's interested.
- When starting to fish a pool, first clear the water under your feet. Use the process of extending the line to fish the foreground positively. This year I hooked 3 fish with only part of the head through the rings, so don't go straight to maximum range without thinking.
- Unless there's a compelling reason to do so, don't wade too deep. There's just a many fish in your half of the water and you gain nothing by standing on them. By the end of the season I was fed up with watching people ruining good pools this way.
- In the early stages of the fight, unless the fish is heading somewhere disastrous or getting a long way away, don't be too forceful. Time is on your side, so take it easy until things have settled down. I lost 3 good fish this year by being too firm too early.
- Be ready to shorten your line to fish a nearer lie at a more advantageous angle, and work it specifically for the purpose.
- Try fishing just one pattern, adjusting only the size, for the whole season. You may be surprised. I've done so for the last 3 years, and the fact that I'm still doing it should tell you the lesson!
- As I get older, time is going faster. It is therefore essential for me to squeeze every possible bit of enjoyment out of every minute of your fishing from every aspect of the day - friends, company, surroundings, mental peace, the activity and just occasionally, catching a fish. At the end of the 2019 season I felt happy and relaxed.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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1. Never trust a leader you haven’t tested to strength. I had a tapered leader break on a snag, replaced with another identical and lost a fish. On investigation the leader snapped in my hand for 2 ft of the remainder until it strengthened up.

2. If you’re fishing in a flood, watch thin mono fishing lines. Sliced through one this year.

3. Bad runs of ‘luck’ happen and there sometimes isn’t anything you can do about it.

4. Don’t be in such a hurry. Fish carefully because it’s more enjoyable and you never know......
 

meyre

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A good friend advised me:

In Hot weather and low water fish very early and fish late, blend from salmon to seatrouting ...it worked.
Not new advice, Cholmondeley-Pennel gave it 126 years ago during that late Victorian hot spell.

Michael your single fly or sole fly what was it ? Or what were they in each different year?
 

MCXFisher

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Michael your single fly or sole fly what was it ? Or what were they in each different year?
The MCX Dark Shrimp.

It's my own design but owing to disability I have it professionally tied. Some people have said it's a copy of the Stinchar Stoat - a pattern of which I'd never heard until then - while others have noted a similarity to other designs. In fact I came to it without reference to anything else.

This year the major catchers were the #8 & 10 doubles and the small 3/4" conehead. It worked equally well on the Tweed, Conon and Ure.
 

Llandogo

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If I have learnt anything at all this year is how lucky I have been in my life. For the first time in 65 years I have not dedicated my spare time to chasing salar, Unfortunately old age and ill health has taken its toll and it is unlikely I shall ever again be able to torment or annoy the mightiest of fish. I have been fortunate enough to fish through the good times as well as the bad, some so good that you would have to be a right duffer not to bank a few fish every visit to the river. Sadly those days are well in the past but I have seen them and nobody can take that from me. This year was a complete wash out and my visits to the river were only made possible because of my dear friends taking me to sit on the bank and follow proceedings from the comfort of my chair, but all I had to do is turn my head and look back at the beautiful village and very house I was born in.Such periods do provide you with time to reflect on your life. There have been many times when I would have given my back teeth to catch that monster fish, thats what ego can do to you, but now it doesn’t matter I have come to understand what is so special about our sport and it isn’t the salmon. For me anyway it’s the beautiful country that salar travels through to reach its own purpose in life and the friendships you make on your own journey. I think being a fisherman helps to give us a better understanding of your own worth and friends become very precious.
Oh yes a blank but I am still a fortunate man.
 

MCXFisher

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Charming, thank you. I'm somewhat younger than you but fully understand the underlying feelings and sentiments.
 

mows

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A few things.

1) As per Michael's point. One fly will do the job. I had 4 salmon and 11 sea trout this year. I normally fish 2 flies. Dr Patrick was kind enough to give me some flies early on, so I decided to stick with them so always had one of his flies on. I had 2 salmon and 6 sea trout on his flies. All similar, just different size flies. One salmon on a flying C and my first one ever on a red francis. 4 sea trout on a flying C and only one on a dark mackerel.

2) Grilse are really frustrating.
In 2011 I had a spell of loosing 15 in a row. That was fish on for more than approx 30 seconds.
Since then not too bad.
However there was a decent amount in the Westie this year and they took the pee again.
One evening I had 7 different grilse smash my lure, full rod bend and not one hook up.
This carried on at the southie, where in ended up with a total of 10 offers before something finally stuck.

3) It's all about the water.
Last couple of years, I've made a point of fishing when the water was a good height. Still did some casting when it was too low or too high. However all my fish bar 1 were caught in ideal water height.

4) Just because you don't see fish, doesn't mean they aren't there. ( especially the last couple of years) I caught more fish this year than I saw on the Southie.

An all right season, but could have been a lot better.
 

heather point

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The MCX Dark Shrimp.

It's my own design but owing to disability I have it professionally tied. Some people have said it's a copy of the Stinchar Stoat - a pattern of which I'd never heard until then - while others have noted a similarity to other designs. In fact I came to it without reference to anything else.

This year the major catchers were the #8 & 10 doubles and the small 3/4" conehead. It worked equally well on the Tweed, Conon and Ure.
I had a look at your photos of the MCX Dark Shrimp and initially did not think it was anything like a Stinchar Stoat until I reached the 1" tube version at the end and there is a close resemblance to the Stinchar Stoat there.
All very nice flies .
I think the Stinchar Stoat was invented by an old friend of mine, Sam Stevenson , who was a regular Stinchar fisher but I stand to be corrected on that if anyone knows better.
 

lax0341

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I had a look at your photos of the MCX Dark Shrimp and initially did not think it was anything like a Stinchar Stoat until I reached the 1" tube version at the end and there is a close resemblance to the Stinchar Stoat there.
All very nice flies .
I think the Stinchar Stoat was invented by an old friend of mine, Sam Stevenson , who was a regular Stinchar fisher but I stand to be corrected on that if anyone knows better.
It's only the version 3 which remembers on the Stinchar Stoats Tail . A fly with great memories for me of caught fish on the Stinchar, Doon and Girvan fisheries. But the tying is a bit different.
On the Stinchar Stoats Tail in the tying I know it is necessary to wind the black hair all around the body.
 
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Balder

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What have I learned this year? Probably only that I appear to be bl...dy useless at fly fishing despite spending most of my time with a fly rod in my hand. In 15 outings this year, I had 4 salmon and 2 sea trout, all caught on worms, despite worming for about 5% of the time I spend with a fly rod. I have read all the books, tried all the techniques, tie all my own flies. Zilch, nothing, ingenting... I think some professional help is required; not sure where I can find it though. Having said all that, I do appear to have a tendency to catch fish when others don't, also on those occasions when I do catch a fish on a fly. Maybe I am fishing the wrong rivers. Help!!!!
 

Holwell53

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After trying for 3 seasons , I caught my 1st salmon this season ,
What I have learnt is , don’t be afraid to ask questions , and always Listen and take in advice
 
G

guest2938

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That i am not fishing enough, that i need to get back to fishing my home water, and back into the habit of fishing that last hour and a half of daylight right throughout the season. Nothing beats it.

DCH
 

Rrrr

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I learned that a sling pack may look abit daft but makes life so much easier compared to a rucksack when fishing.

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Rennie

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There we differ DCH, but only very slightly and by a few hours!
Give me the 1st 1 1/2 hrs of daylight every single time!.
Tight lines, at least you won't be as tired as I am, especially in Summer.
Pedro.
 

keirstream

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There we differ DCH, but only very slightly and by a few hours!
Give me the 1st 1 1/2 hrs of daylight every single time!.
Tight lines, at least you won't be as tired as I am, especially in Summer.
Pedro.
The last hours are reserved for dram time on the porch.:)
 
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