There is something about salmon fishing that really draws me in, customers coming into the shop often ask what do I fish for and the answer is always ‘Salmon’. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why I have such a desire to go fishing for them over any other fish species but I find myself drawn to every aspect of the days fishing. Even the pre fishing on the way to the river excites me, thinking about what I could have down during the day better, analysing the conditions and then there’s the tug, for me a salmon take is different, there’s just a feeling you get with it that I havnt’t found when fishing for other species. But with the onset of a sunny forecast I know I need to try new things, get over my salmon snobbery and stop relying on the rain dance to bring fairer fishing conditions.
Before salmon took over every other thought in my mind I used to be an big fan of small Stillwater fisheries for rainbow trout, at least once a week I went stocky bashing, now I rarely consider it. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a rainbow trout, in fairness they put up one hell of a fight and with the forecast looking to warm up I can feel an urge for some evening dry fly fishing on the local still waters here at home. I cant believe I have ignored them for over ten years. If your getting the itch its definitely a good way of relieving oneself.
We aired our podcast live from the river last night. Even just being out for a walk near water is good for the mind when your waiting for your next session with salmon. I must say I have been getting really fascinated with these different river trout fishing tactics that are coming out from Europe and even hearing about some of the Japanese Tenkara methods of inducing the take brings a new dimension to your fishing and allows you to look at your fishing in different ways. Rivers are my absolute favourite waters to fish, these trout in the low water we are experiencing are a real challenge and to get a chance at them it takes you to really work your river craft skills, something that will benefit your salmon fishing! Even understanding how the flies move in the current, where fish sit will be a big help! Get out there and check out the rivers even when they are low.
One aspect of fishing I am really sorry I stayed away from for so long is the Pike. Catching pike on the fly is one of the most exciting methods of fishing and right now is as good a time to start as they are feeding heavily. Get out there and give it a try before the waters get too warm, just make sure you are comfortable handling the fish or are accompanied by someone who knows how to, forceps are a must and to be honest you can get away with a #8 single hander or switch rod for your first sessions without having to invest in a pike fly outfit. The takes are spectacular and often come right at your feet as you see a green and gold flash inhale your fly. Most of us have a lake nearby that has a few pike about it, get out there in the evenings and give the a go to keep you salmon insanity at bay!
Did you check out Colin Macleod’s episode on FishingREAL last week when he talked about fly fishing for mullet? I have already been out scanning the local mullet marks to see if they are around yet. Colin covered a lot of great techniques that make the most of this underrated species that most of us have been turning our nose up at for years, if we have a summer like we did last year then the mullet might just be called upon to keep the tackle in check instead of it staying locked away in the cupboard.
I am fascinated with fly fishing, generally its the only method I use for whatever the species I want to target but this recent craze of LRF (light rock fishing) rods has actually seen me leave the fly rods at home and take the lure rods out to fish the coastline for anything that will take hold of the plastic lures. Wrasse, pollack, coalfish and tiny species I couldn’t even name are great fun on this ultra light tackle. You can pick up these lightweight outfits now for very little money and you will have so much fun fishing close to the shoreline, trust me, when you hook into a 3lb pollack on a rod that only casts 5 gram lures you will question what all this fly fishing snobbery is about.
So instead of doing the rain dance and waiting for the clouds to gather in the right places perhaps its worth trying something new. The salmon will come when they are ready to come and there’s no point in complaining and being miserable about another bad year. Get out there and sharpen your skills with the other fishing we have around us, when you look at Ireland we really are spoilt fo choice when it comes to fishing. I often complain about Co. Down being the worst county of all Ireland for fishing when the reality is I just need to stop being so fussy, get out there, even just being near water is good for you.
Heres to a wet summer!