Old salmon rod, difficult salmon, leader float or sink, rod choice?

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Fly fishing questions page 14.

Questions can be about any aspect of fly fishing, fly casting, casting instruction, fishing in Scotland or abroad, fly fishing courses, fishing flies, etc. The following is just a random selection of questions that have been send by readers and answered by Ally. If you have a question that you wish to ask please do not hesitate to complete the form.

Questions:

Old salmon rod
Difficult salmon
Leader - float or sink?
Rod choice

Old salmon rod

Question: Question I have recently bought a classic Bruce and Walker carbon Expert salmon rod, a dream rod when why was in my teens and favoured by Falkus. I know that technology has moved on but did you consider there to have been merit in these rods. I'm not a great Spey caster but in your opinion could a good Spey caster deliver significant distances with this rod? 15ft 9 -11. Did you ever use them?

Answer: I had a glass fibre Expert (maybe still do) long ago but never owned a carbon version although I may have taught a customer who owned one. Most of the older rods have a slower recovery than modern kit especially if they have seen a lot of use. I don't know what you mean by significant distances, most salmon are caught with little more than 25 yards of line and I'm sure that the rod will cast that distance easily and in the hands of an expert with a modern Spey line, probably much further. As long as you enjoy using it and fishing nothing else matters!

Difficult salmon
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Question: I have been fishing on my local river now for almost 2 weeks straight. Despite large amounts of fish running through, they do not seem to be occupying the usual lies. Very few anglers have taken fish in the last 2 weeks, even though conditions look perfect. On the rare occasion that I have crossed a fish in a lie, they actually jump out of the way of the fly.

Could you tell me if there is a reason for this? Also, any information you
could give me to increase my chances would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Fish respond more than is generally apparent when we present a fly or bait, often by showing themselves. If fish are running they are generally found in shallower water than the usually lies and takes may result from collision course rather than the normal fishing to a perceived lie. First down the pool and near to sunrise is the best opportunity to catch salmon, try experimenting with different fly depths in addition to trying a variety of patterns. Sounds like your water may also be suffering from intense fishing pressure if the fish are so easily disturbed.

Leader float or sink?
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Question: Question does my leader need to float or sink in wet fly fishing and float in dry fly fishing.

Answer: Usually it is best if the leader is not on the surface in either case. If a leader is on the surface it is much more visible to the fish due to interference with the film, particularly if it moves unnaturally. There are various products available to treat mono leaders so that they sink more easily. Fluorocarbon is heavier than water and is therefore helpful in this respect.

Rod choice
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Question: Are there any advantages when fishing a 9.6 foot rod over a 9.0 foot rod.?

Answer: Advantage really depends on where you are fishing. As an all-round rod for lochs and rivers a 9ft 6in #6 is a sensible compromise. The extra 6in facilitates leader lengths long enough for 3 flies. For many duties however a 9ft rod is best if the fishing is restricted by obstacles or if you are fishing for strong fish such as tarpon because you can get more direct pull with a shorter rod but of course they are also quite stiff rods (#9/#10). I use 9ft rods for most of my river fishing for trout. Hope that this is helpful.

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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.