By Micke Andersson, Powerteam Sweden
Gaulasalmon on the new Bananafly. Foto: Andreas Johansson
When I started to fish for salmon many years ago I tried to follow all the rules of the game concerning sizes and colours of flies to use and what lines to choose under different conditions that occur along our rivers. Sure, I landed some nice salmon back in those days but my real break-through as a salmon fly-fisherman didn’t come until I started to break the rules!
I don’t fancy much to sit and wait for salmon in a pool but rather like to actively stalk them down. Therefore I prefer rivers where I can have access to long stretches of water giving me a better chance to find new fish. For me, it’s usually very productive to instead of sticking to a set of predefined rules and flies and lines etc, to instead use my imagination and fish with variation in terms of flies and techniques. I often use as many as four different sink density lines for the same pool and rather prefer changing my line instead of the fly, and with access to Guidelines assortment of high quality lines this is easy!
My clearwaterflies with the new “Evening” Banana to the right.
A few years ago, me and my fishing friend were sitting on the banks of one of my favourite Norwegian rivers. The river was clear with a slight grey/greenish tone from the melting glacier ice. We had just fished our favourite pool with flies trying to match the colour of the river, which usually work fine under these clear conditions but without any movements. I looked in my fly box and found a bizarre creature, a big and long hot orange tube with a big black over-wing, that I tied on. As I was testing it in the water beneath our feet my friend laughed and pointed out how bad the fly looked in the clear water, or as Håkan Norling would probably have put it; “it smells like a joke far away”! Anyway, after just five casts I hooked my first fish that I unfortunately lost at landing. A few minutes later I hooked and landed a nice male fish with the hooks of the big orange fly securely seated in the corner of the left jaw, and carefully returned the big salmon to its natural environment again!
The hot orange/black fly.
Some time ago I stopped at a beautiful river that I’ve never fished before, but often crossed on my way to one of my special favourite rivers. It’s a river with wonderful pools and the water is usually rather clear but often with a green or blue tint to it, being a glacier river. I was lucky to get two different licences for different parts of the river and started to fish the lower stretch. I used my ordinary green and black tubes that have been so productive in earlier seasons without any success, after which I changed to den vanlige from the river Byske and could soon beach my first salmon. I decided to move to the upper stretch of the river where there are some deep pools with heavy and powerful surface current. I put on an S6/S7 with a 10’ Polyleader and equipped it with the same 5 inch hot orange/black wing tube that had proved its efficiency earlier, even though feeling this could be a bit too much considering the clear water. The fast sinking line cut nicely through the heavy current and a decent fish took the fly in my second cast. After another hour of fishing and four more sea-liced salmon landed and released on the same fly with the top fish just over 100 cm, I was happy and overwhelmed! After this short session I moved on to my favourite river and the good fishing continued! Now I was facing new conditions with low and warm water but with my favourite lines from Guideline (S1/3/5 to S6/S7) I could successfully fish deep pots and holes and landed in just a few days a number of really nice bright fish ranging up to 109 cm, however, this time the hot orange tube didn’t work but instead the green and black did!
The favorite for clearwater.
For me, variability and flexibility are keys to success! For the 2011 season, I created a new variant of my banana fly especially designed for fishing clear evenings, but now with an added long thin black over-wing, softer front hackle and a FITS Turbo Cone. The new fly delivered instantly on its premier day at the Gaula, however, the same fly was unfortunately lost to a huge silver bright salmon later in the season in another river after an insane 400 meter run and breaking the 46 lbs leader, but that is another story!
Cool Mike! Now I know how to get those Stryn salmon next year! I will break the rules and start to think differently too!