Text & images by Calle Lundqvist, Guideline Power Team
I wish I just could type down 42 and get it over with. But it seems like fly fishing for salmon is a little bit harder than the meaning of life. This is not rules that applies all the time, just my thoughts and way of fishing.But if you haven’t already cracked the code and found your own way of doing it, here’s a few tips that I hope can give you a push in the right direction.
For many people this is a tricky one, often because they got to many options. I keep my options pretty slim. That gives more time fishing and less time choosing. So whenever you are thinking of witch fly to pick, take the brown one. That’s what I would do. A fresh salmon will grab almost anything if you fish it with a lot of confident. If the fish ignored the fly, change depth or speed. Don’t spend half a day changing flies chasing down the same fish. Pick another pool.
Rule of thumb about flies.
Low and warm river; smaller flies.
High and cold river; bigger flies.
Color; Not so important as long as they are brown.
No, you don’t need all of them, but in my opinion shooting heads are probably the best tool there is to hook a salmon IF you know how to handle them. A wrench is a great tool but it doesn’t do much if you don’t know how to use it. I like the concept of the Triple D and 3D+ lines. They perform really well and the next one sinks a little bit faster then the one before, as simple as that. Use your lines and learn how they perform. I think that finding the right speed and depth is important and having a good setup of lines will allow you to do that. I can’t tell you witch line is the best but if you get snagged all the time, you’re probably going to deep. If the line swings fast and close to the surface in high dirty water, you’re probably not fishing deep enough. Rule of thumb: Low and warm rivers, faster and closer to the surface. High and cold rivers, deeper and slower. Remember the brown fly.
Rods and reels
Most of the rivers up north are pretty big. That’s why 14’–16’ rods are pretty much ideal. A big reel to balance the rod with around 300m of backing will do the trick. My own choice
Early season fishing.
LPXe 16’ #10/11, Einarsson Invictus 10/12
Great setup when the rivers are running high early in the season.
LXi 14’9 #10/11, Einarsson 9Plus
I prefer this little shorter rod when wading deep with the tree line right in my back.
Later in the season.
LPXe 13’ #8/9, Einarsson 8Plus, Lpxe 10’ #8, Einarsson 7Plus
Great rods for summer sized rivers, one single hand and one double hand.
Yep, and the flies are still brown, just different sizes….
And if we steer away from the equipment side of things there are some short notes I would like to share. In the long term they can make a difference and ultimately make your trip up north more enjoyable and hopefully productive.
You got one week. You need to catch a fish. GO! And you’re fishing until you’re passing out still in your waders the very next day. Don’t do that, just don’t. Well I guess you can, but it will probably not increase your chances of catching a fish. Yes, keeping the fly in the water is important but I would rather do 5hours of fully focused fishing then 15hours being on the verge of passing out fishing. When you start to loose your A game, get out of your waders and do something different. Get something to eat, sleep if you need to, go for a run. Spend a couple of hours not fishing and then get back to the river all fueled up and back on track. Again make sure the fly you’re using is brown.
Eat and sleep
Guess what, your mom is right! If you’re a salmon fisherman you’re not sleeping or eating enough. I know this is an easy thing to forget but try to make a game plan when to eat and when to sleep and then stick to it. I find this as one of the most important step if you want your trip to be successful.
Loosing a fish
I’ve seen so many people loosing a fish and let that fish pretty much ruin the rest of the day or even week. Don’t be that guy, it’s part of the game. Hey, you just did everything completely right, the salmon ate your fly and you probably just learned about a new holding place in the pool.
You know how to do it, shake it off and get another one! It was fun!
Remember; it’s all about the experience.