Beginners salmon guide part 2 – Timing

Text & images by Calle Lundqvist

Guideline Power Team member Calle Lundqvist here follows up his blog post from earlier this summer with a Part 2 about the importance of Timing. Fish smart and plan your time by the river to get the best chance of hooking into a solid Baltic chrome salmon. 

If being by river swinging flies is the only thing you are doing during the summer timing shouldn’t be a problem. But if you for some reason have other things in life besides fishing, it would be a good thing knowing when and where to spend your time fishing. In my experience, fishing on fresh or moving fish is the most effective way to do it.

First fish.
Where I do most of my fishing I northern Sweden, the first fresh fish usually starts running in the end of May or early June. If you like getting hooked up with big fish and a fight of a lifetime now’s the time. The bigger fish tends to be the first fish entering the rivers and fishing the lower part of the rivers is the best place. At this moment the fish isn’t that picky about flies, just make sure you got enough backing and a strong leader.

Summer rain.
When the first big run ends (usually in about 2–3 weeks), the weather tends to get sunnier and the rivers lower and warmer. Now is the time to spend time with friends and loved ones to store some extra credit to use when the first big rain is arriving. When the river is rising the fishing tends to be kind of slow but when the rain stops and the rivers are dropping, that’s the 2nd prime time of the summer. The fish in the river must find new holding places due to change of the water flow and fresh fish is entering the river to compete about places in the pool. That makes them way more eager to grab your fly (if it’s brown of course).

The tide.
In northern Baltic rivers we don’t have to consider tidal times since it’s not noticeable here. But if you fishing in rivers that’s entering tidal oceans, the incoming tide is what you are looking for. That usually pushes some fresh fish into the river. While fishing the incoming tide in one section of the river, find out when the pool seems to be most active(jumping fish, pull in the fly or even a hookup) then compare that to when the tide in the oceans had it’s peak. If you are fishing that pool the next days, just check when the tide is highest and then add the time you counted last time. That’s usually a good guideline for how long it takes for the fish to get to that place (if the water flow stays pretty much the same).


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