Now we’re getting well into the spring. When the snow in Norway starts to melt, I allow the salmon fever to start getting to me. Most of the salmon fishing for 2022 is now planned, the flies have started to fill up the boxes and then I notice that my whole body changes mode – now this year’s salmon season is just around the corner!
When my fishing is booked, it’s time to refine what equipment I’ll most likely need. Will there be the most pressure on June fishing in the big rivers? Well then, the focus is mostly on the sinking lines. Do I have a good season card selection that fishes best towards the end of the season? Then it gets worse, because all the equipment have to be in place.
Some of us fish one to two weeks a year with our group of friends, while others fish more evenly throughout the season. This means that there are different requirements for what equipment everyone should have available.
One of the worst things I know is to get to the fishing spot, then realize that I have forgotten a small detail, which means that I can not relax and make the best of the day. If it’s about forgetting the clipper or the scissors, then it’s stressful every time I have to change a fly, tie a new leader or change a tip … If I forgot a string or a rod at home, then of course it’s always the one I have the most faith in. Then I have to choose something I have a little less faith in, and that is after all the most important thing we salmon anglers have – the faith!
We salmon anglers are, like most people, very different. Some carry only the minimum equipment they need, while others have their car full. Regardless of which of the two categories you belong to, it is common that various objects just have to be included.
On my phone I have a fixed packing list that I always go through before I go on trips. I thought we could go through the same list and explain a little more.
It is important to choose the right rod for the type of fishing you have planned. Is it for example Gaula or other large rivers during periods when there is normally a lot of water, I have to bring rods that can withstand sinking lines and large flies. Preferably rods with lengths of 14-16 ft in # 9/10 or # 10/11.
If I am going on an August trip to larger rivers, then I must be prepared for all sorts of water flow. Often there are heavy rain floods which means that you have to go from one-handed 9.9 ft #7 up to 15 feet due to a large increase in water flow. Often, the water is dirty and the need for larger flies again comes up.
When I have chosen fly rods, it is important to have the right reel(s) for the rods you have packed with. It is very tedious to have brought only the small reels when you have packed the powerful rods. If you are going on heavy June fishing, you do not need to fill the car with all the sizes of reels – the small reels can stay at home.
Remember to bring the lines that fit the right rods.
On lines, I would rather take too many grades of sinking lines than too few. Suddenly you discover a new spot, and the setup you have available that needs a different line than you have normally used. Or maybe a sudden rain flood comes, which was not expected.
Note: Store the lines in the Shooting Head Meshwallet for easy control of the different line classes. One folder usually holds enough lines within a line class.
I always carry a coil or two extra with a spare shooting line in the thickness that I use. It is incredibly boring if you have a week of very good fishing and you also get a real tangle or knot which makes the shooting line annoying to use. Then you will get bummed that you didn’t bring one in reserve…
I always bring enough tippet material with me. Especially for sinking line fishing, which usually uses up a lot of tippet material. The tippet often needs to be replaced after contact with the bottom.
Make sure you always have flies aimed specifically at the fishing you are going on.
Here too, in the same way as the lines, I always have all the flies with me. It reduces your faith if you can not choose the fly you know that you have… at home…
Double check that you have enough tube hooks.
Also especially with sinking line fishing, it is easy for them to be straightened out if you get stuck in the bottom. It can quickly go beyond your reserve stock on hooks.
Scissors or cutters
It’s something I always have to have available! It’s always stored in the wading jackets, all the waders, in the backpack and in the equipment box in the back of the car.
Hook release pliers
A good set of pliers is a must when fishing in rivers that have protection of certain types of salmon, such as gender or size restrictions. Or if you want to release the salmon again voluntarily.
I prefer a set of curved pliers, as I find it easier to get use when the fly is in the “scissors” (the side part of the salmons jaw).
A vac-rac is a must for my fishing, as I often drive between the fishing spots. Then you can easily attach the rods rigged up on the hood, without having to unpack and divide the rod parts every time you switch fishing spots. I have only good experiences with having the rods on the hood, and have never experienced that rods wear or gets damaged by it.
Clothes are somewhat more personal based on your own preferences. But having suitable wading gear is a must in my eyes. I always make sure to bring a good pair of spare waders. Although I do not fear that the seams will leak, there is always the risk that you fall on something sharp and tear up the trousers or that the glow from the fire makes a hole… There are also repair-kits which are handy to have if you get unlucky. I think fleece trousers are great to wear under the waders, they won’t become too sticky and damp and will make you stay warm.
A cap and a buff are something I can hardly go on a fishing trip without. The cap especially is my very best friend. I am careful of which caps I choose to wear. Trucker hats with mesh on the back are a great advantage and is very comfortable on hot days, but when the mosquito arrives, it is important to bring out the Flexfit cap which has a fully molded rear half.
/ Steffen Granbo