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Ronan's report

Wednesday 05 June, 2013

After further teaching some single hand fly casting and fly fishing for sea trout and garfish lately, I ran a two days workshop about fly fishing for Atlantic salmon. I again choosed to teach at the Skjern river in Denmark. This year (yet) still not much salmons have found their way back to that (their home) river. That is why it was a bit of a hard decision for me, to take my clients to that river, since the change of catching a salmon was around 1%. But then again fly fishing for Atlantic salmon most of the time mainly is about HOPE anyway.

It always has been amazing to me, how much difficulties we salmon anglers handle only to keep hoping for one single take, which happens so rarely. Due to that we have found many explanations and have made many statements, why we did not catch a salmon and what salmon angling is all about. Here are just a few:

"You are not yet a true salmon angler without having fished a week with no strike first!"

"You should have been here last week!"

"Next week we will get rain and THEN they WILL enter the river!"

"Salmon angling means not to catch a single fish within a week!" (You may catch one in two weeks, if you are lucky.)

My personal statement is: "If the salmon strikes, nothing matters anymore!" And that is very true for most salmon anglers. The moment they feel the salmon pulling of the line, they are entering another universe of emotions! I am not going to describe that universe since only YOU yourself may want to find out about how this might feel to you. Many salmon anglers call the Atlantic salmon to be the perfect fish and I agree about that, even though to me there are a few more perfect fish available on the blue planet. ;)

Back to the Skjern river I just was teaching how to control the swing speed and the depth of the fly, when a very strong strike hit at the end of my line! A good ten minutes later I managed to land a sea-liced CHROMER. Sea lice can't stay any longer than three days in fresh water. And sometimes they have white strings still, which they loose after no longer than 24 hours in freshwater. Yes, these white string sea-liced salmons are very rare, but it was exactly one of them! Of course it weight double since so few fish have been caught these days... :). I have no idea about how many fish I have caught fly fishing during the past 25 years. But only a few fish got me as highly emotional about catching them. This one clearly was inbetween the seriously special ones.

Well, finally what can I tell? That is salmon angling: Fishing a full week (six people) and nothing and then one and a half day (2 people) and strike. My best advice for all you beginners is (and always will be): NEVER stop HOPING and learn to ENJOY it (the hope)! A salmon usually never strikes when you expect him to do, but instead very often shows up in exactly those moments, when you may not even think of the smallest change to catch one anymore. Simply if you have HOPE, you will present your fly much better and more constantly. That is what often makes the small differency besides some serious tactics of course. You may find some good (further) tactics in Paul's thread about salmon angling here. A great week to all of you, too. Hey Paul, my fingers are crossed for your first one - make it happen! Would love to join that moment!!! ;)

All my best to all of you


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