Salmon Opening

Salmon Opening

Viking Lars | Saturday, 16 April 2016

Today the Danish salmon rivers open, and I'm not there. That's alright, though - the season is six months long and I'll get my fair share of (or at least shot at) salmon and sea trout. I've dug out the tackle though, and today I'll be loading up the fishing vest, going through the fly boxes, checking the lines, preparing a few leaders and so on.

I will have to tie a few flies - not that I need them, far from it, actually, but I do like to prepare for a new season with a few new flies - just to get into the groove. I went through all my fly boxes with salmon- and sea trout flies earlier this winter, and tried to get them down to 4 patterns in say 3-4 different sizes. I sort of succeeded, but there are maybe 8 different patterns in total, of which the four are the stable flies, a few are go-to flies for special siutations and there has to be room for new flies and experiments.

Muddler-style zonkerflies on tubes have been doing extremely well in Denmark the last 3-4 years, and I think I might tie a variant. My usual Black & Silver, but I'll tie it with a Craft Fur wing (as I always do) and then make a spun head of Craft Fur over an inverted dish conehead. That should move some water! I'll share the result (assuming it's worth sharing).

But this is really not about my fly boxes, but about a couple of important items I always carry when fishing (for all types of fishing), and it's something that very few flyfishers seem to carry these days, which has me puzzled. Hook sharpeners - I wouldn't be without them.

The fact that chemically sharpened hook are the standard today has something to do with it, certainly. If you buy proper hooks, you'll never have to sharpen them from the beginning. If you do, buy another brand - hooks must be sharp from the outset.

But sometimes you nick a rock, bend a hook point ot do some other damage and that's where the hook sharpener comes in. If the point is just slight dulled, or the point not bent too much out of shape, it's quick and relatively easy to touch it up again. For chemically sharpened and hardened hooks, nothing beats this set (in the picture) from Tiemco.

They're both ceramic (and hence do not rust or deteriorate in anyway) and the white one is used for touching up a dull point; the blue one is slightly coarser and useful if the point is bent. For "re-profiling" so to speak. There's of course a limit to how much damage can be repaired, but often it's possible and certainly beats throwing away the fly. With a little practice, you can get the hook to the same sharpness as when it was new.

Some types of points - like Tiemco's SpearPoint, are really hard to re-sharpen, but it can still be done.

So - this brand new set is ready for the salmon vest (the old set seems to be lost...).

Have a great weekend!