Salmon Season Underway

Salmon Season Underway

Viking Lars | Saturday, 14 May 2016

The Danish salmon season is well underway, and most rivers have opened well. As usual, River Storaa (which literally means The Big River) has done best, topping the scales with two +18kg salmon. The fishing has been good in the other westerns rivers as well.

I have been out three times myself, but only a couple of hours each time, and have yet to land a salmon, but witht he effort expended, I wouldn't expect it either. I've gained access to roughly a kilometer of a small stream, and I've been fishing scouting and fishing that a few times for trout and grayling (so far, it doesn't look too good - caught/seen nothing yet).

But I wanted to talke a little about how I approach and fish a sharp bend in the river - when salmon/sea trout fishing that is. The name of the game is generally down and across, and the rivers in Denmark aren't huge. I rarely cast over 20 meters. So while I'd like to cast straight across to fish the fly as fast as possible, that'll usually bring me closer to the quarry than I like (I'm also fishing high banks often). So I need to cast further downstream to avoid putting down the fish, and thus also slowing the swing, so I usually do a figure-of-eight retrieve to speed up the fly a little. I'll also use retrieve or even slowing down the fly to control depth a little (more on that in a later FP), I like to fish the fly just over the weeds.

As I approach a bend, I change tactics a little. As I approach the bend, the river changes profile - the outer part of the bend is deep and gets ever more shallow towards my own bank. That means I concentrate only on the far half of the river when I'm in to the bend - my own half is too shallow to hold fish and I'll snag constantly as I'm fishing fast sinking lines.

Long casts would be great, but are impossible to control in a sharp bend, so instead, I go stealth, keep low, tread carefully and start angling the casts directly across and often even a little upstream. I let the cast drift a little before allowing the swing to begin, in order to let the fly sink and start the swing deep and still close to the opposite bank.

A sink tip or Skagit setup is perfect for this style of fishing, as the floating part will allow the sinking part and fly to "hinge" in the middle part of the river, effectively fishing the far half only and preventing snags. Often I'll also change to a heavily weight fly in order to secure a deep swing as early as possible.

I have on occasions brought a single hander (I usually fish a double hander) with a skagit setup and heavy fly mounted and simply switch to that going through the bend. I've designed a nifty carry system, which I'll unveil at a later time (prepare for World take over :-).

In the pic (still from a GoPro), I'm approaching the bend and as I reach that "corner" in front of me, I'll start angling across or a little up and staying a low as possible.

Have a great weekend!