Small and black

Small and black

Viking Lars | Saturday, 20 October 2018

I just read an article in the Danish Sportsfishing Association's magazine about catching the often difficult September/October seatrout and salmon. The article was great, written by Claus Eriksen, one of Denmark's best saltwater guys and a sea trout legend.

The article had lots of great ideas and advice, but one thing stuck with me.

Always have small and black in your box for difficult fish. I think Claus wrote something to the effect that everyone knows that small and black is often the key to catching difficult, late season fish. And I must agree - sometimes it's really amazing how big fish you can get to take very small flies.

In August, I was on the Gaula in Norway with a friend. I managed to hook and land one salmon, hook and loose another. They both took a very small, no. 10 double hook, dressed sparsely with a green tail, some flash on the body and a slender, black wing of squirrel tail. All in all, less than in inch on length.

And imagine that tiny, tiny fly, racing across a big river with plenty of boulders, white water, riffles and everything you coiuld ever dream for in a river. I'm not surprised that they see it, but it never ceases to amaze me that they actually take it. I can understand why they stil take bigger flies while they're fresh in the river, strike reflex intact and all that, but what on Earth compells a big salmon to grab a minute fly swinging past it's lie as fast the fisherman can possibly swing it? Who knows, but it's old wisdom - in the late season you go small and black if you're in doubt.

And of course if that doesn't work, you go huge and black and a least get a reaction that lets you know that there are fish about.

All for now - I'm at Pauls in Essex with my daughter, and we're heading into London shortly.

Have a great weekend,