Im­prove your chances by fol­low­ing this ad­vice from eight lead­ing gillies

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Spey Salmon -

● Lionel Main, head gillie, Cas­tle Grant: “Cast within your ca­pa­bil­ity. Dis­tance is not the ob­jec­tive – a neat and tidy line is.” ● Mark Melville, head gillie, Del­fur: “When re­leas­ing fish, turn them up­side down in the net. This calms the fish down, mak­ing the re­moval of the hook much eas­ier with­out stress­ing the fish.” ● Euan Reid, head gillie, Arndilly: “Many fish are missed on the Spey for two rea­sons: over-wad­ing and fail­ing to let the fly com­plete its swing.” ● Steve Brand, head gillie, Ballindal­loch Es­tate: “Aim to fish the river at the cor­rect time of day ac­cord­ing to con­di­tions. And fish the right flies: cold, higher wa­ter – large tubes; warm, low wa­ter – small, lightly-dressed flies.” ● Robert Mitchell, head gillie, Ma­callan Wa­ter: “Lis­ten to the gillie as he de­scribes the pool you in­tend to fish and the magic usu­ally hap­pens. Adopt a stealthy ap­proach, es­pe­cially from May on. It’s not al­ways about cast­ing a long line. Fished at the right time, small dark flies can be equally as deadly as large colour­ful ones.” ● Lawrence De Rosa, gillie, C Beat, Tulchan: “Keep the fly in­ter­est­ing as it comes off the main cur­rent.

Fig­ure-of-eight re­trieve or strip­ping.” ● John Anderson, gillie, A Beat, Tulchan: “Make sure that your fly-box con­tains a se­lec­tion of flies tied in var­i­ous sizes. There is no guar­an­tee that the fly size in say June or July is go­ing to be a 10 or a 12, and re­mem­ber that va­ri­ety is the spice of life, even for a salmon. Also, the mod­ern sub­sti­tute for horns (macaw, pea­cock herl etc) is flash, which can be very ef­fec­tive. How­ever, a lit­tle goes a long way: too much and you can have some­thing that looks like a gold­fish, so it pays to hold back on the use of mod­ern top­pings.” ● Roddy Stronach, gillie, B Beat, Tulchan: “Don’t over­cast! A good short cast is bet­ter than a bad long one. Lis­ten to the gillie.”

Calm the fish by turn­ing it up­side down and then un­hook it.

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