Be a bet­ter salmon-fisher

Jim Curry ex­plains what sep­a­rates the best from the rest when it comes to catch­ing salmon

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Contents - JIM CURRY is a fly-fish­ing in­struc­tor from York­shire. He has taught fly-cast­ing for more than 20 years and is an AAPGAI Mas­ter in­struc­tor and part of the AAPGAI as­sess­ment team. Jim fishes through­out the UK, plus Iceland, Nor­way and Ar­gentina.

Jim Curry ex­plains what sep­a­rates the best an­glers from the rest

WHAT IN­GRE­DI­ENTS DO you need to de­sign an ef­fec­tive, mod­ern salmon and seatrout fisher? Af­ter 25 years of work­ing in the fly-fish­ing in­dus­try in the com­pany of world class guides, gil­lies and ex­pe­ri­enced fish­ers I have had the op­por­tu­nity to watch, learn from and lis­ten to this highly skilled group. They have gen­er­ously shared their pas­sion and knowl­edge and changed not only the way I fish but how I think about my fish­ing. So, what are the in­gre­di­ents that make this group stand out? Each has favourite meth­ods, but they share com­mon fun­da­men­tals. In a nut­shell, they cast cleanly and con­sis­tently with ex­cel­lent turnover, and are com­fort­able with all lines from floaters through to fast sinkers, thus en­sur­ing that they al­ways fish their flies at the cor­rect depth. All can read wa­ter and all will make changes to the size of their fly and the depth and speed at which it’s fished if the tra­di­tional ap­proach is not work­ing. And all have a great at­ti­tude with the men­tal re­silience or bloody-minded bel­liger­ence to keep fish­ing when con­di­tions seem un­favourable. Tough as it may be to hear – as a na­tion of fly­fish­ers we are, on the whole, some­what lazy and lim­ited in the way we ap­proach a day chas­ing salmon and sea-trout. We cast at shal­low an­gles of 45 de­grees, and mend up­stream in an at­tempt to slow the fly. We re­peat this cast so of­ten that up­stream mends dur­ing the swing be­come like a ner­vous twitch thrown into ev­ery cast with­out any ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the speed of the cur­rent. Hours, days and, in­deed, sea­sons pass with­out chang­ing our “I’m a lit­tle teapot” hand-on-hip pose as the fly slowly creeps its way across the stream. Of­ten, we’re fish­ing over bored and un­in­ter­ested fish as we drift off into a coma-like state be­fore wak­ing briefly to make yet an­other cast at the same an­gle. Just like the few thou­sand be­fore it. Even when the wa­ter lifts and its clar­ity, tem­per­a­ture and speed change, in­vari­ably we do not. Switch­ing from a slow-sink­ing leader to a slightly faster one is un­likely to make a dif­fer­ence, but there are things that will…

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