The cream of the salmon season is almost upon us, many may feel the season is just out of the blocks but the short days of January openings are long gone. In May/June many UK rivers will be hosting their biggest runs of MSW salmon, and yes, many of these power packed missiles will indeed be big! Run trends are evolving and shifting as we speak. Late spring/early summer is the new summer/autumn as grilse numbers deteriorate and classic autumn “gray backs” are fast becoming a distant memory.
So, it’s time to concentrate on some serious salmon fishing if you can access it. Get your fly boxes armed with lighter flies like Monkey & Laerdal Sunray Shadow and you will get the fish chasing. These salmon are aggressive and will freely hit flies on the surface now that temps are hitting the magic 50-degree zone. Salmon doubles in 8 & 10s will also start to attract, Golden Willie Gunn is superb, the SuperSquid range is tantalising, to say the least but don’t bin the legendary powers of Ally’s & Cascade shrimp, Silver Stoat and Hairy Mary, all are proven killers and these won’t let you down on hooks or tubes. Coneheads are the real killers, they add a little weight to the fly and make it swim so well. Silver or gold turns any pattern into a killer and you can fish them at any depth if required, tungsten and copper tubes still have their place, typically in high water or in fast narrow runs when you need the fly to fish quickly.
There are so many tactical options available to the smart angler now. One scenario that works very well is fishing deep in the warm summer waters if the salmon season, sometimes salmon prefer a fly presented right in front of them, with very little movement required they just suck it in. Micro tungsten Monkey in 0.25″, RS SuperSnaelda 0.25″ & Red Frances conehead are top killers in this department. Your rod and line can be pimped up too for summer, super lightweight rods like Loop are now covering huge distances with incredible ease if teamed up with Loop & Gaelforce floating lines, a total joy to cast! The more water you cover intelligently the better your chances of hooking that fish of a lifetime! Speed up your fly, don’t be afraid to mend your line towards your own bank to get the big swing on your Monkey and Sunray, strip back too for added speed, the salmon love it so be prepared for explosive takes! However, rain is the key, and we need it now. If the water stays clear use the more sombre patterns like Sunray shadow, Willie Gunn and Silver Stoats tail but as soon as fresh water kicks in deploy a conehead Monkey, Flaming Tiger conehead & Feeler tubes for maximin coverage and you will score well. Enjoy the big chromer salmon season!