Fly Fishing For Salmon
First of all, as all of you probably know, you can catch salmon from both fresh and
saltwater. There's anglers that love catching salmon in rivers on the fly and there are
those steelhead anglers that consider them a nuisance. It may be better put that some
steelhead anglers consider the salmon fishermen a nuisance.
In the Northwest Pacific and the Great Lake tributary streams, steelhead angers use wet
flies and sinking tip fly lines to catch steelhead. The usual presentation is the
downstream swing. It works great for steelhead and not so great for salmon. Most of the
time an angler hooks a salmon, he has swung the fly through a school of salmon and
snagged one. When the fly stops, or moves differently than the angler thinks the current
should move the fly, he sets the hook and snags the salmon. This isn't fly fishing for
salmon and this isn't what this article is about.
Salmon will take a fly. It's done regularly in Alaska. It's done regularly on the Northwest
Pacific Coast of the states and it's done to some extent on the tributaries of the Great
Lakes. The different species of salmon all have different feeding habitats and they all
react to flies differently. Chums, Cohos, Kings and other species are all different in that
regard. That gets us to the first important point. Fly fishing for salmon techniques are
specific to the species of salmon you are pursuing. It's not only specific to the species, in
some cases it is specific to the river or stream.
First of all, some rivers have larger populations of salmon than others. The numbers are
important. It's much easier to catch a salmon from water that has plenty than water that
has a few here and there. Now, that sounds like a laughable statement everyone already
knows, but the important point is, you don't want to try to focus on catching salmon where
and when they are plentiful. It isn't just the river. It's often the particular pool that's
important. Each of the different species of salmon have their preferences as to the best
types of water.
Another big factor is whether or not the salmon is wild or hatchery raised. In very general
terms, the longer the salmon resides in freshwater, the more likely it is to take your fly.
That's because the fish is more used to feeding in the river than those that have only
spent a short time there. Wild Coho and Chinook salmon that reside in the freshwater get
used to feeding on the natural aquatic insects and other food in the river. Hatchery
raised Coho and Chinook salmon are used to eating pellet food. Not all species of
salmon take a fly for food. Some take the fly out of aggression. Mature Chum salmon
often take a fly out of aggression.
The most popular species of salmon for the fly guy is the Pink Salmon. These salmon
return to the freshwater rivers every other year. The reason that makes them popular
with fly anglers is the fact they are usually very plentiful and take a fly well.
Copyright 2013 Tanner Leonard
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