Only Two Weeks to go.

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It’s only two weeks to the start of the Salmon season and although we don’t know at this stage what that might mean to Ross AC members as to whether they can travel to fish or not I thought I would ask a couple of our Club experts on how they tackle the early part of the salmon season.

Firstly Matt Cooper who lives in Devon and comes up to fish (this year Covid permitting) and most often makes a week-end of it. Camping often in the grounds of our friends at Ross on Wye Rowing Club. He is a fly fisher and fishes his local waters in Devon for Sea Trout and Salmon when he is not here. I have never seen him with a spinning rod in his hands!

Matt Cooper with one of his salmon from the Weirend beat.

Matt says this of early season fly fishing for salmon in Ross AC waters.

Salmon fishing during the first two months of the season can provide the salmon angler with a wide range of conditions to adapt to.  Expect anything from snow and ice, to balmy sunny conditions and fishing in short sleeves – sometimes on the same day!  Typically in spring, the river will be running high, cold and clear.  But be prepared to adapt and change your approach as the conditions dictate.

On the Wye, the spinner tends to dominate the catches during March and April, but the fly can also be very effective for those that persevere.  The fly does tend to become more effective from May onwards where the water warms up and the salmon are more likely to take a fly.

For those who prefer to fish the fly during these early months, a large fly fished deep is generally the accepted tactic.  Monkeys, Snaeldas and the more traditional brass/copper tubes will all work.  Black and yellow, Willie Gunn, black and orange and silver stoat are all proven colour combinations that will stand you in good stead.  If you find the river running on the low side, and the water temperature is up, smaller, lighter tubes or dressed doubles will be a good choice.

When choosing your line, a multi-tip shooting head kit will cover most situations throughout the season.  Other options include multi-density (3D) shooting heads, or a Skagit with either standard sink tips or T-tips.  The latter has been proven to be effective and the preferred option by some members.  Bear in mind that the depth the fly fishes is just as much about technique as it is about the tip you are using.

During spring, the fish are going to be few and far between.  The best approach is to fish quickly and cover as much ground as possible.  Unlike later in the season where the faster, streamier water tends to hold fish, water where the current is a bit softer is often where a springer will be taking a breather.  Especially if the river is running high.

It’s worth remembering that the Wye is famous for its big springers.  Don’t fish too light and make sure your tippet and hooks are going to stay put when you hook into that fish of a lifetime! “

Next week I’ll post the advice from a local salmon angler on how to fish our waters with both spinner and fly.

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