I simply love the start of a new salmon season – as much as anything its about being back on the river after the winter break. Why we call this spring fishing is anyone’s guess, its winter fishing at this time of year. Chances are you will be fishing in the most extreme conditions you will face all season.
Opening day on the Tweed, 1st February 2013 – was sadly, a not unfamiliar mix of a cold wind and high water just slightly too coloured to get the best results. Due to the conditions there was very little fishing activity on opening day. The river needs to be fished to produce the prized spring salmon!
These days are never wasted as they are a great chance to get your casting on track for the season ahead. I also like to familiarise myself with the latest gear and see how new tackle performs in the field.
Impressive piece of kit…
One item that really impressed me was the Patagonia Stormfront Pack. This is a really roomy and tough waterproof back pack and an ideal day bag for any fly fisher. The one I was testing spent the day packed with various items of warm clothing – you never know at this time of year how your clothing layers will need to be adjusted – so having somewhere dry to keep them is a great advantage. Just to make the point about how tough this bag is it survived my 13 year old son’s school ski trip!
New flies on trial…
I fished for most of the day with flies from the new range designed for Fulling Mill by Ronald Sutherland. Sadly, there were no fish taken but all the flies were beautifully tied, swam well on the end of the line and were different to anything else in my box. The zonker strip built into some of the patterns works really well adding a dash of colour perfect for murky water.
Where was I exactly?
I was fishing at Lower Birgham – this is a lovely bit of water. At the start of the day the water the water was at about 5’6” on the gauge. During the day it fell back to 4’6” losing colour all the while. According to Tom, the head boatman, something under 2’ would be perfect! So some way to go yet! Interestingly my friend hooked a fish just after lunch – it may well have been a kelt but we will never know. It just goes to show that you may beat the conditions if you keep your fly in the water. No salmon were landed on opening day as far as I know but great to be fishing again.