Catching a spring salmon remains one of the highlights of any salmon angler’s career and although the fishing can be challenging the reward when you finally bring a gleaming bar of silver to hand is worth all the effort. To help you to achieve your spring salmon ambitions this year, the Sportfish team have a few select tips…
Top Tips for Spring Salmon Fishing
Spring in the UK can be a highly variable season to say the least and in recent years we have seen everything from frost and flood through to balmy days when it has been possible to fish in a T-shirt! Being prepared for all eventualities is essential and we hope our short guide will help you in your quest to catch a springer this season.
Choose Your Beat Carefully
The temperature will dictate just how quickly the fish run and it can be very slow progress in cold conditions. Check sites such as FishPal for information, taking particular note of the averages, not just looking at the previous year.
Also, make sure you communicate with the beat’s ghillies before your trip as they can provide up-to-the-minute advice on conditions.
We say it every year, but it bears repeating, you do need to dress appropriately with sensible layering to keep you warm and dry. Breathability of fabrics is the key factor and don’t forget the all-important wading socks, hat and gloves to protect your extremities.
You should always carry, and use, a wading stick even on beats you know well as winter flooding and water movement may have caused substantial changes to the substrate. A life jacket is also a must, your life is far more important than any salmon.
Think About Your Fly Rod
The traditional 15ft rod is not always necessary as you do not need to cast right across the river, instead look to target specific areas where you think those fish may be holding. The Guideline LXi 13’ 9” #9/10 is a favourite of ours for our spring fishing on the River Tyne.
Fly Reel Choice
A large arbor fly reel model is essential and we recommend carrying three different set ups to cover all conditions you are likely to encounter during
- A Skagit set up with different tip lengths.
- A triple density shooting head.
- A RIO Scandi Kit with versileaders.
Hook and Fly Choice
If your fishery allows the use of treble hooks, don’t make the mistake of going too large as smaller sizes often hold better. At this time of year you may only get one chance, so stack the odds in your favour – sizes 10 or 12 are usually ideal. Carry a good selection of different sizes, colours and weights of tubes and make sure you speak with the ghillies in advance for information on which patterns to use.
Fish Low and Slow
Finally, remember that for UK fishing at this time of year water clarity is likely to be poor. We are not talking Russian rivers with superb water clarity where fish can see the fly for a long time so fish deep and as slow as you can.