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Ecfew

Catch and release Salmon

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I'm very interested to get people's views on this subject as I know they will differ greatly.

 

I salmon fish in NW Scotland where slowly the trend is moving towards catch and release.

I fly fish for pike in the winter, which is all catch and release. With flyfishing for pike we are encouraged to use heavier tackle eg an 8wt rod and heavier leader. The theory behind this is you play the fish for less time and when the fish is released it is not totally depleted! Also the intro of barbless hooks (I don't need to explain the benefit in a C&R fishery do I?).

 

So you can probably see where I'm going with this.....

 

Last summer 3 fish were played beautifully and skillfully into the back by members of the party I was with in Scotland. Two of them died from sheer exhaustion of a 30min fight and the other well I hope it's still swimming.

 

My question is at what stage do we start to migrate to heavier tackle and barbless hooks in the quest for preservation of our native stocks?

 

I for one will be fishing this summer with an 8wt, heavier leader and barbless hooks as I endeavor to release all I catch. That said I need to catch the silver king first any fly suggestions please?

 

 

Edward

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I never realized that was part of your fishery, on both east coast and west coast of Canada i have never kept a salmon or steelhead of any kind, i run heavy stuff, up to 20lb tippet for pinks! Even if it means pointing the rod at the fish. Just want to horse them in while they still have plenty of energy upon release. I have been known to run 20lb on my 5wt for pinks and cranking drags right down, just get him in and don't ever use a glove as it removes slime, do not touch the fish, barbless is mandatory so a flick of the wrist and he is gone. Added bonus of running heavy tippets is if that 90lb spring takes the fly u at least have a chance, no use screwing around these days i rekon.

 

I figured out pretty quickly fly pattern is rather a null point, more important is presentation and as long as the fly is around the right size and presented well you are good.

 

Saw a great preview for a Scottish film 'Blue Charm' a few days back, blessed are you with glorious nature. I think all salmon fisheries should be mandatory barbless.

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Hi Edward, im NE Scotland and I have seen many local guys moving onto the heavier fluro tippets, so dia is still low but B/S is over 12lb. I tend to stick to maxima 15lb which gives a good margin over that before it actually breaks. I will use single hooks in my tubes even if rules allow others. Too many fish are killed cause the hooks cause gill bleeds.

A final point is what the landowners are going to do to justify to prices to access their land only to return fish. I think that the coarse fisheries common south will soon pop up in the far north cause if you are going to catch for the pleasure of it there are many fish Better suited than salmonoids to that ie carp.

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Meant to say where are you fishing? Naver or further round near lochinver? If you fish lochinver in June July period the mackeral from the pier is great on a 5 weight.

Flies.. I agree that size and speed is v.important. For fish that are not running, in cold water you need depth. For running fish try fishing higher in the water. On our peaty waters a gold Willie Gunn or an Alistair are great and really glow. But the old favourites near lochinver are hairy Mary, stoat tail, allys shrimp are always good too. Just play with the depth and speed of your swing. If you fish with others its good to be different and the copy them if they hook one.

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there are many fish Better suited than salmonoids to that ie carp.

 

 

I don't know anyone in my region that eats carp, do you have instructions on preparing/ recipe?

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Didn't mean better for eating. Meant better for catching and releasing over and over.

But the eastern Europeans that have come to England do enjoy eating them and I believe they need a LOT of seasoning. Carp grub around the silt and taste like it im told. Gut, wrap in tinfoil, season with plenty of lemon grass, slices of lemon and orange, salt in the cavity and lightly bake. That's my suggestion. But don't blame me if it tastes like old teabags.

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Hi Edward, im NE Scotland and I have seen many local guys moving onto the heavier fluro tippets, so dia is still low but B/S is over 12lb. I tend to stick to maxima 15lb which gives a good margin over that before it actually breaks. I will use single hooks in my tubes even if rules allow others. Too many fish are killed cause the hooks cause gill bleeds. A final point is what the landowners are going to do to justify to prices to access their land only to return fish. I think that the coarse fisheries common south will soon pop up in the far north cause if you are going to catch for the pleasure of it there are many fish Better suited than salmonoids to that ie carp.

I wish the like this tab would work.

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Hi guys,

 

Great feedback, firstly to flyfishing jam, great to hear that! To piker it's a small river near lockinver, not wide but deep holes as you get with a peat river ( out of interest how deep would you fish in these, or I should also say what do you think is the deepest you have hooked a salmon)

 

To answer carp question, they tast delicious you just keep them in a bucket of fresh water for 24hrs which you can change befor you cook them! Wonderful firm white flesh and if you have never fly fished for them give it a go great sport!,,

 

And laxi very good advice for helping the fish revive thanks.

 

Please keep the answers coming, and if anyone has hooked a salmon in a dark peat river using a wet fly I would love to know the depth and style of fly

 

Ed

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I think with our salmon up here, you need to ask are you fishing running fish or resident ones? In the cold spring water, so before May, fish are going to be less likely to move upstream, especially where rapids or falls are found. So typically you want to be hitting rocks and weed every so often with you fly and you are deep enough. Some say you can't fish too deep. If the fish are running upstream then they are more likely to be found 3ft or so off bottom and more active so I would use a slow sink tip or intermediate line with the fly fishing higher. If someone else on the river catches tight to the bottom then swap the tip over for a faster sinking one.

If the weather is warm, and the fish are in the pools then look to fish higher with sunrays, monkeys, longer winged wets and the territorial aggression should see the salmon move up in the column and hit out at the flies.

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