length of fight (human vs salmon) - Fly Fishing Forum
Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Old 04-15-2005, 02:41 PM
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length of fight (human vs salmon)

i have always heard stories of guys hooking atlantic salmon and saying that it took them 15 min, 30 min, and even heard of guys saying it took them an hr to land them. now for a green horn to fly fishing salmon like myself, most of these stories sound like a really good fish tale. So i ask you pros, what is considered a good long tug of war between a man and the atlanitic salmon. i just cant imagine fighting a fish for 15 min let alone an hr. so lets hear some facts, what should i expect.
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Old 04-15-2005, 03:28 PM
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Willie Gunn Willie Gunn is offline
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John Ashley- Cooper who landed a few salmon in his time states that it should only take 30 secs/pound so you should land a 10lb fish in 5 minutes. Bear in mind that JAC would have usually used a gaff, and would have killed most if not all he landed.

In more enlightened times. 1lb/minute when beaching or netting is probably more reasonable. On the Spey where the current can play a big part a large salmon can be quite an handfull.

I had a 20lb fish last Saturday, alright I just love saying that, and I had it beached photod and back in the water in under 20 minutes.
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Old 04-15-2005, 04:23 PM
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it depends on so much. my motto is that I would rather break a fish off because I was fighting too hard, than fight like a pussycat and bring in a waisted fish. The only down side is that a green fish is harder to release. I am always surprised how quickly a fish can be broughg in. i landed a 35# giant treavally in about seven minutes a couple of weeks ago. i know... it was a baby, but i was surprised it didn't take longer.
if there is a current, it could really lengthen the fight.
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Old 04-15-2005, 08:50 PM
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Ya gotta admit though.The fightingest fish ( Salmon at least) are those betwen 10 and 12 lbs, especially if they are males.
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:35 PM
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I just posted on Salmon anglers online that a 20lb Kelt- yes you heard that right , took me 15min to land!!! She kept her head down and sideways to the current and I couldnt budge her. She was the exception. If you go past 15 min on ANY fish, you are 1- into an exceptional fish. and 2- an ego maniac!!!! Decide when Salar strikes!!!
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:19 PM
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and what would be your guidelines for an exceptional fish?
I think about 1min/pound is about right on the average. Maybe a little less.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:57 PM
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David, You of all people should know the answer to that one because you are holding her in your avatar!!!
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:19 PM
D3Smartie D3Smartie is offline
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hahaha.... i have no avatar here. Atleast I dont think I do....

but whats a number you would place for an exceptional fish. I mean it has to vary based on the river but anything over 20? 25?
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:40 AM
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Willie -

Before it goes unsaid your fish is a vision of salmo fury in silver, if a fish could be a hardbody, that would be it. There is no doubt it's gentics are finely honed from it's knife-like tail to it's defiant eyes - a prime specimen indeed and your choice to release it makes it all the better.

I hope to behold such a fine fish on the end of my line someday soon, best if achieved while Spey fishing with you on your home waters!
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Old 04-17-2005, 11:54 AM
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As has been said before about 1 minute per pound. I dont mind if I loose a fish through playing it too hard because I release most fish anyway but then again I dont loose that many fish either about 1 in 10 comes off. Play them hard, net / beach them, handle carefully then release when ready.
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Old 04-17-2005, 01:44 PM
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Juro, I agree with you,, I dont know what i stare at more- the beauty of Willies fish or the beauty of Willies reel!!! The two combined in one picture is why i am a salmon fisherman in the first place.. Nice, nice picture Willie Gunn!!! now,, was it a Willie Gunn that fooled her??
Yes David, it does vary according to river, flows, etc and i didnt make that very clear in my first post. I was referring to your SAO avatar and that fish in the right conditions could easily exceed the 15 min max.
I was speaking from personal experience and also my personal opinion. I think we have all seen people "play" fish for too long and the stories of hour long fights with 10-20lb fish,,, ridiculous. Those that do play fish for an hour are either, inexperienced or dont care about the fish.
I'll stick by my max of 15 minute and realize there will be fish that take longer, but on average "most" fish can and should be tailed in under 15min,,unless we are talking rivers like the Moisie or Pinware with fast flows and treacherous footing,, where alot of time can be spent just catching up to the fish.
1 minute per pound is a good ethical time frame to promote,, but really we should be able to do better.
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Last edited by Salmon Chaser; 04-17-2005 at 01:50 PM. Reason: adding text
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Old 04-17-2005, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salmon Chaser
Juro, I agree with you,, I dont know what i stare at more- the beauty of Willies fish or the beauty of Willies reel!!! The two combined in one picture is why i am a salmon fisherman in the first place.. Nice, nice picture Willie Gunn!!! now,, was it a Willie Gunn that fooled her??
Yes it was a Willie Gunn tied by Gordon Armstrong.
I have a small confession to make the ground was very sandy and in the excitement and hurry to get the photo taken and the fish back in the water, the reel got covered in sand, the grating noise was just awful. Reel cleaned and back to full use.
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Old 04-17-2005, 02:48 PM
D3Smartie D3Smartie is offline
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S.C. I agree anything over 15 min. is probably quite a fish. I am going to take some mental notes this summer about the length of the fight, although we get some that are big, over 25, that come right in. i got 2 over 30 the last summer that might have been about 15 min fights. Seemed very short for the fishs' size.

W.G. -- the thought of that reel grating on sand just makes me cringe... that is a beautiful fish
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Old 04-25-2005, 10:27 AM
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The length of the fight depends on lots of factors.

I use light tippets, down to 8 lbs on adult salmon. We've mentionned 1 minute/lb, ... I guess that pretty well sets a norm that sounds about average.

IMHO, water temp. makes me decide how long. I like light tippets as I'll either bring in the fish or I can break off pretty well when I chose to.

From experiece on my home waters, most 16-18 lb salmon take about 20 minutes max. One particular specimen did take over 30 as I could actually see him bleeding and knew I'd keep it and was on 6 lb test.

That was a weird feeling, ... fishing (concentrating) almost frantically to not lose the fish 'cause I knew I'd keep it.
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