Determined 1st Timer - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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Old 11-24-2001, 11:54 PM
D2fly D2fly is offline
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Determined 1st Timer

Hello, I'm new to this forum and certainly a bit of a novice in the flyfishing department. I was wondering if someone out there might be willing to give me a few pointers on flyfishing for salmon. I know the season is nearly through, but I've yet to hook one in my last 5 outings on this 10wt sage of mine. I've been to the Carbon, the Nisqually, and the Cowlitz - skunked every time.

I'm wondering if it's my gear as well as my presentation skills that is keeping me from hooking up. Yesterday I fished the Cowlitz at a relatively secluded spot and then even moved up to the Barrier dam area (sheer pandamonium). I think the # of anglers (spin casters) there matched the number of fish... and there were an abundance of both. I was left without a single tug on my line except for the occasional entanglement with one of the spin casting folks.

I've been using a sink tip and throwing all sorts of flies without success. Just today I ordered a full sinking line.

Any suggestions on lines, leaders, tippets. flies... heck I'm all ears!
If a man cannot live where he can draw a long breath... he needs to look beyond the circle that is his life...
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Old 11-25-2001, 12:36 AM
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Adrian Adrian is offline
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It's debatable whether God designed Salmon fishing or Golf to be the sport destined to test Mankinds patience and endurance to the limit.

I have no experience of Salmon fishing outside of the U.K. and Ireland but I would suggest that presentation is key. Of course, what the fish actually sees is a function both of of equipment and how its used (speed, depth, angle, rod length , fly size etc...).

There are many others on this board who can offer advice from first hand experience. The batting average back in the U.K. on the more accessible rivers in Scotland used to be reckoned at one fish in five years/ rod weeks of fishing.

Mad dogs and Englishmen etc....

Good Luck out there!
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Old 11-25-2001, 01:41 AM
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Steelheader69 Steelheader69 is offline
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You can get by with your 10wt. I normally use an 8wt for most of my fly work. Alot of times it is your presentation that makes or breaks your day.

You can use sinktips. I usually use sinktips in a few situations. Deep saltwater work, deep slots, or holding water I have to penetrate quickly to get past the fast upper current to get to the slower holding water just beneath (ie fast outercurrent with an obstruction). Mostly I use straight floating line for most of my presentations. Normally I either use standard hooks or maybe a slightly weighted hook. I usually will add some sort of line floatant to end of flyline and first part of leader. I normally will run about a 5 foot piece of line tied directly to flyline with other end of mono tied directly to fly. I'll cast up stream of pocket and let fly naturally sink/drift with current. I'll do any mends I needed to keep a natural drift going. Just wait for the line to either hesitate or go under and set the hook.

I'm by far not an expert at fly fishing. But I do fairly well for only doing it part time. I'm sure there's others who can really give you some good hints.

"Good angling ethic is not a monopoly practiced just by fly fisherman" - Bill McMillan
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Old 11-25-2001, 03:26 AM
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sean sean is offline
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It is quite possible you are doing everything right and the fish are just not cooperating. Coho and chinook can be quite frustrating to fish for in rivers. Quite frequently they just lock up and will not take anything at all and other days the gods will smile upon you and you will hook a few. In my experience it is usually the former and the fish just aint interested.

I have also found fishing in large groups of gear and bait guys really lessens your chances of hitting fish. Usually in those situations the fish are more interested in avoiding a corkie in the back than your fly.It definitely pays to do some exploring and find a semi peaceful piece of water to fish.

It is also a good idea to try going really small with your patterns. I remember a day on the Kalama where this guy was hitting fish after fish and I was coming up empty. I finally swallowed my pride and asked to take a look at his fly and to my surprise he was using a #10 black nymph pattern. He let me borrow one so I cut off my #4 comet and my luck changed immediately. It is hard to get past the big fish = big fly mentality but it some cases it works wonders.

They are very fickle though in the freshwater and that is why I prefer to fish in the salt for coho. Your chances increase dramatically in the salt as the fish are still feeding and coho love to eat.

However if you target pinks or chum it is a different story. They both will take a properly presented fly quite readily in the rivers. The key with them is finding large numbers and you are bound to find a biter in the bunch.

If you can get over to hoodsport I would recommend trying it at least once. There are tons of chum in right now and a size 6 or 8 green or cherise fly is all you need to catch them. A day there will help break in that rod pretty quick.

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