With thousands of fishing vessels across Europe stuck ashore, we may expect larger and more bountiful catches in the coming months as salmon are free to grow and procreate on a level not seen since the second world war. It’s important to understand each piece of equipment you employ and how their variations suit different environments and catches. With salmon biomass looking to surge over the next year, we should all set ourselves up for maximum success.
Atlantic salmon are considered the king of sportfish for a reason: when they’re in rivers they do not feed, and once caught they put up a fight. Understanding this, it’s clear that for consistent success we need the appropriate gear. As the most essential piece of equipment, a quality fly rod is the foundation of any successful fishing expedition. A 9-weight fly rod should be suitable for most conditions. Depending on the environment and water levels, a Sprey Rod might be useful, especially where the back cast room is limited. It goes without saying that without a proper fly reel, even the best fly rod will be useless. For Atlantic salmon, salmon flies should be paired with reels capable of holding 135 metres of 9kg backing. The best fly depends heavily on the season: dry flies are ideal during the summer months, while wet flies will find more success in colder seasons.
Dressing for success:
Your clothing choices can have both safety and performance implications, so it is important to consider what you wear before heading out. Because fly fishing requires a lot of standing, often in water, proper footwear is crucial to comfort and safety. Quality shoes or wading boots can provide a strong grip, preventing you from losing balance and sustaining an injury. If you do decide to angle in cold waters, waders can keep you dry and as a result, warm, no matter how long you stay out there.
Polarized sunglasses provide critical eye protection from the hook and fly. One mistake can be catastrophic, and glasses can prevent serious injury. Furthermore, polarized sunglasses cut down on glare, which will up your fishing game considerably, helping you spot fish regardless of how bright it gets out there. If you’re fishing in uncomfortable weather, be it hot or cold, a sunshield hat can keep you protected from the elements allowing you to better focus on the fish.
There is a significant amount of nuance to selecting the ideal combination of rod, reel and fly. Remember to examine your fishing environment and take note of the season to find the most success. Beyond your fly rod, clothing plays an important role in safety and comfort during the long fishing hours.