2014 will be remembered as one of the worst years in memory for salmon fishing in Ireland and most other european countries. With low water conditions and very poor runs salmon numbers were at an all time low this season. I know many anglers who were lucky to even get a few fish this season. Here is hoping for a better year next year.
I decided to fish the Carrick on Suir club waters for the last day. Des, Con and I went down to give it one last go. For those of you who have never fished this water it is an amazing stretch and has fantastic fly water for its entire length.
After a chat at the club hut we went up to fish the famous bubble for a few casts. Having tried traditional tactics of across and down I decided to try something completely different. When trout fishing this kind of water I would usually fish with a dry and dropper rig (often called NZ style or Klink and dink) so with a double handed rod and shooting head I patched together a leader and a dry with a dropper of a tungsten jig head. I had not really expected to hook anything, but on the third cast I was in! It was a good fish, not that fresh but around 5/6 lbs. As I was casting upstream with the double hander it was hard to hook him correctly so I lost the fish after a few seconds. Things were looking up!
After seeing another fish break I covered him a few times with the nymph and bang the dry went down and I struck and into another fish. This time it was a good one not sure how big but definitely over 10/12 lbs but he swam towards me then splashed on the surface and was gone. Trying a few more parts of the run I had a few more takes, a few hook ups on the bottom. Then another one took it. He was on straight away and was taking line. This one I managed to land as you can see in the video below. If you look at the end of the movie you can see the nymph in his mouth.
I am not professing to be an expert after trying this only once but I suppose it has lead me to question my beliefs so to speak about the conventional ways we fish for salmon. Should we always be swinging the fly? Maybe we should be fishing more nymphs for salmon? Do they remember feeding on these from their time as smolts and parr in the river? Who knows? But what I do know is it has changed the way I view salmon fishing and I will be trying this again!