Well, you knew you had to hear all about it, there was no way this one was going to be swept under the carpet. In the past couple of weeks or maybe this has turned into months I have been in pursuit of an Australian salmon on fly.
Being new to the game there definitely has been quite a few challenges along the way. If it wasn’t the wind, it was swell and then if conditions were perfect the fish would play Houdini and were nowhere to be seen.
Apart from the weather there were also problems with me, the angler. I haven’t had much practice of late but when I do I am great on land. Put me in a moving boat with obstacles, a slight breeze and then having to balance myself in the swell saw my casting distance be all but pathetic. Also add the ingredient of schools of feeding fish swimming past makes you rush the cast, throwing everything I was taught out the window.
It was a pretty insane day. Every time the fish came close so did the mutton birds, I had birds trying to take the fly or hit the fly rod in the midst of casting. I decided to put on a sinking tippet to just get that fly under the birds a bit more and perhaps help with my casting distance.
The lack of casting distance would mean that by the time I stripped the line back in, the fish were just starting to get interested then I would not have any more line left to strip and they would then turn away from the fly. Aaagh!
Frustrating for me, it was also starting to see an impatient skipper develop, whom was becoming very frustrated watching me trying to catch a salmon on fly. So frustrated that my husband couldn’t help but grab the fly rod and teach me a nice lesson on how it was done with a salmon hooked 2nd cast. This just made me more determined than ever.
Next cast I concentrated on slowing things down. I ignored the fish to a degree and at last got a small window to have a cast before the birds moved in. Bingo I was on!
Trying to describe the feeling after such a long battle of trial and error has left me speechless. It was so exhilarating when you go for that next strip and next minute hang on there is weight. I stripped the line back just a little more to ensure the hook was set and then it was off, taking up all my slack line to leave me fighting from the reel.
Wow! My rod, the Daiwa New Era NE6 6wt finally had a decent bend in it and teamed up with the NE56 fly reel it purred, as the reel handle would occasionally hit my knuckles when the fish swam off with speed. Ouch!
This was so exciting and I was on cloud 9. I was oblivious to everything else and I couldn’t believe I was experiencing this. Like all those DVD’s I have been watching of late it was exactly what I had expected if not better.
I tried two different lures today. I started with a clouser fly in a white/gold colour and had a few fish follow it but not actually take it. I ended up putting another clouser on but this time in a chartreuse colour. The fish definitely were in the mood to eat this fly.
The visual will remain imprinted in my mind forever. I thought I had the fly bug bad before but look out, I think my disease has just got worse. I vow to practice more as my casting was not great and I think if this improved I would have had a lot more opportunity to catch more fish today.