There is one standard statement with which I cannot agree. It is considered that the Atlantic salmon does not eat in fresh water. Many do not understand the reasons forcing this fish to attack in the rivers every possible baits - flies, wobblers, metal lures, worms, pieces of pipes with hooks both other edible and inedible objects. Certainly, I will not begin to declare that fishes eat natural food always and everywhere. The fisher who cleans salmons, usually does not look at all in a stomach. The result after all is known - it will find the empty and slept digestive organs.
But there is a difference between an atrophy and hypotrophy. The concept «hypо» means possible restoration of function in some conditions. These processes are well studied on a sea trout who in a month after spawning again has a silvery colouring and so on. And the survived salmon by the spring has working teeth, silvery colour of a body comes back. It is noticed by fishers to whom fish coming back in the sea came across. Their stomachs have already started to digest sedges and other insects, it is the same forage which we find in stomachs of the trout caught in the same place. A multimonthly break in a food at all a rarity in life of fishes.
All this long introduction is written for the only purpose, to convince itself and others that it is impossible to look at a noble Atlantic salmon, as on a unique person in wildlife. There is no sense to ask a question: «Why the salmon attacks an artificial flies?» The salmon always was and will be simple fish with the set of instincts which define its reaction at the sight of our flies and lures. But while representation dominates that the salmon in the river "is not hungry, does not eat and does not search for food". For example, Malkolm Greenhalgh in articles for magazine "Fly Fishing and Fly Tying» does a conclusion about inexpediency of efforts on studying of this theme. He does not see practical sense in catching on imitating baits. Though in article the author himself ascertains the facts of obvious interest of a salmon to live insects.
Such representation about appetite of a salmon pushes us to search for a way to successful fishing in area only salmon flies, salmon tactics and technics of fishing. Lacks of this nonflexible approach have created weight of the errors, concerning motives of behaviour of fish. It has led to occurrence of set of salmon flies with not clear practical sense. Their classifications or division into groups can be understood, if it is a question of carriers, ways are viscous also materials. Someone has told that salmon flies exist, as a mix of impressionism with an expressionism, it reflects our subjective approach to business.
I have once again seen arguments of supporters of catching on salmon flies, arguments in favour of salmon flies. Fishing is a wide concept and "salmon flies" are entered in the settled term "salmon fishing" organically. And so, what practical value of this variety of flies? Even if the fly is adapted for concrete conditions of the river, it is difficult to understand, why, how and when it will work. And whether will work in general? There are convincing enough and detailed recommendations for choice the size, colour and some other characteristics of flies depending on a season, a water condition and so on. Really, it is possible to show change of preferences of a salmon on an example of an effective Shrimp fly. Big and bright in the beginning, it degrades to hardly appreciable orange or red element "tag" or "butt" on flies of 12-14 sizes.
Technically fishing by ordinary wet flies and nymphs has advantage over pure salmon flies. Casting and the bait presentation is more important than the fly and its such private characteristics mentioned to a place and not so, as material game, a silhouette, colour, a transparency and many other things. In many respects fishing methods depend on density (floating - sinking) of a line. Increase of weight and power of salmon tackle results, with rare exception, in restriction of quality of possession of it. If to spread out fishing proces to components it is necessary to cast, give a fly into best position, to process the area or a direction, not to lose control over a fly and indicate a fish attack. Control which allows to translate all other qualitative parties of presentation in a quantity indicator - during correct work of a fly in water - is key. Experience of a wet fly technique offers these purely technical advantages of correct cast and control of position of flies. For some it sounds is paradoxical, but rather short cast by usual tackle can be much more productive than work by a salmon fishing tackle. Especially it is actual for the people who have not seized tops of shooting or a two-handed casting.
It is quite probable that it is necessary to appreciate more not cast range , not superfluous 2-3 metres which can sometimes play a role. It is more important to pay attention to a correct variant of a direction, speed of presentation and correction of movement of a fly.
And fly choice we need more logicall and consistent.The flexibility of tactics leading to success, consists not so much in search of the flies recovering interest of getting tired fish. The success consists in search of real model of a fly and its adequate presentation in water, after all the receptions usually used on our rivers, work and on the salmon.
Whether you agree, that on the salmon river grayling may be a good diagnosticum of a correct fly choice? Absence of fish attacks not only a salmon, but also graylings, sets thinking and change a fly. This supervision happens correct for salmonflies (let not for fully dressed, vaddinctons and tubes), especially it is correct for the usual.
I offer possibility to be free of the scheme based more on aggression or seasonal activity, because of the inconsistent dogmas connected with it. And I suggest to use more clear component in behaviour of fishes - a food instinct and imitating flies corresponding to it.
In the imitating approach there is nothing new, at catching of a salmon expressly or by implication it is applied for a long time. After all the speckled feather gives effect of segmentation, wool is similar to scuds short moustaches and aerials. Gold pheasant topping creates illusion of a contour of a translucent body. Many flies have passed from a number trout flies, let the generalised imitations, in the salmon flies. Remember at least March Brown and Muddler Minnow. Return process is swept up also. Some salmon flies leave a category purely salmon. Losing in paints and decreasing in sizes, they come nearer to the natural prototypes stimulating appetite, instead of playing nerves. Estimating efficiency of flies, I want to result their indicative degradation from purely salmon to usual, sometimes fantasy, but more often close in natural organisms.
We were fishng in the beginning of June, water temperature fluctuated from 9 degrees to 7-8 in night. I without doubts have begun with large orange Shrimp. Later it has appeared that fishes not bad attacks also small shrimps of eighth number. In the evening it became absolutely clear that the smallest variations with a feather of a gold pheasant were the best . I have already purposefully decided to reduce the size of flies, it is interesting after all to find a limit or the line defining preference of fishes. Still salmons not bad took on a large bright fly, but almost everywhere, even in the places passed repeatedly, fish preferred flies with a dot orange-red element, as in Red Butt and flies similar to it. Eventually, I have left alone everything that though somehow reminded salmon flies, and have passed to variants Red Tag or Black Zulu #10- 12 in which the scrap of red wool, as a rudiment of the former salmon fly was saved only. Wet flies with a red body of type Red Spinner, Hardy Favorite have appeared the best. «Bloody Gnat» similar to a full mosquito with a paunch from bright red to a cherry, bloody shade well worked well on 12-14. Still being very cautious, I could not refuse "red" colour, in any degree assuming its role in salmon interest.
All is correct, it is the ready instruction to action. Except for a frequent variant when fish is, but does not react to a fly. I am assured that search of flies within the limits of these recommendations can not help. Business not only that the fly, effective today, ceases to catch tomorrow. And not that your best fly on 100 % is not similar to that, which today a companion has shown to you as his most effective fly. Simply there are no templates-schemes of behaviour of fish which can consider all variants. Someone puts in a basis presence of a thermometer and own growth, as a depth measure. Others see a basis of success in ability to estimate speed of water and its colour. Some fishers put temperature on last place among factors of a choice of a fly, a place and fishing tactics. Therefore for me there was no unexpected a problem with a choice of the salmon fly, become before the author mentioned above, described by him on pages of fishing magazine. And a logical exit it seems reception of its more skilled colleague which the ten the flies has picked up, 10 metres of a small reach everyone for. But also the master selection passed empirically. It has occupied years, and criteria of selection remained are not clear.
To find the recipe of affective baits - incomparable pleasure. But it is necessary to return to a question: on what the salmon fly is similar, more correctly what should be an effectivefly? Such question is more correct, considering that speech will go now about fishing. Present disappointment degree when the found salmon fly appears only empty tribute of tradition to fish salmon on the salmon fly. Essentially I was ready to recognise that sedge imitation, stoneflies, and other small flies, including fantasyflies are affective. When you stand on a belt in ice water and you work, trying to throw further, to spend more deeply then it would be desirable to think that it is simple accident - the salmon has got on a trifling fly/
Any fish is guided by three basic instincts, and a salmon not an exception in the behaviour. Allow to name their instincts of self-preservation, reproduction and food which role can change depending on conditions. This combination defines not only research and aggressive behaviour of fish, but also a reflex on food presence in river water which nobody cancelled! The food instinct does not vanish, though weakens against high concentration of sexual hormones. I want to break off the settled chain of dogmas for beginners, a chain of schemes - «the big water - the big bright fly», or «small activity of fish - a small dark fly». Other approach is necessary because not clearly in what "activity" of fish, in aggression or reaction to food occurrence is shown.
Supervision over attacking fish is a thing emotional and informative. One fish has allowed to spend the whole series of experiences. It stood on depth from 1,2 to 1,8 metres at an input in a wide small rift. I offered it the effective salmon flies, but fish did not react. It has quickened at the sight of olive sedge, soft hackle fly on 14 hook from my grayling box and instantly became "active". Similar metamorphoses regularly repeated and further.
Essentially can exchange nothing in behaviour of fishes. Attacks to live objects are carried out not somehow especially but only how it it is observable at others salmonidae in the river. Character of movement depends on a place which is occupied with fish more often and... character of a fly. Sometimes it occurs absolutely easy, fish rises almost vertically to a surface and quietly takes a fly. Thus anything on a surface does not occur and only the intuition forces to make cutting. In such cases fish is marked for the tip of a nose, how grayling and the trout collecting a forage at a surface. At fly leaving aside from a parking lot, the salmon rises and also on a diagonal follows a fly, studying it and leaving a wavy trace on water. The similar picture happens at attempts of fish to attack dry sedge, leaving with a furrow aside.
In fast water of rifts or in stones, it is periodically possible to observe traces of a spontaneous exit of fishes to a surface. But it is possible to throw an ordinary wet fly and we will receive similar movement of fish. Supervision of movement of fishes at a surface are accessible to everyone and hardly will call many objections. The first lifting of a salmon to a surface for a fly has been described in 1659 when salmon flies in modern representation yet were not. The same picture you can see in spring cold water, in the summer and later, in the autumn.