Catch more salmon.

In this article I choose to write about the most common mistakes fly fishers do when the fish for salmon. Its a few things that should be planned during the fishing, especially when the water runs low and the river is warm with shy fish. Many don't plan their fishing, and that´s often related to the most common mistakes. Common mistakes may be how you´re fishing; you´re activity beside the river, and how long you fish at the same place. Wrong choice of equipment might be another mistake, especially wrong choice of fly lines and flies. In this article I will tell you detailed about the mistakes.

The period from 1st of June until about 20th of June. (I say "about" because the flood-time might vary from year to year).

Use big colourful tube flies when the river is big and cold.

The big challenge for the fly fisher is a high river and cold water. When the river is really high, especially in the "spring-flood", it´s about 3-4 challenges during the fishing. First, you have to think of where you´re going to fish. Generally, it's the lower parts of the river that is best at that time. This might vary because of how early the spring-flood arrived and lasted. If the river is low when the season starts, will probably the salmon be located at the higher parts of the river, earlier then normal.
The second challenge is to choose the right fly line. By saying that, I mean to choose a line heavy enough adapted the water level and the speed of the river stream. I recommend you to bring at least 2-3 different sinking lines.
The third challenge for the fly fisher when the river is high is the fly-casting. This might be very hard because of little place around you. Often you have to stand right next to the trees, then it´s the spey technique and the snake roll technique that works. Deep wading might also be another challenge for you´re casting.
The fourth challenge, a challenge you should focus, is the tube fly. In June, the river is often high, and you need big and heavy flies. Its important to have at least 3-4 different patterns in big sizes, often in lengths at 12-14 cm on high and cold rivers, and 8-10 cm when the river has little less water level.
These challenges are the most common challenges in June, and it is important to plan you´re fishing. In June, the salmon swim up along the river. That means that you can sometimes fish in an empty area. I recommend you to find out where the fish might be, and quickly obtain a fishing license there. Look at the flies I recommend in the link below.


The period from about 20th of June until about 15th of July. (I say "about" here too, because you never know if it can arrive a flood).

I recommend to fish with medium-size tube flies after the spring-flood.

In the end of June, and the start of July, the medium big salmon and the small salmon have arrived the river from the ocean. And now, the time beside the river starts to get very interesting. The fish does also stop in the pools, and that increases the changes to catch salmon. Its different how the different sizes of the salmon swim up along the river. The smaller salmon often plays around when they swim up along the river. When the river has a medium water lever, it can sometimes be hard for the salmon to choose a way to swim, because of e.g. big rocks. However, in this period I recommend you to use sinking lines, but not as heavy as them you use in June. Now, the float-sink lines are starting to be appropriate to use when the river stream does not runs fast. Tube flies in the sizes of 6-8 cm works great now and in smaller rivers you can use hook sizes in 4 and 6. The reason for recommending this is because at normal/medium water level, the salmon will swim pretty fast up along the river.


A common mistake then might be that fly fishers use too light lines and too small flies. You maybe remember those situations; you can see many salmon jumping around you, and not one of them is touching your fly, but the worm fishers gets fish? What happens, is that your fly goes too high in the water and it does not appears well for the salmon swimming by. But with a bigger fly, and a heavier line your fly will appear near the salmon, and you have a better chance to catch fish! This mistake is a usual mistake, its after all July and the summer has started for good! When you fish in a smaller river, you may use both floating lines and intermediate lines, and of course smaller flies.


The period from about 15th of July until 31st of August.

When the water level is low its important to not to non-stop fishing.

This period is really exciting! Now its important to notice the variations of both weather and wind. This affects the water level and the temperature in the river, and this again affect the behaviour of the salmon.
You now may have to use different lines, different flies and sizes. For the most, I use the float/sinking lines Triple D; F/H/I, F/1/2, F/2/4 when the river has a normal water level. If the river is very low, I do fish with floating lines and if its high I again use sinking lines. But what´s different from the spring is that the water temperature is higher now. However, you don't need the heaviest sinking lines now.

Variation is a keyword when the river is low, and under these conditions the most mistakes take place, so you don't catch any salmon, even though it's a lot of salmon I the pools. I´ve written an article about fishing when the river is low and the fish is shy (link beneath), so I´m not going to do that now. But I can give you some advices! When you see a pool with a lot of salmon, a usual mistake is to fish non-stop with no variation. I´ve tested this a lot through my seasons, and the answer is no doubt! If you fish with non-stop, walking up and down the river the whole time it´s hard to catch fish. On the other hand, if you take it slow and vary between lines and flies, it´s much easier to catch fish. If you do cast after cast after cast, the salmon will ignore your fly because the salmon see it every thirty seconds. The art is to surprise the salmon, then it will be aggressive and take the fly in anger. If you think this sounds weird, try yourself!


Indianfishing (sneeking fishing) and light equipment is important on sunny days and low water.

Another general mistake has to do with the fly-casting. Especially the spey technique and the snake roll. Many fishers need to have some blind-cast before the fly gets cast into the river. This may noise a lot in the water. Especially if the water level is low is this a challenge. But when the river is low you often have a lot of space behind you, then, use the overhead casting technique! I think this cast is the best cast to use when the river is low, because you present the fly nicer and better. See the link for my casting-DVD for two handed fly-casting.

Good luck with the season of the year!

Best regards,
Jan Erik.

jørem vald namsen

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