The rivers have been filling
up all season from the top down like a bottlenecked motorway. There are coloured resident fish stationed in what they have made their territory becoming more and more aggressive. These fish will have probably seen a few temptations from anglers on their journey here that have either convinced them or not. Either way, these fish are more savvy to your offerings and it is time to think smart and make the most of your last days of the season.
Whether you will be presenting big snaeldas, francis or the tiniest stoats tails with no flash, Autumn fish will only take if you can frustrate them into an aggressive response. The best way to achieve this response, is get the fly deeper and closer to the fish and invade it’s territory. There are similarities to Spring fishing, but more finesse is required as you are not necessarily intercepting running fish, but stationary fish. A heavy landing skagit may be the right choice for faster water to get a tungsten tip and big fly out and down, but as the fish get comfortable, they’ll probably be in the slower glides and deeper holes where they can see everything that happens on the surface. A well presented gentle landing of your line way upstream from the target is the stealth part, the tool; preferably sinking, or multi density heads with a long fine tippet, particularly in clear slow water. For even better results, fish a dropper with the dark smaller fly on the point (tail end). The large bright fly will act as an attractor, the fish will investigate and be greeted by a small dark fly just behind it causing a knee-jerk response.
So WHICH lines give you the best options?
There is no one single line that does everything, though there are lines with interchangeable multi-tip options as many know, yet these can be limiting in Autumn due to the floating main body.
Our advice covers all aspects of all fishing disciplines here at Angling Active, but the most common queries are fly line related and understandably so with the endless wall of fly lines we have in stock in the Angling Active store.
Working through the different types of water you’ll be faced with this Autumn, here are our favourite lines for you to consider and just as importantly, how to fish them. What we are not
saying is that you need every one of the lines below, but think about the river you are going to fish and which style of water recognised below seams to suit:
Long, slow, shallow pools or tail outs with easily spooked fish in clear water.
This style of pool/run is potentially where fish will be considering spawning later in the year. If you can see them, please leave paired fish alone, there’s plenty of other water to fish.
Use a long tapered line for delicate presentation but enough power to turn out a reasonable size fly to start fishing as soon as it lands. A clear line can improve your chances further. Have a look at this new VISION ACE SHOOTING HEAD. Add a clear intermediate AIRFLO 10FT SALMON POLYLEADER to further your stealth and refine presentation. On the hang (when the line has come right around and starts to snake), start a very slow retrieve and be prepared for a couple of knocks as the line tightens. Don’t strike a fish that takes a straight line in slow water, simply grip the line and the fish will turn and set the hook its self.
A drop-off or shelf at an incoming tributary, big corner pool or big back eddy.
VISION ACE SHOOTING HEAD, Clear Floating. #9/10, 10/11, 11/12
This is the next type of water that we would consider a great Autumnal lie for Salmon. These, often fine gravelly runs are ideal for fish to sit their nose right on the deep drop-off using the up current to keep them steady with little to no energy being expelled. This type of water is extremely territorial because it could be where Spring fish have stopped or fallen back to months prior. If you know there’s a few fish in the river, this is the place to fish first and last light. Never over fish this pool because every swing of the fly will teach the fish further, and fishing it at those optimum times may make the difference between a successful day or a blank day. For this type of water a floating or intermediate belly line with a change of density (sink rate) toward the end will be best. This allows you to hang the fly bringing it just across and over the lip of the hole and the fly is right on their noses. Have a look at the new SCIERRA PROLONGED SHOOTING HEAD for this style of fishing. For a bit more depth these lines are perfectly suited to sinking tips/polyleaders/versileaders.
Deep channels with faster surface water and boils.
SCIERRA PROLONGED SHOOTING HEAD, Float/Sink3. #9/10/11
If you are looking to cut through the fast flowing surface into the slower bouldery water underneath, use a triple density line. Believe it of not, hydrodynamics rule that the water at the surface is always moving faster than that underneath. So, if you are to make a cast with a floating line on a fast moving stretch of water it will whip around and you’ll have the fly in the water for less time. If however, you fish with a sunk line and cut through the surface the line will swing slower giving you more time with the fly in the right places.
Triple density diagram. Faster sinking left to right.
The advantage of a treble (aka triple) density line is that you have the fly down deep but the belly of the line is over the top of boulders and snags but under the fast surface. Smart!
Check out two of our favourite triple density lines here in multiple sink rate variations and line weights.
GAELFORCE EQUALIZER ETD TRIPLE DENSITY
RIO SCANDI 3D
There are of course many other styles of water to cover, but the three we have mentioned above is where we recommend you focus on in order to at least have the best opportunity to catch an Autumnal Salmon.
We always expect anglers to respect the salmon and let them get on with what they should be doing. If you feel they should be left alone as they are getting ready to spawn early over the next few months, just sit back and watch. You might learn something 😉