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> > Managing salmon?

RogueratOctober 15th, 2015, 4:54 pm
Posts: 472
I made a trip to the PM (Pere Marquette) recently and tried my luck at salmon fishing in the vicinity of Claybanks. I had some decent bumps and actually hooked some only to have them run downstream and break off. Doing some after-the-fact research, the most logical advice was this: 'don't high-stick a salmon while fighting it, keep the rod-tip LOW and parallel to the water surface, and TURN THE FISH'S HEAD TOWARD YOU and KEEP TURNING IT TOWARD YOU when they try to run' since that- in theory- won't let them run away or use the current to advantage.

Does this make sense to the salmon fishers on this site? Anyway, I'm already shopping for a better rod/reel setup (waaaay more backing capacity) and making plans for my next trip north.

tight lines, all,


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Kschaefer3October 15th, 2015, 5:54 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
I have limited experience, so take this with a grain of salt. I used very strong tippet (0X or possibly just 12 or 15 lb straight mono) on an 8 wt and put the screws to the fish. I let them run when they needed to run, but as soon as I would feel a release of pressure, I would turn them and turn them hard. As you say, this takes away their advantage. If you let them get the upper hand, it's hard to regain control. At times, I ran downstream to maintain a better position.
RogueratOctober 15th, 2015, 6:20 pm
Posts: 472

The tippet strength makes sense, the fly-fisher just downstream of me was using straight 20# Maxima from the line to the streamer he was casting, with a pretty stout barrel-swivel between the line and leader (prevents twist? allows better action?). And there were guys splashing up, down, across, all over trying to reel in and fight fish that were running. Add the drift-boat traffic every couple minutes and things were pretty entertaining!

I was using my St Croix 9' 8-wt with a WF-floating line, 6' furled leader and 3x tippet...and they all broke off running downstream. I'll be better prepared next time.

TroutnutOctober 16th, 2015, 6:35 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
I've always thought "keep the rod low and turn the fish's head toward you" was good general advice for fighting any fish that's big for the tackle you're using. It has certainly worked well for me for salmon. Sometimes a big king just has to take off on a run, but usually you can keep turning the fish to your advantage and wear it down. Using a 3X tippet might have been your main problem... that's really light for big salmon!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
WbranchOctober 20th, 2015, 11:25 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
As Jason wrote;

Using a 3X tippet might have been your main problem... that's really light for big salmon!

I agree 100%. Back when I was fishing the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY back in the mid 1980's to around 2000 I never used a leader less than 0X and often I would cut off the 0X on a 9' leader and blood knot a piece of 14# or 16# Maxima to the end of the leader. To tell you the truth I don't remember ever having a fish break the tippet. I have purposely broken off fish that had run so far into the backing that I knew I couldn't land them or fish that I knew were foul hooked.

I mostly used a 8 1/2' #8 boron graphite rod with a floating line, and a Marryat or Orvis multiplier reel. I landed tons of 15# - 20# fish with this rig and dozens of 20# - 26# kings.

Here is an old grainy scanned picture of a typical king that we caught by the dozens on the Salmon River. Someplace I have a picture of a 30# king I caught. I used to keep one every trip and fillet or steak it and get half smoked and keep the other half for broiling.

The salmon fishing is still a really big deal up there and besides the kings there are plenty of 10# - 15# cohoes. Starting around now the salmon peter out and the steelhead are the targeted fish. The problem is it is just too crowded.

Back when I was still keeping big fish. I have an even bigger hen mounted. Haven't kill a steelhead in twenty years.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Feathers5October 21st, 2015, 9:15 am
Posts: 287Who is that guy holding those fish?
WbranchOctober 22nd, 2015, 5:33 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Me, about 25 years ago.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
LastchanceOctober 22nd, 2015, 6:10 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Me, about 25 years ago.

I knew it was Matt, I was just kiddin' you.
WbranchOctober 23rd, 2015, 3:36 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
When I was better looking.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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