Grilse have continued to make up the bulk of the catch. All methods have worked very well, but the fly has been particularly effective. The average size of these one sea winter salmon has been around 3lbs with nearly all fish caught lately being fresh. As the season progresses, size is increasing with more in the 4-6lb bracket being intercepted.
Earlier this week I released a couple of grilse employing high water spinning tactics. I must say I'm very impressed with how my Shimano Spheros 6000 reel has been coping. I've fished with it for many hours in powerful flows using heavy size 4 Flying C's and it is still performing admirably well. Other reels I have owned in the past could not deal with the rigors of this style of fishing but so far so good with this piece of kit.
With so much high water careering its way downstream, we hoped this may entice a few of the bigger, autumn fish to run. I'm delighted to say this has been the case as some lovely fish have been landed over the last couple of days. Of course, due to prolonged high flows, it is very much a case of being in the right place at the right time as anglers are aiming to cover pods of fish which are not running as hard as they were earlier in the season.
On Sunday, I happened to come across a couple of salmon which had no hesitation in taking a fly. With line fully extended, I had a lovely take on a small cascade pattern. A great fight ensued and after some hairy moments I slipped the net under a lovely 11lb fish. Moments later another, bigger salmo salar smashed my fly. Alas, after a few slow, deep and stubborn runs it shook the hook following some violent surface thrashing. Indeed, isn't that why it's called fishing and not catching!? At least prospects for the future are looking very promising.