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Around 20 minutes after this shot was taken this guest hooked and landed a perfect Autumn salmon at 'The Boil' Pool on the Newtyle Beat near Dunkeld. It was right here in 1970 that I caught my first ever salmon under the legendary guidance of Willie 'the ghillie' Laird who was the ghillie here for 50 years prior to 1986.
This fine Atlantic Salmon took the 'Jock's Shrimp' salmon fly near the Perthshire hamlet of Logierait. You can see the fish friendly rubberised landing net mesh behind the salmon which is ideal for protecting the fish from damage while unhooking it prior to release.
Here's a shot of myself in the Meetings Pool of the River Tay near Pitlochry with my lucky Tweed jacket on and Sharpes of Aberdeen landing net over my shoulder. Professional Scottish photographer Louise Bellin took this fine shot moments before a salmon rattled my fly!
This  Autumn cock salmon took a deeply presented salmon fly at the neck of the Rock Pool on the Kinnaird Beat of the River Tay during late September. This perfect shot of the fish and the deadly salmon fly that lured it was taken seconds before its safe release from the landing net.
You need to be aware of how deep you should be fishing your fly throughout all of the different salmon fishing seasons & temperatures of the year. This fisher was fishing a 10ft 'type 3' sinking tip on the end of his floating mainline to sink his fly down a foot or so in the water column which is appropriate during May when this shot was taken.
This River Tay angler is fly fishing through the Newtyle Beat salmon pool known as 'The Trap'. I re-constructed and named this salmon pool 25 years ago as at that time it was big deep mess of a hole with sunken trees and no riverbank due to the previous effects of a misplaced croy that was built slightly upstream of this angler back in 1976 which I also personally witnessed the construction of. This is a consistent pool for catching salmon and has been now for 20+ years.

How Deep Should I Fish My Salmon Fly

Professional Scottish salmon fishing advice on targeting the correct depth of salmon fly to match the water conditions of the salmon river.

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How Deep Should I Fish My Salmon Fly

How Do Atlantic Salmon Hunt Their Prey

This is an interesting salmon fishing topic that's often questioned by new and sometimes more experienced salmon anglers but I'd like to commence by stating the fact that salmon (like most marine predators) hunt from below which means a salmon may well on ocassion come several feet up from the depth of a pool to take a fly if it is in the right frame of mind to do so.

How Deep Do Salmon LiE In A River

The above fact can often give the wrong information to the angler who's fishing a floating line with a light added sink tip through a deep salmon pool as that angler will more than likely be completely unaware how far the fish has come up to intercept the fly. A fish that's going to come up off the bottom of a deep river pool will likely be a fresh run salmon that's not long arrived in the pool or a resident salmon that's fully alert and exciteable. More often than not older resident salmon require a deep fishing approach in warmer water conditions in order to force a reaction so an angler who's caught a few salmon fishing their fly high up in the water column could well be missing fish by not going deeper more often.

Where To Learn Salmon Fly Presentation Tactics

I would advise that in the warmer water conditions of late Spring & Summer your fly should be fished down deep as that's where the cooler salmon 'holding water' will be found. To do that you really need to be prepared with some proper long braided core tapered tungsten coated sink tips to counteract the jacking up effect of the river on your main fly line. I'm not referring here to mono cored polyleaders as a real braided core sinking tip is a completely different piece of kit. The type of braided core sinking tips I'd be fishing with on the River Tay to present my fly down deep would be 15ft in length and of type 7ips (inch per second), 10ips or 15ips sinking weights.

How To Fish for salmon In Very Cold Water

In the very cold water condition of early Spring salmon hold much higher in the water column so there's no need to fish your fly too deep during early Spring. A 15ft type 3ips would be my weapon of choice fished at the front end of a floating Spey line or Shooting head although I prefer the Spey line profile as controlling (slowing up) the pace of the fly at range with a longer headed Spey line is doable but not as easy to achieve with a shorter Shooting head. In the very cold water conditions of early Spring you want a slower fly that fishing a foot or two under the surface of the river (see the accompanying cold water salmon holding position video) as that's 'exactly' where you'll find early cold water Spring salmon in Scotland.

How to Learn Salmon Fly Fishing Depth Tactics

If you're not fishing the River Tay and find yourself on a shallower Scottish river try to gauge the depth of the pools you're fishing and stick to the above principles based on the time of the season and the prevailing water temperature conditions but remember if you want to really annoy salmon through warmer water conditions when most salmon will automatically seek out the deep cooler holding water on a salmon beat you need to get your fly right down in amongst them for the best chance of a favourable reaction! Book a professional salmon guide who will tune you into these above professional career experience based salmon fly fishing principles.

How To Fish A Deep Salmon Fly

The most effective way to get your salmon fly down in amongst deep holding salmon is with a sinking line or with a floating line with an added sink tip section on the front end. The material compound used in sinking lines & tips is tungsten which is mixed with the PVC or polyurethane fly line that will sink at between 1.5 inches per second to 18 inches per second depending on how much tungsten is used in making each tip. Typically sink tips range in length from between 5ft to 15ft and come in various denstities and colours and keeping a full range of these sinking tips is essential if you're taking your salmon fly fishing seriously. It is possible to buy proper braided core sink tips but some line systems come with their own selection of sinking tips that are designed to balance with the mainline. Become a true salmon 'antagonist' and make sure you're swimming your fly close to the resident salmon in the pool you're fishing. This thought process & tactic will put you into the top 5% of effective salmon fiy fishers as all too often salmon fishers 'switch off' when their fly lands on the water instead of switching on!

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