Not a bad morning in Foxford but it looks like we are heading into another weekend of rain and wind. Storm Debbie passed over earlier in the week. We got away very light and apart from some very heavy rain on Sunday night we would not have known there was a storm. Water levels came up a lot 3.17m at Ballylahan bridge on Monday afternoon. Levels have fallen since then but there is still a lot of water around.
The Irish Fly fair is on this weekend and it should be an event well worth visiting, hoping to get there at some point. https://www.irishflyfair.com/
As I looked at the flooded river on Tuesday, I got to thinking about the many factors that are out of our control when we go Salmon fishing. We can have all the gear in the world, spend a fortune to get on the best beats but there’s always that factor, the stuff we cannot control.
An important but not critical factor except in extreme cases. I have caught and witnessed Salmon being caught in every level of water. It is more difficult when levels are extremely High or extremely Low. This however may be more to do with the weather conditions, temperature, and clarity than the actual level. Rivers rise and rivers fall and if this was the only thing that happens we could adapt and get by quite easily, its not though and there’s a few more factors over which we have no control.
Water clarity is a major factor, as anyone who has tried to catch a salmon in a big brown flood will know. This may be because of something as simple as the salmon just cannot see a bait in very coloured water to something more complex like changes in the chemical composition of the water. For the first while when a river starts to rise fishing can be excellent and even though it’s obvious there is colour coming into the water the fish take. At a point something happens and they stop taking, Why? who knows. Its out of our control and we must sit it out and wait for that magic moment when the water starts to clear and again the fish take freely. Why they rarely take on a rising dirty flood is a question that has made me think for many years, now you can lie awake and try figure it out, if you have a theory let us know.
Temperature, both air and water, influence Salmon and Trout behaviour. The low water temperatures of the early season leads to slow moving lethargic fish that are less inclined to move to take a bait. High summer temperatures will see distressed fish tumble and roll in water that is generally low in oxygen. Temperature is not the worst factor we are faced with and while we cannot change the temperature we can adapt. Early mornings, late evenings, slow and low, small, riffle hitch, Hot whiskey and cold beer, we get by. Many anglers dismiss water temperature but it is very important when choosing when, where and what to fish with.
Apart from the obvious numb fingers and toes or sweating in a pair of chest waders air temperature can influence our success as anglers. For a reason I do not know when the water temperature is higher than the air temperature one will struggle to get a salmon to take. If you know the reason, please let me know ?
Sun light makes Salmon and trout angling very difficult. They do not like it and are extremely difficult to catch in bright conditions. One theory is that they do not have eye lids and don’t like the sun glaring down on them, which would make sense. For us anglers there is not much we can do apart from fish in shaded areas or wait for cloud cover. It’s well worth sitting back and relaxing while waiting for that little bit of cloud or a ripple on the surface. It is also a great time to observe what is happening around you, insects, birds, nature in general. A great opportunity for another cold beer, just saying 😊
This is one that I believe is very important. I have not read much about it and my reasons for including it are based on personal observations. It is something we cannot see so most of us don’t think about it. It is my belief that it has more of an effect than we give it credit for. It is very noticeable in the run up to a thunder storm when fish rarely take. Try fishing immediately after a thunder storm and the results can be very different.
Our fellow anglers… let’s not go there today!