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First Run salmon fishing

First Run salmon fishing

The “toughest” fishing. It is quite difficult to give concrete advice for this fishing.  This May fishing can be extremely varied as water speed can be anything between 9 cubic meters per second and 60 cubic meters per second. The water temperature can range from 8 degrees to 20 degrees.  The first of these salmon are normally caught at the end of April or beginning of May when we have a fairly high water speed and a water temperature between 10 and 12 degrees.


You can use flies with the same wing length as those suitable for the spring fishing. Colour is less important (orange, brown, black, ginger, all the Beiss colours). It is more about finding the right fish. As the water level sinks and its temperature rises in the second half of May then a slightly smaller fly will often be the recipe to success. The same patterns that were used earlier in the season may be used again but this time with considerably shorter wing length, normally between 2 to 5 cm. Once the water warms up and becomes a little clearer, then black flies such as KHK13, Black and Silver, and subtler shaded Beiss flies as well as Ullsocken come into their own. If you are spin fishing then your casting weight or lures should be around 10-15g. Your reels should be housed with 200 metres of line. Tubeflies will work in similar patterns or colours as those listed above. Spoons, spinners and wobblers will also function, as the water warms up, choose darker colours.


During the May fishing the most common lines are float, intermediate and sinktip. These can and should be fitted with different types of sinking leaders. You don’t have to bounce along the bottom of the riverbed as the salmon will rise to take the fly.Recommended leaders should be between 0,35mm to 0,45mm monofilament or fluorocarbon. Even here fly size and water speed can be vital factors to take into consideration.


When the water speed exceeds 25-30 cubic meters per second then a 15 foot rod is recommended eventually steeping down to a 12 to 14 foot rod. A longer rod is preferable as it facilitates drilling the fish as well as guiding it past eventual obstacles in the water.

Fishing Strategy

You will be fishing the fly considerably faster than during the spring fishing. A fly rapidly approaching the salmons position will often provoke a positive response. The warmer the water, the more you can angle your casts. In some situations you can mend downstream to increase the speed of the fly even further.  The salmon will often be positioned at the head of the stream or to the side of a rock which has the quickest current. Morning and evening fishing are not generally great. The majority of these fish will be caught between the times of nine to five. This will change as the water temperatures rise and the morning fishing will result in more catches as the water has cooled down at night.

Last updated: 2013-12-16