Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Many. From NE salt, Russia, Canadian A Salmon, NW Steelhead, Bahamas, Keys. Live in Upstate NY
One solution is to fish where there are no small fish, I know, that sounds like a joke . . . but, a few years ago 4 of us fished a small Atlantic salmon river on the Kola . . . and using the exact same fly (size 14 Irish shrimp, below) landed 6 salmon. On my first swing through the pool, I had a tap, tap, tap and replied that I'd been played with by parr. I was told by the guide "no Bill, there aren't any parr here . . . that was a salmon". Next cast I landed a salmon.
Another year, fishing one of my favorite pools in NBrunswick we knew that the pool had several salmon. We saw them throughout the morning rolling. Nobody touched a fish. I had the pool in the afternoon and thought I'd change up and try a sink tip . . . and I started catching fish. After a while I wondered "what fly won't they take?" and ended up landing 9 fish by evening in the same pool. All fished deep. Flies from size 1/0 bunny leeches to a size 12 undertaker.
I normally fish larger flies (4s, 6s, 8s) but I always have 10s and 12s with me and there are many times, they're the thing that works.
A couple of friends are fishing Iceland this summer and have been told they must bring 10, 12 and size 14 flies . . . because "that's what works".
Size 14 Irish shrimp