Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK, Towy, Tweed, Dee, Deveron
Your leader choices sound fine; I like a tapered flurocabon leader, & add a sacrificial tippet of f/c which I replace as required, to fish off a full floater when I don't need to achieve additional depth.
In Summer a 13 ft 8 wt should be fine, you should be able to wade most of the pools at this time & a heavier line could be a bit too splashy.
Don't get too hung up on the patterns of flies; look them up & if you have something similar with a different name this will fine - I've never encountered a salmon that read a fly pattern book yet. The size is more important; if the river is low & clear & the temperature of the water is up in the 50s or 60s [God forbid it reaches the 70s] then you will need to go small size 12 or 14 doubles at the warmer end [or mini tubes of 0.5" & less] or size 10s & 12s if in the high 50s etc.
I would include a few cascades, stoat's tail & silver stoats tail, tosh, munro's killer & in case the fish are refusing the standard stuff a few small red francis tied on 0.25" & 0.5" copper tubes which you fish off a full floater & twitch back so they rise & fall as they swing around - similarly when all else fails try stripping a sunray shadow/ collie dog or dee monkey by casting square & drawing back quite quickly in long pulls. Both of these will often result in a take when all else has failed but don't use them as the initial approach as they can scare the fish & either put them down or chase them out of the pool.
If you go for the sea trout fish small & tie up a leader with one or two droppers so you can present 2 or 3 different patterns, some times a small muddler on the top dropper fished waking the surface will catch, or at least encourage a fish to follow which will then take one of the other 2 flies coming after it a little deeper in the water - this sometimes works well for grilse & even larger salmon on occasion.
Take a wading staff so you can get into position without having to do the back-stroke, & don't forget that some of the lower beats will have a boat which the gillie may take you out in if he feels this is the best way to cover a specific pool; try not to hook him whilst casting as this can strain relations in a small boat thereafter.