The rock face throughout the river stood sentry over what, from my restricted Atlantic salmon expertise, appeared like the proper stretch of fishy water. The river, recent from a manic tumble over a frothy cascade, fell into an emerald inexperienced pool that hugged the basalt wall like a kindergartner clinging to his mom on the primary day of college.
I flipped the Solar Ray tube fly into the pinnacle of the deep water and let it flutter downstream, the place it sort of hovered over the modest faculty of late-run salmon due to an invisible upwelling that refused to let the bug acquire depth. Then, the river’s present seized the fly and despatched it on a swing by way of the tailout.
That is after I noticed the wake. A V-shaped arrow emerged from the pool with the aim of a guided torpedo, and it closed on the fly. I waited in anticipation as the large fish closed the gap on the streamer.
This was occurring. My first day on Iceland’s stunning and distant Holkna River, and I used to be about to seal the deal on an elusive September salmon. I used to be prepared. Tense. Conscious.
“Eat it,” I whispered. “Eat it. Come on.”
The present pulled the fly from deeper water, and the wake disappeared. No love for the Solar Ray. Pissed off, I lifted the rod and instantly recast to the pinnacle of the pool. I had a participant. However I wanted to feed it once more.
“That was in all probability a mistake,” Guðmundur Guðlaugsson defined later that night after I relayed the episode to him. Merely nicknamed Goomy, as a result of the American tongue would not wrap round Icelandic names very effectively, our information for 3 days on the Holkna was fast to supply blunt recommendation. “That is if you wait a bit, and let the fish get again and get settled. When you solid once more too quick, it will not be prepared. And it would spook the entire pool.”
It was good recommendation, and never only for salmon. Give it some thought. When nearly any recreation fish with a predator’s curiosity takes the time to examine your providing, after which refuses it, it pays to grasp that the fish left its comfy holding water to think about taking a swipe at one thing. A fast solid again to the “scene of the crime” may be very more likely to produce completely nothing.
Curious trout, bass, pike or char have to settle in once more by returning to its holding water or hiding place. And which will take time.
By placing one other solid proper again on the water with out giving the disturbed fish an opportunity to return and get comfy, you could possibly be casting to an empty spot. Or, as Goomy defined, with spooky fish like Atlantic salmon or spring-creek trout, your fast recast might put different potential targets on edge and probably spook a number of fish.
The important thing, in fact, is to only hurry up and wait. Take a fast breather. Depend to 30. Give the fish time to get again into its routine, and provides different close by fish the prospect to acclimate to the small little bit of chaos that simply occurred.
One other thought: the fish expressed curiosity. That is a great factor. But it surely did not specific sufficient curiosity to really eat. Possibly, whilst you “let the pool” settle, as a great Atlantic salmon information may say, contemplate altering flies and giving the fish one thing new to have a look at.
When you’ve ever fished with a information, you recognize this transfer. You’ve solid over some actually nice holding water, or maybe you’ve watched a fish or two transfer over to have a look at a dry fly or (perish the thought!) a nymph, solely to refuse the bug. Your information may faucet you on the shoulder and say, “Hey man, let’s swap that fly out for one thing else.”
The fly swap may be crucial, however doubtless simply as essential is the time it takes — to clip off the prevailing fly, sift by way of a fly field, discover a alternative sample, after which tie it to the tippet — which provides the fish you’re after an opportunity to reset and settle again into its rhythm.
As my Icelandic pal famous, in conditions the place fish go away their “completely happy place” to pursue one thing to eat (or, within the case of that Atlantic salmon on the Holkna, one thing to punish for invading its house), it is smart to permit the fish a while to regroup and get again to some semblance of consolation. And, if the fish is a part of a bunch holding in the identical water, it’ll scale back the possibilities of spooking the complete pool.
“Fish need to be completely happy,” Goomy stated that night after fishing. “Do no matter you are able to do to maintain them completely happy. In the event that they’re not completely happy, they’re not going to eat. In the event that they’re completely happy, they’re going to eat.”