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Big bait, big fish

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#1 Bud Guidry

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 04:29 PM

I know you have all heard it. They tied much smaller flies back in the day. You think that now we tying hugh flies they catching bigger salmon?
You salmon fishing fanatics, what's the biggest hook or fly you've caught a salmon on?





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#2 scnye


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Posted 20 December 2016 - 09:43 PM

1/0 double low water partridge. The St.John is a huge river when its full of water. Funny thing is they were both about 5lb grilse, the hook was as big as the fish almost. Very interesting topic Bud, cant wait to hear some more answers






#3 Luc


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Posted 20 December 2016 - 11:28 PM

Summer 1/0 is the largest I've hooked on, fall about 3/0, spring 5/0-6/0 but never pushed it further... Interestingly Atlantic salmon from different rivers in the same general area (province of NB) will be attracted to different size flies. Restigouche fish will generally take on larger flies than Miramichi fish. As with all of Atlantic salmon fishing, only one true rule, your fly has to be in the water... As for the size of the fly affecting size of Atlantic salmon, my personal experience does not support this theory. Luc

#4 scnye


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Posted 20 December 2016 - 11:58 PM

Agreed Luc. My largest salmon was 48 and a half inches caught on a size 8 deer hair bug on the St.John. They loved small flies but when the river was high we went large,usually a no2 or 4 double for the fast water





#5 Troutmaddave


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Posted 21 December 2016 - 06:48 AM

13lbs Autumn fish on a 2/0 jock scott. 20 mins scrap. Really tested my 12' sharpest split cane rod. The guy I was fishing with caught a 17lb one on the same day in the same place on a size 12 bibio trout fly. Think about the logic there and fly choise when setting up!!!

#6 geraldsherbrook


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Posted 21 December 2016 - 07:43 AM

...Thanks for the 'feedback'...it's allways interesseting...


ah when I was over for my 'small week' with RYAN HOUSTON in Northern Ireland...


well the river we fished on monday before it became in real spate...we fished it with a triple 10 on the point and and a triple 14 on the 'dropper' !!!...WITH SUCCESS 


but with the river who was the day after on tuesday 'swollen' and 'rolling'...it was other 'fishing'...sinking tip and tubes with flies up to 2 to two and half inches...WITH SUCCESS


psttttttttttttttttttttttttt and now not serious anymore ...I hooked and even landed  a 'GREY BACK' of around seven feet when over in Colorado in 2013...and this on a 'miniscule' size eighteen Belgium 'dry fly' ...read on one of my  "Universelle' flies...sooooooooo also with SUCCESS..........but wouldn't recommand to anyone to fish so small for 'grey backs'...hahahahaaaa



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#7 Classic Salmon Fly Tyer

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 12:29 PM

Had to think about this one a moment...


It was a  #2 Durham Ranger. A 19 pound fish from the Little Nictau Pool on Tobique River and my first on a classic tied by me


A 22+ pound fish on a #4 Bomber tied on a 3X long hook makes for one helluva big fly. My first on a dry and it came from Spring Rock Pool on the Dartmouth River.


Thanks for bringing back those memories!!!



Petri Heil,



"I've spent many days on the golf course and said I should have gone fishing.

But I've NEVER been on a trout stream or Atlantic Salmon river and said I should have played golf." - Me

#8 Dale A. Darling

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 01:40 PM

If it took small flies to hook an Atlantic salmon, Geert wiuid fish a #22 midge so he could hook his first one!!

The nearly 7-foot grey back he hooked, me in case you were wondering, was not fairly done! No. He snagged me on a backcast while fishing, I'd you could call it that, from a bridge.

Bud, my first salmon was on the Tay, hooked on a #8 hook in rising water. It was 15 pounds according to the ghillie. I caught a 26 pounder in the Boneventure on a dry tied on a #4 hook using 8 lb maxima.
The moral, like tying, seems to be fish what you have.
Great thread.
Dale "Fly fishing: a pleasantly addictive affliction"

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#9 Marc LeBlanc

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 10:52 AM

My experience mirrors those above. Like Stephen, the largest fly I caught a salmon on was a 1/0 long shank double and I caught a grilse on it! Generally speaking we use much smaller flies than you would think. In the fall and fishing big, high water We catch 20 pound salmon on size 12 salmon flies with a floating line. Luc makes a good point- 3/0 to 5/0 hooks are used in the spring to catch our spring fish (kelts) which are not at all like the springers they catch in the UK. Warren Duncan used to say that if you fished the Miramichi, you can use any size fly you want as long as it is a #6 and you can use any colour you want as long as it is black. If you followed his advice, you would catch a lot of salmon in our waters. So, I don't believe in the big fly big fish theory. Marc Ps- George, my better half is from the Tobique. The Tobique is a very pretty river and was a great place to fish in her days. Too bad those days are behind her!

#10 scnye


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Posted 22 December 2016 - 10:21 PM

Very true Marc. I have never fished the Nictau Pool but I have seen it, beautiful just like the river. Shame what the dams have done to that system

#11 flyryan


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Posted 24 December 2016 - 11:17 PM

probably about 4 inches long tube fly although generally irish fish seem to like small flies and most of my fishing is done with 10s and 12s have had fish on size 16 flies


i have had fish on quite large tubes in the morning on the spate river i fish and caught fish in the evening on size 14s as the water dropped real quick


i sent a friend in Scotland a 12 inch sunray tied with chinese womens hair the other day he said he had caught salmon using TWO conventional sunrays back to back to create a 10 inch fly before so he couldnt see why the one i sent him wouldnt work


i have also had guys fishing in norway order ZG rays from me that are 6 and 7 inch long bulky templedogs one reckoned they would be the job for a big croc in spawning colours on the Alta

Ryan Houston


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