Winter Aussie Salmon (Kahawai)
The Winter Aussie Salmon run is in full swing as we head into late June. Sure, the numbers of fish will thicken up, but the quality of big slabs that are actively feeding right now is exceptional. The species is a great sports fish, especially on fly. They eat well, put up an aerial display and then hang deep when they need to.
So, what gear are we using this season. Here is a quick run down to point you in the right direction of achieving success on the Salmon.
Essentially, an 8 weight fast action rod matched with a full intermediate line and a 20 lb straight through leader are the core elements. The leader length varies, but usually around a rod length will be fine.
Loop knots are always used to connect the fly. The Leftys loop knot , as shown in the image is quick, easy to tie and super effective.
There are two flies that very productive , the Surf Candy in Olive / White and the Tungsten Surf Candy in Olive / White. I tie both of these flies without any flash at all in the pattern. The hook preference is a pattern that allows a nice amount of gape between the Candy body and hook point, the Gamakatsu SL12s in size 2 (pictured) and the Partridge Attitude Extra in size 1 are perfect candidates and have proven themselves as worthy components over the last few seasons.
The retrieve of the fly is steady , not flat stick and not so slow that the fly looks dead in the water. This is the part where each session can differ , but I start there and see how the fish react. Change it up to suit the mood of the day.
Use the conditions of the day to enhance your fly presentation, be it the wind, the tidal current, angling pressure, boat traffic etc. They all play an important part to the outcome of your session.
If you have an electric motor on board, then my advice is to use it whenever possible. Running outboards through skinny water, over schools of fish only pushes them to the bottom or switches them out of the feeding mode. They make a significant difference to water noise and the effect on fish. By all means, use the primary engine to cover changes of location where required, but switch it off away from the activity and use the electric to approach the activity.
I am sure you will see a difference in how long the school stays active even with hooked fish in the mix.
Hope this helps you out.
Brett and Cherie