Whoever said you're missing nothing is not a very good source for information regarding fishing. I don't just mean fly fishing, I mean fishing in general.
I am part fish; ever since I was a very young boy I've been fascinated with water. I have always been mystified wondering what secrets were, and still are hidden beneath the surface of a river. With 50 years of fishing experience and volumes of recollections to draw upon the most vivid memories of shear excitement are those that emulate from my first solid hookup with a King Salmon. No trout, no pike or bass, no not anything at all had ever exploded from the river and etched its impression into my mind like that fish that day!
I've fished for Atlantic salmon in Newfoundland - Nova Scotia & New Brunswick back in the early 80's and worked my way through the Great Lakes salmon and steelhead tributaries and estuaries. In 1989 I came here to Alaska and saw for the first time the land and its rivers that would become my home. Here I've fished for all 5 species of pacific salmons and steelhead trout and can tell you that to catch any of these fish from the Eastern Maritime Provinces to Alaska on a traditional salmon fly is like no other kind of fresh water river fishing.
I could go on but I'll wait to see what you say first. Rods? I've caught Atlantic and Landlocked Atlantic's on a 7'9" 5 weight but prefer a #7 rod. Silvers and pinks along with smaller steelhead on the same 5 weight and silvers, chum and sockeye on 7's 8's and 9 weight rods. Now I use Spey rods ranging from a 15' 10/11 weight for kings and 7 & 8 weights for the other species. A good single hand rod for kings is a 9 or 10 foot 9 weight. I've landed kings up to 43 pounds with a 9' 9 weight............
Here's a shot from a couple years ago of a salmon making me work to bring it to the shore.
If you fish for salmon you get to tie and use flies like these;
YES, It definitely can get into your blood! There is some mystery to it that keeps us coming back for more.
First Question, How do you post those excellent photographs? I have tried to copy/ paste from my Macbook I photo. Do I need to use a sight like photo bucket or something?
Anyway, about five years ago I traveled to Nova Scotia and P.E.I by way of Bar Harbor, Maine. While I was there with family I didn't get a chance to throw a line one time! I would love to get back up there, as I am from KY.
Alaska, however, would be a terrible place for me to visit. I am certain I would never come back here! HaHa!
SO a 10' #8 would be a fine rod size for the salmon other than King?
I love the flys excellent craftsmanship!
Where would you recommend for a trip to fish Salmon?
Yes, I use Photobucket. Our forum will not allow you to bring things strait from your desktop to a thread.
A 10' #8 rod will handle kings also, just limit the leader to no more than 20 pounds. I use 15 and land them without breaking the leader. I used to use 25 pound Maxima but was losing fish because I was forcing them in with a 9' 9 weight. Now I use technique rather than brute force and I believe I land them quicker.
It's been since 86 since I was up in the Maritime's. I went three years in a row 83 - 86. I think Cape Breton is one of the most beautiful places I ever saw.
The most popular rod for Atlantics in eastern Canada is probably a 9' 8wt, but you will see them in 7 to 10 weights and 9 to 10 feet. You want a reel that can hold a long-belly floating line (several makers offer a "salmon/steelhead" taper) and 150+ yards of backing. You might want a rod that is a little more flexible than the ones typically sold for saltwater flats fishing in the Carribbean, or if you already have a stiffer flats rod, you might want to overline it with a line that is one weight heavier.
Two-handed spey and switch rods are becoming more common, but they are still a bit of a novelty. I got a spey outfit a couple of years ago and am still learning to use it, so I can't give good advice on what kind of two-handed rig would be best for you.
Grilse (fish that return to the river after one winter at sea) typically run 4-6 lb, and salmon (fish that have spent 2+ years at sea) typically run 8-20 lb, with the biggest ones sometimes going over 40 lb.
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Half of my left arm is dedicated to salmon fishing in ink.
Salmon fishing is far more than fishing to me, it's something that is near impossible to describe. The high from standing in a river as a cool morning mist rises, tying a fly that may have been fished by my great great grandfather to the end of a tippet, casting to a mysterious fish that has traveled so far to where its ancestors once swam, just each step in the angling for these creatures is so amazing, I have goosebumps just thinking about it!
Everyone has their style and methods, I prefer to fish old scottish patterns from the spey and dee rivers on big, loud, english reels.
Also, you didn't specify the species, there's a big difference in what you can get away with in the different species.