I think that there is little doubt that confidence plays an important part in successful salmon fishing. Confidence in your set-up, confidence in your casting and very importantly, confidence in your fly. Over the years I have found that when a fly catches a fish, that actual fly becomes almost like a good luck charm. With each succeeding fish that it catches, it takes on what I call the “talisman” effect. These flies have a special place in my box and when they are inevitably lost(unless they are retired) or are disintegrated by fish teeth, it is like the loss of a friend.Another way of boosting confidence I find is to sit down at my tying bench and tie some fresh flies for the next day or the next trip. I actually did this yesterday. Having landed a nice fish on Saturday night on a Park Shrimp Tube I found that the end of the tube had split so I sat down on Sunday afternoon and tied some more:
This morning I went out fishing on a streamy pool of the Tummel. On one of the casts, I felt the pluck of a fish twice. When fish behave this way my immediate thought is that my fly is too big. I stripped in my fly and checked it. Should I change to a smaller fly? Maybe not. This pool is quite fast and the water temp is only 44f. So what I did instead was to pull off some trailing angel hair from the tail of my fly, shortening its appearance ever so slightly. Back out she went with a long cast to the same area. A solid pull let me know there was no mistake this time. Satisfying when it happens that way. Not so satisfying was when the fish fell off just as I was about to beach it The happy ending to this story is that, after lunch, using the same fly, I hooked and this time successfully landed a nice Tummel springer from another pool. That fly has earned its place in my box and I will fish it with confidence tomorrow!!