Virtual Salmon Guide
A series of tips for fishing the Alness, covering tackle, tactics and pools:
003 - Salmon Fishing Leaders
by SalmonQuest - 13:45 on 24 April 2012
On a small river such as the Alness, it's important that your fly settles to the target depth and starts to swing as early as possible. In addition, when casting short distances, a long leader will be unbalanced (particularly with tube flies), resulting in the fly line and leader 'hingeing', and a general lack of control of where the fly will land. This hingeing will also produce wide open loops, and it is far more likely to result in your fly ending up in overhanging trees!
For these reasons, leaders should not be too long. For low water, on a floating line, 7-9ft (2.1-2.7m) is sufficient. In high water conditions, when using intermediate/sinking/sink-tip fly lines or polyleaders, then the leader needs to be much shorter to allow the fly line to take the fly down as quickly as possible, so 4-5ft (1.2-1.5m) is much more suitable, and even 3ft (1m) can be sufficient.
Save your money, and avoid tapered leaders, and flourocarbon for fishing on the Alness in normal conditions. Our peat-stained water means that all you need is flat monofilament nylon as a leader material, preferably in a dark colour. We recommend Maxima Chameleon or similar, in 10lbs, 12lbs or 15lbs breaking strain depending on water conditions, and the size of flies that you are fishing. In extreme conditions (i.e. when very small or very big flies are needed), we occasionally use 8lbs or 20lbs b.s.
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