A red letter day for a young fly fisherman

Spring salmon at FCW
One of the things about April on the South Esk is that new fish entering the river do so in ‘penny packets’, taking the opportunity of a rise in water temp, or some extra water, or a high tide, or a combination of those events.
Douglas and Calum Dunsmuir at Indies Hut
Calum and Douglas Dunsmuir at the Indires Hut at the start of their successful day on Indies Beat on the 12th of April 2014.
When a small run of fish do enter the river – the ‘penny packet ‘ – their speed as they swim upriver is influenced by the amount and temperature of the water. If the nights are cold and frosty, having the effect of lowering the water temp, the migration upriver will, more than likely, be slowed down. Conversely, if the water temp rises with sunshine in the days and mild, cloud covered nights, the likelihood is that salmon will keep moving quickly upstream.
The result of these stop/start, temperature-influenced movements of fish is that sometimes pools can have fish in them, while on other occasions the pools are empty. Combine that situation with bright, brassy days when salmon are disinclined to take the fly, and the result is that the going gets hard for the fly fisherman, who can spend many fruitless hours fishing without sight or feel of a fish.
Calum Dunsmuir with his 10lbs salmon (2)
Calum Dunsmuir with his first salmon. The fish was caught on a Sunray Shadow in Tollmuir Pool on the 12th of April 2014.
But not always….. Just as I finished writing that last sentence I got a call from Doug Dunsmuir, who is fishing Indies Beat today, telling me that he had caught a 14lbs salmon in Melgund Pool and his 12 year-old son, Calum, a 10lbs salmon in Tollmuir Pool. That was Calum’s first salmon! He caught it on a Sunray Shadow fished deep.
Congratulations to the Dunsmuir father & son team!
Pictures of both fish to follow in a later post. That is how it has been at FCW, after a flurry of activity with four fish caught and released on Thursday, followed by two days of nothing at all – and then a big surprise for two determined anglers. Such is salmon fishing!

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