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Author Topic: BIG Landlocks!  (Read 2063 times)

TightLinesMaine

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BIG Landlocks!
« on: Oct 31, 2019, 11:59 AM »
What started out as a somewhat lackluster Fall for me fishing-wise, quickly shifted to insane in the 2nd half of the month, not for action, but for quality/size... About a week and a half ago, I hit a favorite river of mine in hopes of landlocks.  We just had some rain a few days prior and I thought the rain would get the fish "moving".  My suspicions later ended up being correct, but when I initially arrived I was actually disappointed the water wasn't higher, as I could cross the river easily; usually not a good sign for great fishing here.  Nevertheless, I still tried and went fly casting away with my 6 wt.  This isn't sight fishing here unlike some other Landlocked Salmon waters I fish, it's "blindly" covering as much water as possible and hoping for a tug on the line.  I had just bought some brand new (4 IPS I think) sink tip that really helped cover the water, it shoots line like a dream; especially brand new.  I tied on my faithful size 6 tungsten conehead woolly bugger in white (I tie them myself, one of the few flies I can tie real well) and went to work.  Sure enough, after about a half hour or so of casting and stripping line, I got a BIG tug while wading near the middle of the pool at a drop off.  This fish stayed down the whole battle, so I figured it was a good one.  When I finally got it's head up and got her in the net, I couldn't believe the size; particularly how fat she was.  I measured her against my net and she was 22" long.  (For reference, the net I was using is exactly 23" long, I lost my old faithful rubber net late this summer, but this is one is neoprene coated mesh which is supposedly just as fish friendly).




We had more rain a week or so later, so I went back again.  I was pretty excited this time as the river was up quite a bit now and I anticipated the fishing would be good.  Casted for at least a good hour and a half straight, and I caught fish on the fly rod again, but no salmon this time.  Just a 12" or 13" yellow perch and a BIG fallfish that fooled me for a second (initially thought I may have had a small salmon on) that ended up being over 14" closer to 15".

Now fast forward to yesterday: We had even more rain again after my last outing (loving this October rain!) just a few days prior and the river was pretty blown out.  It was finally a "fishable" flow by late tuesday evening or so, so yesterday morning I woke up early (for my standards) and figured I'd get one last shot in.  The water was the highest yet this time, almost in the trees still, but it was very clear still and good visibility which is all you need. This time, a few fly guys had beat me there, but this river is just large enough that there's plenty of room for multiple anglers and I picked a productive spot near the tail out of the pool; a spot where I've hooked fish in the past.  Same fly again, size 6 tungsten conehead woolly bugger, and same tactics.  I went fly casting a way for quite some time, at least a half hour probably more, mostly down and across the current stripping my fly back upstream.  On one of those long 'down and across' casts, I got a solid yank on the pause of the my strip and I set the hook.  Wow.  I knew I had a giant sized Salmon on right away as my 6 wt. was fully "rainbowed" bending almost right to the cork.  The current was strong too in the tail-out of the pool and this salmon was running up, down, across, left, right, even broke water a few times.  Only the 2nd fish I've hooked all year that I knew would break me off (in the fast current) if I didn't feed it some fly line and let it do it's thing.  About 30 seconds or so in I very foolishly got my net ready off of my vest, as this fish wasn't nearly done (it ran right at me once or twice which fooled me into thinking it may be ready).  So I fought it for at least another 30 seconds to a minute with my net pinched between my shoulder meanwhile in waist deep water.  When I tried to get the fish on the reel, I realized that during one of those runs it took directly at me, it forced me to strip in my fly line so quickly that the current took my spare fly line that was dangling on top of the water and had wrapped it around a partially submerged tree.  Yikes! So I continued to fight the fish with just my rod and fly line using my hands as a drag system instead of the reel.  The most frantic thing was I could see my woolly bugger right in the kype of the of the salmon by now and I was thinking of all the ways I could lose this fish as it was barely hooked.  Somehow, I eventually somewhat tired it out and got it's head up and got my net under it.  This salmon was so long he wouldn't just "slip" right into my net like a normal sized fish would, I literally had to physically push him into my net with my right forearm while holding my fly rod.  It was intense to say the least.  He trashed hard when I got him all the way in and I practically bear hugged my net immediately after so he wouldn't fall/jump out.  Now I don't measure or weigh fish typically but this salmon may be the biggest salmon I've ever caught, if not it's most definitely a top 3 salmon for me.  I measured it against my net and it was easily longer than my 23" net, at least by a good inch.  24" salmon for sure (but not over 25").  I snapped several pictures before releasing him.  All i'm lastly going to say is I'm awfully glad I had 3x tippet on my 6 wt., say even 4x tippet on a 5 wt. and this fish would've been a goner for sure just due to where I hooked it and how strong the current was.




zwiggles

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #1 on: Oct 31, 2019, 12:26 PM »
Really enjoyed the read! That first fish had crazy girth, and the kype on the second one is outstanding!

NBourque

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #2 on: Oct 31, 2019, 01:31 PM »
Great fish! I’ll always take one or two bruisers over a bunch of smaller fish any day.

Jim C.

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #3 on: Oct 31, 2019, 02:12 PM »
Great reading, Randall!  Massive girth on that first fish!  I'm surprised that you didn't go back today to see if there were any treats left for Halloween ;D

taxid

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #4 on: Oct 31, 2019, 02:18 PM »
Radall,

Those are beautiful fish. Thanks for sharing!

On a side note I'm may have found a source for Atlantic Salmon eggs at an egg supplier in Washington state. Still waiting to find out what they health test for and if it will meet my state requirements for import. Would like to rear the salmon along with brooks ,browns, rainbows, and tigers.
“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

seamonkey84

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #5 on: Oct 31, 2019, 02:50 PM »
Awesome! Nice report and nice pics of very nice pics as always.
Radall,

Those are beautiful fish. Thanks for sharing!

On a side note I'm may have found a source for Atlantic Salmon eggs at an egg supplier in Washington state. Still waiting to find out what they health test for and if it will meet my state requirements for import. Would like to rear the salmon along with brooks ,browns, rainbows, and tigers.
That would be cool, I love seeing reports about your ponds.
"You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something." - Mitch Hedberg

fishogger

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #6 on: Oct 31, 2019, 03:36 PM »
nice ones!
some fishermen tell lies,  this one doesnt need to

TightLinesMaine

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #7 on: Oct 31, 2019, 03:40 PM »
Great fish! I’ll always take one or two bruisers over a bunch of smaller fish any day.

Thanks and Yep
Great reading, Randall!  Massive girth on that first fish!  I'm surprised that you didn't go back today to see if there were any treats left for Halloween ;D

Jim, yes then hen salmon was bursting at the seams! & i slept in this morning as i wrongly assumed it was going to rain... poor choice on my part, i still probably could've snuck out for an hour before work but decided against it as i had other stuff to do.  Had i known it would only have been mist to showers i definitely wouldve been out there this morning!

deerhunter

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #8 on: Oct 31, 2019, 04:10 PM »
great report and dam those are fatties

MG39

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #9 on: Oct 31, 2019, 06:43 PM »
Randall, Glad you had a blast in the river. I haven't thrown a fly for quite a while but my friend has been there several times with good results. I keep saying I'm going to go over there but I always end up back in my boat. You're right about the water level being the key, typical of most headwaters.
Nice report and photos.
Man To Man Is So Unjust,
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Bartman44

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #10 on: Oct 31, 2019, 07:01 PM »
Nice fatty and good read. That's what it's all about. 

franklin fisher

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #11 on: Nov 01, 2019, 04:43 AM »
  Great read. Those are some really nice ones. Great job to hang in there with that kind of fight.

jacksmelt

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #12 on: Nov 01, 2019, 08:01 AM »
nice salmon esp. on a fly. heavy current like that with salmon that size really tests a 6wt. 20 yrs ago we used to commonly get salmon like that on the fish river on flies in june and september. nothing like a big salmon in currant on a fly rod! separates the men from the boys. ;) good job!
PARADISE IS A 5LB. SALMON ON A 5WT. FLYROD!!

TightLinesMaine

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #13 on: Nov 01, 2019, 12:04 PM »
Randall, Glad you had a blast in the river. I haven't thrown a fly for quite a while but my friend has been there several times with good results. I keep saying I'm going to go over there but I always end up back in my boat. You're right about the water level being the key, typical of most headwaters.
Nice report and photos.

Thanks, I've heard the lake can be good ice out trolling for them.

nothing like a big salmon in currant on a fly rod!

yep! If I had only one day left to fish for any thing it would almost certainly be fly fishing for Atlantic Salmon (landlocked or not) in a river.

taxid

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Re: BIG Landlocks!
« Reply #14 on: Nov 01, 2019, 09:19 PM »
Awesome! Nice report and nice pics of very nice pics as always. That would be cool, I love seeing reports about your ponds.

Got the O.K. to import eggs. But the eggs are in such high demand they won't be available until fall of 2020.
“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

 



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