The Atlantic Salmon

What can be said about this magnificent sporting fish? Never enough really.

For me the Atlantic salmon is the most perfect fish for the Game Angler. Atlantic salmon are heavily influenced by prevailing water and weather conditions and their physical surroundings. In Atlantic Salmon angling understanding the influence of water and weather conditions and other factors such as riverbed topography and resulting currents on the fish, and on methods and techniques is often critical to consistent success.

That such truly magnificent fish will sometimes take small flies close to the surface is an incredible aspect of the sport of fly fishing. To be able to fly fish successfully for spring salmon, or to fish larger rivers in Scotland or International destination rivers is a very special aspect of this sport.

One thing I have to say is that a salmon where I come from is a fish of 8 pounds or more, often referred to as a fish. Anything under that weight was never ever referred to as a 'salmon' or 'a fish,' always a grilse. Then there were larger grilse and smaller grilse, larger grilse being referred to as a good grilse or a nice grilse - usually of 5 lbs or more. Smaller grilse being under 5 lb. The idea of referring to grilse caught on the rod, and especially smaller grilse as a salmon or 'a fish' is completely alien to me and always will be. Then there was the saying I got a 'nice fish' or a 'good fish' as opposed to a small fish. Small fish were 8 and 9 pounders. Nice fish were double figure fish. A fish of 12 pound or so, or in the teens was usually referred to as a 'good fish.'

Of course that is not the norm everywhere but it certainly is to me.

The term fish also means salmon in general, as in salmon and grilse, i.e. Any fish running or about? Anybody getting any fish? This precludes everything but the species Salmo Salar. It doesn't matter what or how many of other species are being caught with perhaps the occasional exception made of sea trout, which would then be mentioned by name as sea trout or white trout.

There was also always a difference in terms made between 'Autumn salmon fishing,' and salmon fishing in the autumn. 'Autumn salmon' are proper fresh run silver fish straight in from the sea. Occasionally one encounters runs of copper or harvest fish in some river systems which are still fresh run autumn fish from the sea but with some colouration, they may even have sea lice. However it is not the type of colour from a long term in fresh water, its much different.