Talent Compensator Fly Lines
By Jock Monteith 31st December 2022
I often think to myself what on earth has happened to our traditional 'art form' Spey cast and the aerial elegance of a Spey line that was always designed to fly and not 'belly flop' like what we see with the shorter heavy belly shooting heads these days. The 'aerial profile' of a salmon fly line design is equally as important as the rarely thought about 'sub surface profile' of a salmon fly line.
Salmon Fly Line Arial & Sub Surface Design Profiles
If you're a fly line designer could you please not only gear your products for distance and for turning over heavy sink tips and start thinking about actual fly control at range. A more easily mendable Spey line will turn over any sink tip too if the front taper has been properly designed and tested. A 30 yard plus cast with a shooting head puts your salmon fly out of control from a fishing point of view. To the fly, to the fly, to the fly is what this game is really about and what I mean by that is the effectiveness of your mend if one is required (which more often than not is the case) except when fishing the slowest flowing salmon pools which sometimes still require a mend albeit the downstream version. If you're not mending 'to the fly' your fly is not 'in control' and you'll be potentially losing up to 1/3 of 'effective' fly swing fishing time with each cast.
A Short Controlled Line Beats A Long Uncontrolled Line
Get that distance nonsense right out of your head if you want success in this business and if you really need to deliver a 40 plus yard cast with a shooting head you're more than likely on the wrong side of the river so get yourself over onto the other bank by bridge, boat or wade and fish a totally controlled short line fly over the salmon lie you want to cover. We have been infiltrated over the last 20 years by 'washing lines' that would be better suited to 'drip drying' a wooly jumper between two poles in your back garden! These days there's zero thought about the preservation of a not so long ago 'era' when you could literally spend hours watching a Spey caster gracefully 'fishing' down through a salmon pool with total elegance and smooth big open ranged casting movements to creating perfect D loop loading with an almost invisible power stroke and while doing so always being in complete control of their salmon fly's pace and swim angle.
Your Effective Salmon Fly Swim Time & Drowned Head Section
Understand the 'talent compensator' technology regardless how easy it appears to be to fish with as at any reasonable distance of salmon fly presentation you're losing up to 1/3rd of your salmon fly swim time as it's nearly impossible to re-align at distance the angle of a short fat shooting head with the matching super thin 'talent compensator' running line unless you're happy just thinking you're optimally fishing. Add the time your fly is 'out of control' at distance over the full course of the fishing day and you're probably talking about a loss of at least an hour or more of your 'effective' fly fishing time. When playing a salmon it's also much easier for a fish to drown the head section of a short bulky shooting head which can easily place excessive pressure on the hook hold as opposed to a longer (less drag) long bellied Speyline head section which usually always can be lifted up clear of the water when a fish is hooked.
Mending The Fly Line To The Salmon Fly
Mending 'to the fly, to the fly, to the fly' are the words that should be going through your mind on every power stroke delivery with a properly loaded Speycast when mending that line on or immediately prior to delivery to the river which is just as satisfying as seeing that V shape bullet head powering through the sky on the back of total crisp peripheral vision aware timed release off the water regardless of your leading hand. If your salmon fishing thoughts are not 100% on the depth, speed and stream behaviour of your salmon fly then you need to rethink your salmon fly fishing strategy because you'll be wasting valuable and potentially otherwise productive fishing time.
Malt Whisky Versus Schnapps
Too much logical thinking maybe but when you go to a wedding do you wear the kilt and drink malt whisky or are you wearing the lederhosen and on the schnapps! And there's no need to ask which outfit looks better and which dram tastes better either! The more manageable running line of a well designed Speyline with its longer more evenly weight distributed head section and front & rear tapers can be turned (mended) at range to the fly which will increase your 'effective' salmon fly fishing range. Take the time to learn how to 'lift & load' a Speyline to be able to deliver a consistently elegant 30-35 yard cast and gain 'instant' control of your fly upon touch down or keep pushing the extra 5/10 yards with a shooting head or bulkier Skagit and not truly gain control of the fly until it's back within 25 yards of your side of the river.