Talent Compensator Fly Lines
By Jock Monteith 20th May 2019
I often ask myself what on earth has happened to our traditional 'art form' Spey cast and the aerial elegance of a Speyline that was always designed to fly and not 'belly flop' like what we see with the shorter heavy belly shooting heads. The 'aerial profile' in salmon fly line design is just 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 you should not be gearing your products just for distance if they are to assist an angler's salmon fly to do its job properly. A 40 yard plus cast completely puts your salmon fly out of control from a fishing point of view in any hands other than 'highly experienced' hands. 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 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 need a 45 yard plus cast you're more than likely on the wrong side of the river. 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 as 9 times out of 10 that will be possible with the versatile Spey cast. We have been infiltrated by 'washing lines' from other areas of the world that would be better suited to 'drip drying' a wooly jumper between two poles in your back garden! These days there's little thought about the preservation of a not so long ago 'era' when you could literally spend hours watching a Spey caster gracefully operating down through a salmon pool with total elegance and smooth big open ranged casting movements to creating perfect D loop loading and an almost invisible power stroke.
Your Effective Salmon Fly Swim Time
Bin the foreign '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 unless you're Paul Daniels 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 kidding yourself on you're fishing optimally. 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.
Mending The Line To The Salmon Fly
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 turning that line on or immediately prior to delivery to the river 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 be rethinking your salmon fly fishing strategy because you'll be wasting valuable and potentially 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 in the lederhosen and on the schnapps! The bulkier running line of a well designed and thought out Speyline and the longer more evenly weight distributed head section 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 yard cast and gain 'instant' control of your fly upon landing 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.