Here's one of the biggest salmon - caught by a fly fisherman - off the Hampshire Avon in recent memory.
Weighing in at well over 30lb, the hugely impressive and increasingly rare fish was hooked by Stewart Allum from the middle reaches of the Hampshire Avon below Fordingbridge.
It was the experienced all-rounder’s first-ever salmon on the fly, and was taken during ‘perfect river conditions’, with overcast skies, dropping water levels and big tides the previous week all combining to provide the 56-year-old with the ‘greatest achievement’ of his career.
Unfortunately, the exact weight of Stewart’s prize will never be known for sure because the fish bottomed out his 35lb scales, giving the Surrey-based rod little choice but to deduct the weight of his sling and claim a weight of 32lb 12oz.
However, Stewart measured the salmon at 44.5ins long which, according to experts, could nudge the fish’s weight closer to 40lb.
“The take came from a recognised lie on a long straight and was explosive - as the fly worked its way round with the current it ripped off, as if I’d hooked a passing train!” said Stewart, who tempted the take on a 1.5ins-long Waddington fly.
“It jumped several times and was like a bus coming out of the water - I knew straight away it was a ‘thirty’. Eventually I managed to get it into the net, which broke under the weight, and heaved a sigh of relief. I’ve had double-figure salmon on other methods before, but really wanted one on the fly. I would have taken a 5lb grilse, to be honest!” he added.
Stewart beat his fish, which was returned alive, using a Guideline Le Cie rod, a Scierra reel, and a Guideline shooting head sinking flyline coupled with a 25lb Seaguar fluorocarbon hooklink.
YOU'LL find lots more salmon fly fishing news in the game angling section of our website.