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  • Newsletter from 2011 – Contend a.o:
  • Riffling Hitch
  • New things in the Fishmadman shop

Some of the contend in this Newsletter may be found elsewhere on the Fishmadman site

Salmon on Riffling Hitch


Riffling hitch fishing V-FLY

When surface fishing… keep an eye out for that curious one  – Salmon will very often show themselves when they sneak up on the fly. Something the angler with the sub-fly rarely sees.

During summer when the river heats up you have the option of using a range of different techniques –  Riffling Hitch is one of those summer methods. Follow us at the banks of the river and learn a few tricks.

Fishmadman Photo atlantic salmon in river

Low water law

Salmon arriving at the river will behave differently depending on water speed and temperature. Some salmon will run through your beat in a matter of minutes – some will use hours others will enter and exit the beat throughout the season. They will all have their special places where you might encounter them.

Above: A set of big and small fish resting in the deeper part of a shallow pool…The slack water almost makes a proper down-&-across presentation impossible.
Salmon easialy get bored

Salmon easily get bored

Salmon entering the river only have a very limited attention span and the angler may easily drain their sparse awareness. Obviously, it is important to manage ones fishing with some prudence. If the river becomes low, slow or warm the angler will have to make the down & across fly work absolutely perfectly to deceive the salmon. This is actually such a difficult job that even the old hand at the river will have to work hard to accomplish. In such cases, alternative tools will come in handy. Tools like; Rifling Hitch, Skating, Dibbling, Dapping; all names for techniques where the fly is moving in the surface.

Hitching a quiet form of Wake fly fishing

Rifling Hitch, Skating, Dibbling, Dapping names of well know methods that will bring Atlantic salmon thrashing through the surface. Fishing for Atlantic salmon in the surface is a matter of downplaying things… We use flies that make little commotion: A dapping fly that occasionally bounces on the top of the water. A Riffling Hitch fly that drag a subtle V in the surface. Small signs that can bring big salmon to the top.

See our page on wake fly fishing

Riffling Hitch V-FLY wake fly

The surface hunter

The surface is an all-important hunting ground to the salmon parr, who more than any other salmonids will focus on surface hunting as soon as insects start to fly

The insect will try to leave the treacherous surface as quickly as possible, but 100 million years of practice have made salmon specialists, and they know what to look for. It is these fantastic hunting abilities that we will try to tap into when fishing the Riffling Hitch

Salmon flies are not equally good to use for Riffling Hitch. To the left, our favourite Riffling Hitch fly: V-FLY ™  Read more  Buy fly  Buy salmon & steelhead flies

Surface fishing tricks

All salmon flies are not equally good to use as Riffling Hitch flies – There will be fly patterns that work much better than other

Use thin hair – We have through the years noticed how Riffling Hitch flies tied with squirrels hair has a special alluring ability… The best hairs seem to be fine hair found on tails from small squirrels. Therefore we recommend you hand-pick the squirrel tails for the purpose.

Buy riffling hitch squirrel tails from us

If you tie your Riffling Hitch patterns on a single or double hook you should leave enough room in front of the hook so you will be able to fit in the hitch knots

Riffling Hitch flies will fish difficult waters. The Riffling Hitch fly will more or less fish the places you normally would want to fish with the sub-surface fly – But a small hitched fly will also fish slow water which could be otherwise very difficult to fish with a sub-surface fly.

Jerry Rothman fishing a wake fly on the North Esk

Controlling the fly

Keep an even speed on the fly when hitching. If necessary increase or decrease speed by lifting or lowering the rod. With a bit of practice, you will quickly learn how. Here UK angler Mr Jerry Rothman fishes the back-end of Allan’s Stream on the North Esk – by pulling the Riffling Hitch fly away from the main current. The area that he is targeting is less than 1 meter wide… His tackle:  A relatively long single hand rod 11 foot. A floating line and a little V-FLY™

Dibbling, Dabbing a salmon fly

 Bobbing the fly

Another trick in the book of surface flies is to keep the fly bouncing on top of the white-water. Try this below falls or at the inlet of the pool. Be in no doubt, the salmon will see the fly – and he will come for it like a rocket.

Time to use the Riffling Hitch

Through summer there will be days when the Riffling Hitch fly will out-fish

all other methods. Some years the Riffling Hitch will work excellent during intervals of days or weeks. Exactly what period works best can vary from season to season…. In Norway, the technique may work well from the first day to the last day of the season… but the weeks of mid-August could be the top weeks… In Scotland, the hitched fly could work at it´s best in the last weeks of June – and be less effective in August.

Using a riffling hitch wake fly in colored waters

High & brown river

Fishing a tiny Riffling Hitch fly during periods with a rising river – going muddy – might not be the first thing that comes into mind… never the less… Riffling Hitch can be an extremely efficient technique under such circumstances. Salmon will be travelling close to shore and the surface… keep the fly on a short line  – working downstream with short casting and a high rod. Be ready for a pounding heart when Mr. salmon comes hammering out of the surface. In case you hook up on such a fish strike immediately

See our range of small Riffling Hitch flies  Buy salmon & steelhead flies

Riffling Hitch Fly V-FLY

A bright head

When fishing Riffling Hitch it is important to be able to follow your fly on the river. When it gets dark or grey this can sometimes become an impossible task. Use a Riffling Hitch fly with a fluorescent green head – this way the fly will be slightly more visible

hitch craft orri

A fine book on Riffling Hitch Fishing

The founder of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund and superior Riffling Hitch angler Mr Orri Vigfússon (10 July 1942 – 1 July 2017) was the author of this thoughtful publication on Riffling Hitch fishing called:

Hitch Craft

Too thick a leader!

Try to avoid the use of too thick tippet material when fishing Riffling Hitch. The thick leader will quickly take out the magic of your fly. Use a thinner tippet like 0.30 mm (12 lb..) and a long soft rod that can absorb some of the fast movements of the hooked salmon

Portland Hitch Fishmadman Hitch Fly Series

The Portland Hitch – Riffle hitch knot

The Portland Hitch populated by fly fishing icon Lee Wulff is the traditional way of fishing Riffling Hitch, done by tying on a single or double fly so it will drag sideways in the surface.

See how to tie on a conventional single hook fly with a hitch knot Buy single hook Riffling Hitch flies Buy salmon & steelhead flies

Caddisfly insect the wake fly

The Caddisfly and riffle hitch and waking fly

We would like to think that the adult caddisfly and the ways of this insect is closely linked with the effect the Riffling Hitch fly has on salmon

Above: The much erratic behaviour of the adult caddisfly – could very well be an element in the effect that Riffling Hitch flies has on Atlantic salmon

In fishing literature, the Caddisfly live in the shadow of the more exquisite May fly – and in much the same way it also plays a less interesting part in the fly box of salmon anglers – who often fancy more elaborate and colourful patterns than dull caddisfly imitations.

The caddisfly is in fact well represent in salmon rivers both as – adult, pupae, and larva – and the salmon parr might encounter it every day from the beginning to the end of the season.

As an adult insect, the caddisfly lives 6 – 14 days. Staying close to the edge of the river. They come out from their place of hiding and flutter around the river with erratic movements…. hitting – diving straight into – or scooting on top of the water, to lay their eggs…or to get to shore.

We believe that understanding and learning about the way of the caddisfly is part of the overall understanding of the Riffling Hitch fishing technique

Read more about the life circle of the caddisfly

Riffling Hitch Flies on tube

Fine tune your Riffling Hitch – tube

Most Scandinavians tie their Riffling Hitch fly on a tube. It is a simple and very effective way to make small and very light surface flies. It is important to use a type of tube that will support the hook. Chose a flexible type of tube that will be able to keep your hook in place. If hook and tube fit perfect you should be able to adjust the position of the hook – thereby changing the movements of the fly – a bit like the Rapala-angler that fine-tune his bait with a set of pliers.

When using a small treble hook, we would have one hook pointing down with the remaining hooks in a horizontal position. If we use a single hook we keep this pointing straight down or up.

If you tie your own Riffling Hitch flies and would like to buy perfect tubes for the job – we make them !… We could not find any tubes that were good enough to suit our Riffling Hitch system so we designed the right tube and made a production – The tube comes in two dimensions to suit either small or bigger hooks Go to the shop  Buy salmon & steelhead flies

New stuff in the Fishmadman shop

tying a tube fly

Don`t spend money on an expensive tube-tying-vice. You don`t need it! A least we at FISHMADMAN don`t think so. We have never owned or used such a tube-fly-tying-vice and get by quite happily just using an ordinary sewing needle. See our tubes and sewing needles to tie tube flies on  Go to  Buy salmon & steelhead flies

Silver tippet Holo V-FLY

New Riffling Hitch fly: Silver Tippet Holo V-FLY™  Buy salmon & steelhead flies

Black Holo Riffling Hitch V-FLY

New Riffling Hitch fly Natural Black Holo V-FLY™  Buy salmon & steelhead flies

Bling-Bling ! Is certainly not always the answer when it comes to salmon, especially not those salmon that have gone stale – But this little wake fly pattern with golden holographic tinsel has proven itself very useful. It is particularly good in those fast pools where salmon must rush to the surface and make a hasty decision

Superior fly lines for riffling hitch fishing

We are happy to tell you that we from 2011 have been able to sell the two best riffling hitch and dry fly lines on the market…

It is the famed Triangle Taper from Lee Wulff (Royal Wulff Products) – The fly line that is the most copied line in the world…We only carry the Lee Wulff lines it in a few # weights that we think is suitable for hitch and dry fly fishing – All lines are with the fantastic J3 surface coating – that just makes these lines so much better than the competitor line.

We have the Classic Triangle taper in 7 – 8 – 9 It is 90 foot (27.4 meters) long – A 40 foot (12.2 meters) progressive taper – A 50  foot (15.25 meter)  shooting line…the line is ivory-white (the absolute best colour for surface fishing)

See the line at a good price in our shop  Buy salmon & steelhead flies

Lee Wulf Distans fly line TTSTF - wake fly flylinethe ‘2 line is the extremely long casting TTSTF

The favourite distance line with us at FISHMADMAN – developed by Steelhead Pro, Al Buhr, The TTSTF is 105 foot long (32 meters)  – It has a 55 foot (16.7 meters) running line  – A 50 foot (15.25 meter) progressive taper The TTSTF also has the super J3 coating. It is of course ivory coloured and has a lightly green shooting line

See the line at a good price in the shop  Buy salmon & steelhead flies


☛ Support NASF in rescuing the Atlantic salmon – Go to NASF page! ☚

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