Oddly enough while I was fly fishing for wild Atlantic Salmon on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia this past summer, Anglers Journal called and asked me if I had an Atlantic Salmon image they could use! Serendipity, right?! This pencil sketch of an Atlantic examining a Spey fly was published in the Fall Issue of Anglers Journal to accompany C.M. Rip Cunningham's article Fact, Folklore, or Fiction: Do Atlantic Salmon feed when migrating upstream? This enthusiast has plenty of reasons to believe they do. The article probes an interesting question, since science states that they are not feeding in the upstream migration, yet they will eat flies that look like food.
My personal hypothesis is that being back in the freshwater stream after years in the ocean, their memories and instincts associated with being a Parr and feeding on aquatic insects are reconnected. In my mind this also explains why they will eat a dry fly that looks like a mayfly the size of a small bird. They are now several feet long and the giant dry flies we cast are about the same proportion to their size as a mayfly was to the Parr when it was in its freshwater phase. Read the full article here. See more of my Atlantic Salmon paintings here.
Here is some more data that supports my hypothesis!