Occaisionally in the Salmon Fishing sport fish will take a presented fly quite deep in the Gill rake. There is nothing an angler can do to prevent this or be aware that this has happened until the fish has been netted or captured. Fishing double or single hooks reduces the damage caused as opposed to trebles.
A recent encounter last week with visiting rod Patrick Gray we encountered this problem. We decided it was better to remove the hook as it was easily accessible in the Gill rake. Blood began to pour out of the gills and the hen fish of 6lb began to turn a pale colour. After holding her in the water for 5 minutes it seems she would not recover.
I decided to build a cradle from rocks in the river to support her body and keep her in the up right position. Slowly the bleeding subsided and the colour began to re-establish in the face and flanks. Leaving the fish undisturbed for 45 minutes she sat recovering.
Eventually the fish swam off completely recovered and hopefully to continue her migration to spawn. Sometimes patience and good care can save what many would have presumed to be a lost battle.