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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    49

    Unhappy How many takes do we miss??

    Interesting one this.

    I was fishing last summer on a low, small river. we drive over the river before making our way down to the bank, and always stop on the bridge for the look over to see if there's anything in the pool.

    Last summer there was a big (c20-22lb) fish in the pool and i was send down the bank with a huge fly to put over him while the others stood on the bridge.

    I made the cast, and because i was chest deep in the river, couldnt see what happened apart from the people on the bridge telling me that the fish had swung out of his lie, and started to follow the fly, which was clearly visible to them. apparently the fish ambled up to the huge fly and inhaled it. while continuing to swing accross the current, (he didnt return to his lie) I felt nothing, and the others were shouting 'strike, strike strike' which eventually i did just as the fish rejected the fly. he then swam right past me, and i could see him clearly, before heading slowly upriver. more out of desperation than anything else i chucked rather than cast the fly upstream, and he shot up like a trout and grabbed it violently. I struck suddenly, there was a dull, heavy yawn from the fish, he turned slightly, and the fly fell out...

    Anyway the moral of the story, is that i'd never have known that 20lb plus fish had taken my fly without the observers, and without doubt i should have struck when he inhaled it first..

    Needless to say i was gutted all day and to make matters worse one of the gillies caught and released him from the pool above while we were having lunch!! he was 102cm.

  2. #2

    Default

    I think there will be many times during a season when similar happens to us all, we just don't know it has happened. How many times do we say 'oh I had a pluck' and thought it may have been a trout or maybe the salmon pulling the tail of a shrimp fly.

    My (as many others) two main theories of why a salmon takes is aggression and curiosity, now the aggression bit is obvious...bang and he's got the fly and is most likely hooked but the curiosity one is different.

    How many different animals and even humans do we see when encountering unusual objects they approach a little warily and then just feel something out before deciding if we or they like or dislike it.

    Often this is done so delicately that you would never know it had happened had you not seen it,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Edinburgh,North Britain
    Posts
    1,253

    Default Cracking the Code

    You need to go and buy the "Cracking the Code" DVD.

    It will show all you ever need to see about salmon taking behaviour(individuals and part of a group) as most of it is shot from above using a polarised lense in gin clear Icelandic streams.

    Truly fascinating stuff.

    ZH
    "O hielan' streams ah covet nain....................."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ashland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,290

    Default

    Even with Steelhead it's amazing how soft a take they can have. Remember fishing (years ago) on the Skykomish River in Washington State. Very early in the day and the fish were holding just off the bank (4 foot from my boots). Short chuck and duck casts ... nada.

    Shifted over to an 'all white' marabou feather fly that I could actually see in the low light. Watched the fly move below me and when it 'disappeared' I set the hook. Didn't feel a thing, but hooked three or four fish that way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    171

    Default

    Just like Vatnsdalsa, I wait for the weight. If nothing is felt, I don't set.

    While fishing minnow patterns for steelhead, I've frequently felt a sharp tick-tick-tick as if the hook was striking something metallic. Never felt weight, just tick-tick-tick. I could never figure out what it was as I never snagged up so it wasn't rocks and I could never figure out how a fish could produce such sensation.

    A year last October, I felt the familiar tick-tick-tick and though there was no weight, a little voice said, "SET!" So I did and was rewarded with a nice 8 lb. buck. When I reached for my fly, it was square in the middle of its mouth, well back on the tongue. The tick-tick-tick was then explained -- the fly was completely within its closed mouth and the ticking was the taut tippet skipping over its teeth.
    Last edited by peter-s-c; 08-01-2008 at 08:59 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ayr
    Posts
    1,425

    Default Miss Takes

    I dont have any hard evidence to back up my practice, but I prefer to work my salmon fly back in short draws rather than just letting it swing downstream in the current, all in the hope that I reduce the number of missed takes.
    Others may be in a better position to comment on whether this makes a blind bit of difference to results.
    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    49

    Default Crack the code!

    Quote Originally Posted by zephead View Post
    You need to go and buy the "Cracking the Code" DVD.

    It will show all you ever need to see about salmon taking behaviour(individuals and part of a group) as most of it is shot from above using a polarised lense in gin clear Icelandic streams.

    Truly fascinating stuff.

    ZH
    Thanks Zephead. Consider it bought!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    49

    Default Short draws...

    Quote Originally Posted by clydesider View Post
    I dont have any hard evidence to back up my practice, but I prefer to work my salmon fly back in short draws rather than just letting it swing downstream in the current, all in the hope that I reduce the number of missed takes.
    Others may be in a better position to comment on whether this makes a blind bit of difference to results.
    Mike
    As do I for exactly the same reason! in fact on the Icelandic rivers you often fish such a fast retrieve that you get 'stripper's finger'! it was just on this occasion i was using the mother of all tubes (really needed a motorcycle helmet for safe casting) and dead -drifted it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Where the Cotswolds meet the Severn Vale
    Posts
    1,134

    Default

    Do fish really nip flies?

    Fish suck and blow they don't pick things up like dogs. More likely the fly is in and out of the mouth in a jiffy.

    Thinking about sea trout for a mo I've found that the big single is actually a lot better at hooking 'tweaking' sewin than a fly of the same size on a waddi or tube and armed with a treble. The increased gape of a #2 big single as opposed to say a 12 treble means that the hookpoint has more a chance of penetrating flesh 'on the way out' as the fish exhales. Same principle as the hair rig which was one of the few genuine advances in angling in the last 100 years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ashland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,290

    Default

    Dead on SF. Trying something new this winter: flies done on circle hooks. Will see how this goes as you're not supposed to set the hook.

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