Fish nipping at flies.

budge

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I've had a fair bit of success with francis/snaelda type flies this season, usually takes are quite Savage that rip line off the reel. I've had one or two though that give the impression the fish are just nipping at the feelers ? I haven't managed to connect with any of these so far. I always fish off the reel but was wondering if there's something I can do different to connect with them ?

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wilbert

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I used to fish off the reel all the time but the last 3 years I've kept the line clamped against the cork and think my hooking and landing ratio has gone up because of it. I've had fish nip at flies in the past, usually in warm low water but sometimes just using a smaller fly or fishing the same fly faster over the fish can provoke a more solid take. At the end of the day salmon fishing is 95% b0ll0cks and 5% fact. Draw your own conclusions and fish with what gives you confidence.
 
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Mattytree

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Drop a fly size and back up if you can but don’t tweak , strip or move the fly at all if they are nibbling it I’ve found usually results in a lock up with a fish.
 

Coneheads

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Its not so much fish nipping at the feelers ? would you actually feel the fish doing this ? get yer mate to nip the feelers in river , bet you cannot feel him doing so ? yes you would feel him if he pulled the feelers getting a hold of them between finger and thumb , but I seldom think a fish could hold feelers in their mouths, more so a cock fish

Fish do nip at flies and spinning lures, the same with a natural prawn or shrimp, I have seen them float fishing and free lining these baits , it is known as the stun and kill your quarry first.
More so now Cock fish this time of the mating season, they use their weapon, the kype , as I have hooked them in hole/seat of the top jaw but nener on the kype itself ? , I have hooked many hen fish in the same front top and mouth lips .
Best clamp your line as Wilbert quotes ,and wait till you feel the tug , the tug is the drug
 

MCXFisher

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It's worth remembering that in most cases what you feel as the 'take' is actually the kick after the fish has turned away and feels its freedom of movement constrained by the drag of the line. If the fish has come some way from its lie the turn away may be quite sharp and hence the reaction is more forceful. In contrast, near the dangle the amount of lateral movement is less and the turn and kick correspondingly reduced. More often than not you don't feel the salmon taking the fly into its mouth as it's swimming towards you and slackening the leader.

There's a fuller explanation of the dynamics in 'Crash! Bang! Pluck!' on J1W. In particular, have a look at the Icelandic underwater film of takes to see how little the angler detects, even with a light single handed rod and a short line.
 

Rrrr

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This is worth a watch, about 5 to 6 mins in one guy is fishing a slow clear pool with his mate on a cliff spotting, the spotter is watching the fish take the fly but the guy fishing dosent feel a thing.

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budge

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It's worth remembering that in most cases what you feel as the 'take' is actually the kick after the fish has turned away and feels its freedom of movement constrained by the drag of the line. If the fish has come some way from its lie the turn away may be quite sharp and hence the reaction is more forceful. In contrast, near the dangle the amount of lateral movement is less and the turn and kick correspondingly reduced. More often than not you don't feel the salmon taking the fly into its mouth as it's swimming towards you and slackening the leader.

There's a fuller explanation of the dynamics in 'Crash! Bang! Pluck!' on J1W. In particular, have a look at the Icelandic underwater film of takes to see how little the angler detects, even with a light single handed rod and a short line.
Thanks Michael I will have a read of that article. I have seen the underwater footage of the Icelandic salmon, fascinating to see. It makes you wonder just how many times this happens over here ?

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MCXFisher

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Thanks Michael I will have a read of that article. I have seen the underwater footage of the Icelandic salmon, fascinating to see. It makes you wonder just how many times this happens over here ?

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I think the answer is far more often than we might possibly imagine.
 

budge

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Thanks for the advice guys I'm still no nearer so will just carry on as before. I just had an image in my head of the fish nipping at the feelers as it doesn't seem to happen with normal flies the same ? Usually one good pull and that's it rather than the pluck, pluck,pluck that I've had on a Francis.

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mc andy

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Problem with salmon fishing you might need to wait till next season to experience the same thing again? By then you'll of forgotten what your new reaction is :) I'm a fan of moving my flies, and think inducing a take has improved my catch rate. Also if using flies with feelers make sure the feelers are sticking out proud of the fly. Again this is just my personal preference.

Cheers and good luck
 

Rennie

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Ive had Salmon nipping at Francis flees with the long stripped hackle feelers loads of times.Bothy Cat did me some of his excellent feeler Francis flees a while back and in the space of a week on Tweed had half of my stock chewed into oblivion!.
Honestly, I could feel fish pulling, mouthing,nipping and chewing on the flee's from the moment they hit a fishing depth almost right round to the dangle.
Swapping out to a conventional Francis saw the fun stop, as indeed any other flee too.Speeding up with a retrieve or slowing down saw nothing, but a steady positive swing could see 5 or more consecutive casts getting mollested as the flee swung.
On other occasions elsewhere I've found, just let the flee fish on and eventually things all pull tight.
Now I've a feeling swopping out to a smaller version of the same flee does the trick, as indeed does utilising Boar bristles instead of hackle stalks ( softer more flexible?), which some time I feel are too stiff and act as a guard keeping Salar off the hook.Another possible blinding light of thought suggests not dressing the flee with bristle ( or what ever! ) all around the tube, but merely a few on top of the tube only as in a conventional tail in an upward curve fashion..
However conducting experiments these days is a lengthy process as finding fish to confirm theories is the hardest part!.
Suffice to say, getting an offer of any sort and your 90% odd of the way there!
Tight lines, Pedro.
 

budge

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You may have a point there Pedro as I have only experienced this with hackle stem flies. I use boar bristles on my smaller versions and have only had either positive takes or nothing ? Maybe a bigger hook would sort it out ?

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Rennie

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Honestly think the feeler material used can be too stiff, maybe Salar is curious, or its a game to relieve the boredom, who knows, but I do know from past experience when using the real natural shrimp bait a Salmon will strip the whiskers or the berries from a shrimp alarmingly easily, you feel the twitches etc, but effectively that shrimps finished then.Tie on a fresh shrimp and it'll get done again!.
In the case of the artificial flee, well we all might have a range of sizes of our various flee's lovingly tied in proportion, with the Francis, the tube may be smaller, but how many times do the feelers drop in proportion to the flee size.
Maybe the Francis is still in development and needs to evolve futher?.
Keep at it, Pedro.
 

nickolas

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I've had a fair bit of success with francis/snaelda type flies this season, usually takes are quite Savage that rip line off the reel. I've had one or two though that give the impression the fish are just nipping at the feelers ? I haven't managed to connect with any of these so far. I always fish off the reel but was wondering if there's something I can do different to connect with them ?

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There’s always something to be said for the Scandinavians continually moving the fly wether it be striping , lifting the rod up and down etc, the down side is you don’t always get a good hook hold. So you take your pick and take you chance. I have fished a small slowish moving river for many years where you have to move the fly except after a big spate, the river is never very deep and i have always fished with a floating line so never more than an inch or so below the surface, I would say you probably see half the fish come to take the fly, missing fly a lot of the time. If the fly wasn’t striped and not close to the surface you would probably miss half the fish, if they come to the fly and don’t take it, give the fish 15 minuets or so then come back to the fish, many a time he will take it.
 

sneakypeter

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Anyone tried using mono for the feelers? Not going to get chewed off, plus a small blob could be melted on the end ,adding a bit of movement, could be shaped with a bit of steam with care, worth a try.
 

Isisalar

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Float fishing shrimps I've often had little bobs and dips show on the float and ignoring these I'd say 90% eventually developed into a full blown float submersion and a well hooked fish. Occasionally the eggs or the heads are nipped off but persevering with fresh is usually successful.
The head nipping is far more prevalent on paternostered baits come to think of it.
Then again it could be eels, who knows?
 

mc andy

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Now this is only my thoughts. Not science, I like the feelers big! Sticking out! And right in there face!.
Screenshot_20201015_192301.jpg


Now if you offer both of these to someone? One could be nibbled at if you fancy
However? The other if you choose to go for it requires a whole load more commitment! Got to get your chops open and get stuck right in.

I like to get my feeler stocks sticking out there.
IMG_20200919_131735.jpg


As I say? This I something I'm confident in, and by no means gospel.

Cheers andy
 

Isisalar

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Not Salmon but certainly food for thought :-
An old friend of mine from my reservoir Trouting days developed what he called his magic retrieve. I've seen it work at Farmoor, the Queen mother (sadly closed), Hanningfield and Grafham. Usually from a boat and mostly drifting fishing deep with lead cored flylines. He often used quite large flies and retrieved FAST, stripping back as fast as humanly possible. Often you could almost feel the fish (Rainbows mostly) mouthing the fly and nipping at the tail. Initially if he felt this he would abruptly stop the retrieve, poke the rod back leaving the fly stationary and strike. 9 times out of 10 a hooked fish would result. We later found that this worked even without any signs of interest. His theory was that the fish were obviously nose up to the fly and the sudden stop of the fly, accentuated by the poking the rod back at the fish led to them to open their mouth and engulf it, given the split second decision time to reject it or not.
It's a VERY effective method.
 
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