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I’ve been monitoring my takes to hook up ratio on the sunray and have managed to get it down to 1 hook up for every 4 takes.
I’ve been experimenting with the hooks and hook position and tried a few different set ups. The one I’ve settled on is to make the body 5-10mm longer than you normally would and to fit the tube liner really far back so that just the eye of the hook and no more is able to fit up inside the tube.
This obviously sets the hook much further back from the head of the fly.
I’ve also changed back from doubles to trebles. I did use long shank doubles to start with which sets the hook further back. But I’m now on the above set up with a size 8 b990 treble.
Seems to be working better.
You will always however get fish that completely miss the fly. In my experience you have about 30% chance of these fish having another pop at it next cast.
 

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I’ve been monitoring my takes to hook up ratio on the sunray and have managed to get it down to 1 hook up for every 4 takes.
I’ve been experimenting with the hooks and hook position and tried a few different set ups. The one I’ve settled on is to make the body 5-10mm longer than you normally would and to fit the tube liner really far back so that just the eye of the hook and no more is able to fit up inside the tube.
This obviously sets the hook much further back from the head of the fly.
I’ve also changed back from doubles to trebles. I did use long shank doubles to start with which sets the hook further back. But I’m now on the above set up with a size 8 b990 treble.
Seems to be working better.
You will always however get fish that completely miss the fly. In my experience you have about 30% chance of these fish having another pop at it next cast.
I spent a bit time last year messing with extension tube to move the hook forward and back. I didnt get enough takes to make any headway though so a project for next season.

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Simple solution if fishing for salmon i aim for the hook to be in the centre of the wing, I use a loose hook and I adjust the length of the tube and the Steering tube to make sure its some where near the middle of the total wing
If I fish for sea trout I normally lengthen the tube or hook holder so the hook back is further back as they will take the fly from behind more often then salmon imho but normally setting the hook right in the middle of the wing is good enough for both species .

I am fishing 90% long wings for my fishing and I think I've tried just about all set ups and a the ones with small treble and loose hooked positioned as above have been most efficient for me.
 

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Simple solution if fishing for salmon i aim for the hook to be in the centre of the wing, I use a loose hook and I adjust the length of the tube and the Steering tube to make sure its some where near the middle of the total wing
If I fish for sea trout I normally lengthen the tube or hook holder so the hook back is further back as they will take the fly from behind more often then salmon imho but normally setting the hook right in the middle of the wing is good enough for both species .

I am fishing 90% long wings for my fishing and I think I've tried just about all set ups and a the ones with small treble and loose hooked positioned as above have been most efficient for me.
I was finding last year that alot of seatrout were going for it and missing the hook.

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I’ve been monitoring my takes to hook up ratio on the sunray and have managed to get it down to 1 hook up for every 4 takes.
I’ve been experimenting with the hooks and hook position and tried a few different set ups. The one I’ve settled on is to make the body 5-10mm longer than you normally would and to fit the tube liner really far back so that just the eye of the hook and no more is able to fit up inside the tube.
This obviously sets the hook much further back from the head of the fly.
I’ve also changed back from doubles to trebles. I did use long shank doubles to start with which sets the hook further back. But I’m now on the above set up with a size 8 b990 treble.
Seems to be working better.
You will always however get fish that completely miss the fly. In my experience you have about 30% chance of these fish having another pop at it next cast.
You will almost certainly do better with a much smaller hook, free hanging and further forward. I use a 12B990 and thats perfect for a 4 to 5" wing, for sub 4" wings I go down to a 14 and for really big flies up to a 10, but I cant remember the last time I used any sunray bigger than a 41/2" wing. Intie these on a 1" clear plastic tube so with the knot protector the bend of the hook is bang in the middle of the wing. Salmon take big baits accross the middle not from the rear like a trout, which is why harlers and spinners rig big plugs with a hook in the middle. If you get a Tay ghillie to show you a well used plug you will see the bite pattern across the middle. I expect to hook and land most takes with that set up although many of the slashes and swirls you get are not actual takes.

I personally dont strip a sunray in the customary manner as I think you get better takes stripping a long wing fly a bit deeper, so I use a monkey for that presentation. For me a sunray is a surface lure and while I like the true pattern with brown squirrel underwing and Monkey over, I prefer the coloured water version with white polar bear underwing and Monkey over. Anything else is not a Sunray Shadow, although the fish dont know that!
 

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You will almost certainly do better with a much smaller hook, free hanging and further forward. I use a 12B990 and thats perfect for a 4 to 5" wing, for sub 4" wings I go down to a 14 and for really big flies up to a 10, but I cant remember the last time I used any sunray bigger than a 41/2" wing. Intie these on a 1" clear plastic tube so with the knot protector the bend of the hook is bang in the middle of the wing. Salmon take big baits accross the middle not from the rear like a trout, which is why harlers and spinners rig big plugs with a hook in the middle. If you get a Tay ghillie to show you a well used plug you will see the bite pattern across the middle. I expect to hook and land most takes with that set up although many of the slashes and swirls you get are not actual takes.

I personally dont strip a sunray in the customary manner as I think you get better takes stripping a long wing fly a bit deeper, so I use a monkey for that presentation. For me a sunray is a surface lure and while I like the true pattern with brown squirrel underwing and Monkey over, I prefer the coloured water version with white polar bear underwing and Monkey over. Anything else is not a Sunray Shadow, although the fish dont know that!
You are fishing your sunray differently from me though Andrew.
I fish them just below the surface and stripped fast. I think the speed makes all the difference but also makes it harder for the salmon to grab. That’s why I feel putting the hook further back improves my hook ups.
I don’t like skating or breaking the surface with the sunray.
I’ve seen the marks left on 110’s and salmon like you said definitely hit from the side.
I also fish my monkeys differently to you.
I work mine normally slow fo8 but never strip them.
It’s just what I’m confident doing because of good results in the past.
I will try coming down to a size 12 treble though.
 

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I much prefer Gordon's sunray stripping with an S/S tip and find it more effective in producing positive takes than a surface stripped fly. What I also find very effective is, when a fish has a couple of slashes and goes down, a high stick and a much slowed down fly surface hitched usually nails them.
Hard to beat the hitch really.:cool::cool:
 

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I'll be on t'Dee pretty early on again this year. God knows what the weather will turn out like of if they'll be any fish in the river either.
Now, when it's hard going, I'm much more inclined to stick to the tried and trusted over experimentation or wild card approach's. If I fish a Monkey, I usually try a 5" wing with an inty. and mild tip presentation bunged square and simply allowed to swing. I hasten to add, its an afternoon shot going to darkness- I'm a firm believer in not overly disturbing pools or fish unless I've got to.
You'd be correct in assuming my confidence isn't 100% at this method.
So a bloody freezing Dee, cold air temps, gin clear water, how would the adepts approach this compared to an apprentice like myself and would you expect a surface fished Sunray to work when its so cold.
Pedro.
 

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So a bloody freezing Dee, cold air temps, gin clear water, how would the adepts approach this compared to an apprentice like myself and would you expect a surface fished Sunray to work when its so cold.
Pedro.
Pedro,I had a proper 15lb mid February fish from the Roepot on a plastic G.B.W.G, fished off a hover line the instant the fly hit the water, so, therefore, the line had no influence on that fish? The fish actually took with a nose and tail from the surface so it was a running fish when you consider all the evidence?
I have also had February and March fish from the Earn on 4-5inch sunrays fished of a fast tip stripped slowly. The common denominator I believe, is that neither river is overly deep, and regardless of water temperature, runners are always in the top quartile of the pool.
I don't think anyone is saying that a sunray, however it is fished, and clearly there are umpteen different views on that, is a magic bullet. What they are saying is that they do have their place in any salmon anglers armoury.(y)
The original Collie Dog was regularly and successfully fished off a sinking line slowly also.
Everything is worth a try at some point.:cool:
In retrospect, only last early April on the Spey, a party including The Flying Scotsman, Happy Days and myself landed 11 out of around 30 fish on and playing. All running fish and all just under the surface, no deeper. Gordon I'm sure, had fish on the Sunray for his 3 days and had a day of 3 to his rod. Myself and Graham weighed in with a brace in a day each with other singles to add to these fish.
 
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