What Did I Do Wrong???
Just got back from Pigeon Forge, Tenesse. Got about 2 hours on the Little Pigeon River.I tied on a bugger, black with gold ribbing. I pinched on a BB 3 shot. Made enough casts with the bugger to know the fish weren't bightin' it. Then I saw the rises. At first I thought I was raindrops fallin' from the trees. But no, these were honest to goodness rises. So I tied on a drie, a yellow Never Sink Caddis to be exact. No luck. So I checked the bugs. Not sure what they were, but they were around size 18 and dark.And they bit. So I tied on a peacock midge. By now I I had reached a fairly slow moving stretch that passed under a tree before going into a sort of rapids. I saw a couple rises. First cast with the peacock midge and THWACK, something nailed it. I set the hook and came up empty.I repeated this seen around 6 times. I even waited till I saw the leader twitch before setting. No fish. So now I'm thinkin' these are smutting trout, so I tie on a black and peacock. Several more strikes. No hookups. I work my way back down stream now to where I started fishing, a medium paced riffle that is rather broken, but not quiet to much for dries. I decide to try a nymph, so I tie on a brassie and put an indicator to fit the depth of the water on. Maybe ten casts later the indicator shoots upstream. I set the hook, feeling the fish for a second, but then the hook slips and the fish is gone. I'm confident the hit was not a rock. After a while with no real strikes on the nymph I've reached a spot where man has left his mark in the form of a gravel bar made from stones from a river. The bar is curved, extending around a third to a half of the way into the river. The bar at its highest is around two inches above the water, which is aroun six to twelve inches deep. It creates a push, were the water slows before pouring over into a frothy swirling area behind the bar. I fish the entire area around this structure with a yellow Neversink Caddis, elicting several strikes, but again, no hookups. I end my time having a pitty party on the gravel bar while slinging a marabou leech deal. LOL. The area I was fishig wasn't the best, being an area where the fish are stockies that have a hard time reaching ten inches. I saw and counted quite a few 2&3&4 inch fish and got 'em to bite but couldn't even catch them. I had a lot of fun, and surprised myself with what I could do, but one thing I couldn't do was hook a trout. What did I do wrong, how can I fix it, and did my fishing tactics match the conditions and locations??????????? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: What Did I Do Wrong???
The bugs actually bit you? Mayflies caddis stoneflies midges etc don't bite. It sounds maybe like they were blackflies?
It sounds like you were definitely getting hits, as opposed to last minute refusals but not sure what the problem was. Sometimes too much slack line makes it difficult to set the hook. Sometimes you can break a point off banging flies off rocks while casting, but you would have noticed when you changed flies.
I have a tendency to strike too soon pulling the fly out of a fishes mouth, but that can't be it--- at least not with that hit you got on the brassie while nymphing. An indicator moving upstream is a pretty good sign it's a fish :)
Sometimes there are just days like that and all you can do is shake your head.
Hopefully other folks will chime in.
Re: What Did I Do Wrong???
I'm not sure if those were midges or not. I believed I got bit but it mightta a combination of different bugs. I saw some very active nymphs on the bottom of a rock 'bout the same size as the bugs though. As for the refusal thing. Ever fished for gills? If so, you've probally seen 'em swirl the fly without suckin' it in. That's what some of these fish did. Others took it. I saw the leader jump. As for the hool point, I'll check I'm a bit. I'm on the way home right now. Tight Lines
Re: What Did I Do Wrong???
I was going to say that you may have been trying to set the hook too quickly, but that wouldn't have been the case with the nymph.
If you go back out there, take a (nail) file to your hooks and sharpen them. See if that gets you more hook ups. If that doesn't work, my next suggestion would be to put a little bend on the curved part of the hook. What I mean by that is, if you are looking straight down over the hook, you will only be able to see the shank and not the curved portion of the hook as it will be lined up under the shank. Put a slight bend on the hook so that the shank and the hook point are not parallel. A combination of sharpening your hooks and the bent hook should help out.
As I said though, I would just try sharpening the hooks first. Introducing the bend in a hook also introduces a weak spot in the metal. However, if the bend is slight, it is far more likely that the line will still break before the hook ever does.
Whenever I tie up bigger hooks (size 10 or less), I always pre-sharpen my hooks with a file. On big streamers (particularly with marabou tails), I will usually put a slight bend on the hook. I've had too many trout hit the end of a streamer (striking at the tail of a streamer) and have the hook scrape right out of thier mouth without catching.
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