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Old 11-01-2009, 10:37 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

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Originally Posted by flyguy66 View Post
. . . Scientific Anglers L2L Connectors also work good for this. They don't really float, but they improve your visibility of the Line-leader connection point.
Like flyguy66 said . . .
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

When you are nymphing you don't need to make long casts, keep them short so that you have as little flyline on the water as possible. In your mind picture a grid section of the pool and fish each small area thoroughly. You will find that you have much better control and feel of what your fly is doing.

Dan
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

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Originally Posted by HuronRiverDan View Post
Great advice from all...The only thing I will put here is an old steelhead anglers axiom, "If it feels funny set the hook". When you are using indicators add this to the quote, "If it looks funny set the hook".

Dan
My best advice is also along these lines. Keep in mind what your indicator normally does when you contact bottom, it generally twitches or goes straight down, because it has made contact with something that isn't moving. If you see your indicator do something else, set the hook. Something else includes the indicator: moving sideways, pausing, moving upstream, or moving more quickly than you've seen on normal bottom ticks.

I also suggest casting 30-45 degrees off of directly upstream and not trying to fish too far upstream. Remember that the more turbulent the water is, the closer you can get to the fish. You have to adjust your visual sensitivity to indicator movement in those situations, but the takes will generally be more aggressive as well.

The only way to get really good at discerning strikes from the bottom is to spend alot of time nymphing and taking time to think about what you're doing. Eventually you'll get to what's known as an aha moment and practice whats known as "zen nymphing".
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

"Zen nymphing", I love it!

Thanks to you all of the advice!





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Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
My best advice is also along these lines. Keep in mind what your indicator normally does when you contact bottom, it generally twitches or goes straight down, because it has made contact with something that isn't moving. If you see your indicator do something else, set the hook. Something else includes the indicator: moving sideways, pausing, moving upstream, or moving more quickly than you've seen on normal bottom ticks.

I also suggest casting 30-45 degrees off of directly upstream and not trying to fish too far upstream. Remember that the more turbulent the water is, the closer you can get to the fish. You have to adjust your visual sensitivity to indicator movement in those situations, but the takes will generally be more aggressive as well.

The only way to get really good at discerning strikes from the bottom is to spend alot of time nymphing and taking time to think about what you're doing. Eventually you'll get to what's known as an aha moment and practice whats known as "zen nymphing".
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

Guys,
Sorry to linger (or langer) on the topic but Cliff, why the 30-45 deg casting angle recommendation??
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
My best advice is also along these lines. Keep in mind what your indicator normally does when you contact bottom, it generally twitches or goes straight down, because it has made contact with something that isn't moving. If you see your indicator do something else, set the hook. Something else includes the indicator: moving sideways, pausing, moving upstream, or moving more quickly than you've seen on normal bottom ticks.

I also suggest casting 30-45 degrees off of directly upstream and not trying to fish too far upstream. Remember that the more turbulent the water is, the closer you can get to the fish. You have to adjust your visual sensitivity to indicator movement in those situations, but the takes will generally be more aggressive as well.

The only way to get really good at discerning strikes from the bottom is to spend alot of time nymphing and taking time to think about what you're doing. Eventually you'll get to what's known as an aha moment and practice whats known as "zen nymphing".
Hmmm. Big Cliff speakum big truth!

I really had to "dig" to make my first post on this topic. Nowadays, I don't even pay much attention to the line tip or indicator. I find I sense it BETTER by relaxing my perception and allowing my sub-conscious to "alert" me to any change if working at ranges less than 30'. (most folks would think I was an idiot for nymphing beyond 30' anyway, but that's another story for another thread...and I don't do it often) By striking any time my sub-conscious grabs my attention back to the end of the line that's above water, rod tip, indicator, etc., I am FAR quicker and don't tend to react to bottom bumps. I can't actually explain why...because it's SUB-conscious. It also allows me to watch hatches, other fish nearby, rise forms, birds, foxes, squirrels, chicks in bikinis, talk to others, smoke a cig, see what the dog's doing, etc. whenever I feel like it. Some of my fishing buds get really upset and/or amazed by my "Zen fishing" talents. But about 30 years of martial arts and actual Zen training has to pay off somehow, right?

Interestingly, it is far less reliable with dry fly fishing. I really can't figure that one out! But it's SUB-conscious. You can't explain this stuff.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

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Originally Posted by colotrout View Post
Guys,
Sorry to linger (or langer) on the topic but Cliff, why the 30-45 deg casting angle recommendation??
Because if you're fishing further off to the side, you're crossing more lines of current, which will frequently have different speeds and make drag-free drifts more difficult. You also would be starting a shorter distance upstream and thus would be fishing shorter drifts and giving your fly less time to drift at proper depth. (tuck casts and stack mends can help with the latter point, but that's getting pretty technical)

The easiest way to get a drag-free drift is to cast straight upstream. However, that also means that you spend ALOT of time stripping line in and then feeding it out for your next cast (and increasing your chances of fly/indicator/tippet tangles). I would suggest you position yourself 15-25' perpendicularly away from the drift you want to fish and try to maintain a constant amount of line outside the rod tip. This is done by beginning the drift with the rod down and reaching towards the indicator, and then lifting the rod and line as your rig passes by you.

Here's a visual example-
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

Like BigCliff said (but he said it better than I could have)
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

I read an article Lefty Kreh wrote a few years ago, and he said that he uses
a short (few inches) strip strike when nymphing. Lefty says this keeps the
nymph down on the bottom in the event that it wasn't a real take. I use
both methods. I go through periods where I use and don't use indicators.
Today was a no indicator day, and I had no problem sensing strikes.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Discerning a strike from the bottom

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Originally Posted by FrankB2 View Post
I read an article Lefty Kreh wrote a few years ago, and he said that he uses
a short (few inches) strip strike when nymphing. Lefty says this keeps the
nymph down on the bottom in the event that it wasn't a real take.
This reasoning is why I'm a huge advocate of strip strikes, but I don't see how it could work with most nymphing techniques. Short strip strikes only work if you have a straight line connection to the fly, and if you're fishing weighted flies hanging under an indicator, this is impossible.

I think getting drag free drifts and being able to use short strip strikes are mutually exclusive.
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