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Old 11-01-2009, 10:03 AM
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Default No luck, what do you change and in what order?

One more annoying newbie question:

Let's say that you aren't having much luck. The obvious is something needs to changed. As a scientist, I tend to address one variable at a time (e.g., type of fly is use, or move up stream a bit, etc) and in doing so, I run out of time, literally, without having been able to catch fish. What do you guys do when luck is bad and you need to adjust. Please, be as specific as possible telling us the typical order of your adjustments and how long til the next adjustment.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: No luck, what do you change and in what order?

The first thing that I want to know is what the fish are eating. I will seine the water to see what bugs are floating around and lift up rocks to see what bug life is available.

You can find a variety of seines. You can get a simple one that's just fine netting with two stick ends for one to hold onto. Or you can get the type that attaches to your net body. One is made by Angling designes called the Quick Seine. I like this because it stays on your net rather then carrying it around in a pocket.

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Old 11-01-2009, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: No luck, what do you change and in what order?

1. presentation
2. location
3. size
4. fly pattern
5. repeat

time will vary by the situation, but time management comes with experience.

there are actually several other variables that might prevent you from being successful, but this is the basic list. for example, if fishing a gin-clear, small, shallow stream full of wild trout; they just might be sensing your presence. thus, you have to change your stalking methods or even clothing.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: No luck, what do you change and in what order?

Trout,

Once again you have been given great advise from the members here. What could I possibly add?

You can quote me on this; "Luck is for newlyweds and gamblers". What you are attempting to learn to do has less to do with luck than to perseverance and study. Add a trifle of love for the craft and you will be on your way".

Being of scientific discipline this should ring true for you.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: No luck, what do you change and in what order?

Great advice from everyone...

Dan
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: No luck, what do you change and in what order?

Thank you All,
I will definitely pay more attention to what the fish are eating. This won't be difficult as I have solely relied on (often outdated) fishing report for my fly selection. Mosca, the seine is nifty! I think I will get this one!

Flyguy, you list presentation as #1. How exactly do you modify your presentation? Isn't there just one optimal presentation? How do you know to move to #2, #3, #4?

Sorry about all the pesky newbie questions
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: No luck, what do you change and in what order?

There is NEVER just one presentation!

But I suspect you have (at this point in your evolution it is normal) a rather narrow concept of presentation. For example:

Wet flies - depth and speed of drift or retrieve are usually considered "the presentation," right? There is soooooooo much more...what knot did you tie the fly on with? This effects presentation. Where is your weight? How much of it? That definitely effects presentation! How far upstream are you casting to start your drifts? I could go on and on and on...

Dry flies - upstream, downstream, skittering, are you landing the fly softly enough, far enough upstream of your target, right size tippet, long enough leader, etc.? This is all presentation. Are you timing the rise form?

Terrestrials - have you tried casting up on the rock/limb and letting it bounce into the water? Are you casting close enough to the bank to appear realistic?

This should give you a good indication of why I list presentation first. By the time I choose a fly, tippet, rig it all up with any necessary accoutrements, get into position to cast, and make enough casts to think, "Well, this isn't working the way I thought it would," I've already got a pretty darned good idea of what is actually going on in terms of fish and bug and water activity. But let me tell you that if that big ole trout has been gorging himself all morning on ants that keep dropping off a log at the exact same spot, and you aren't hitting that spot with a very similarly sized and shaped ant fly, he might not take it. Well, I'm getting as close as I can to the right fly before I cast. So that leaves the cast and drift: presentation! If I'm 8" to the left of where he's watched 400 ants fall already today, he might ignore my offerings in favor of the real deal falling 8" to the right.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: No luck, what do you change and in what order?

I had a feeling my view was a bit ... simplistic

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyguy66 View Post
There is NEVER just one presentation!

But I suspect you have (at this point in your evolution it is normal) a rather narrow concept of presentation. For example:

Wet flies - depth and speed of drift or retrieve are usually considered "the presentation," right? There is soooooooo much more...what knot did you tie the fly on with? This effects presentation. Where is your weight? How much of it? That definitely effects presentation! How far upstream are you casting to start your drifts? I could go on and on and on...

Dry flies - upstream, downstream, skittering, are you landing the fly softly enough, far enough upstream of your target, right size tippet, long enough leader, etc.? This is all presentation. Are you timing the rise form?

Terrestrials - have you tried casting up on the rock/limb and letting it bounce into the water? Are you casting close enough to the bank to appear realistic?

This should give you a good indication of why I list presentation first. By the time I choose a fly, tippet, rig it all up with any necessary accoutrements, get into position to cast, and make enough casts to think, "Well, this isn't working the way I thought it would," I've already got a pretty darned good idea of what is actually going on in terms of fish and bug and water activity. But let me tell you that if that big ole trout has been gorging himself all morning on ants that keep dropping off a log at the exact same spot, and you aren't hitting that spot with a very similarly sized and shaped ant fly, he might not take it. Well, I'm getting as close as I can to the right fly before I cast. So that leaves the cast and drift: presentation! If I'm 8" to the left of where he's watched 400 ants fall already today, he might ignore my offerings in favor of the real deal falling 8" to the right.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: No luck, what do you change and in what order?

Last week I told some guys from our FF Club that at my last outing trout would swim right up to the point their nose was on my fly and turn away. They said probably getting some drag on the fly (presentation). They said change some techniques, and then go to smaller flies/tippet, and then change to different flies. That outing I didn't catch any until I tied on an ant pattern.
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