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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2011, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

I have fished in some pretty high-pressured trout waters, both wild and stocked, and I always use 6lb mono. I get the smaller spool of it (easy to carry) and that's all I use. I haven't had a problem catching fish. As for the leader shy issue, I agree that the trout is focused in on the fly (or nymph, etc). They don't have the forethought to approve of the fly, then double check to make sure there isn't line attached. Trout, like anything wild, don't get free meals. When they see something that looks tasty, they go for it. I think it all comes down to fly presentation. So if you're line is affecting the drift, ie-presentation, then line is important. My $0.02.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Mr, all I can do is invite folks to our water and do the test.
Seeing is believing for most fishermen. (But not all.)
I learned about mud (guide love) on the SanJuan.
I'm not saying you can't catch fish without mud, I am saying it helps to pass muster with the tough fish here, just like in NM.
Fish here not only know about leaders, they hate indicators, and blingy flies too. Bead heads are often a fish repellant.
Doing what works many other places, gets you blanked here, or just dinks.
Most fish here in the 20-30 inch range, are better than most fishermen in whatever range...We have a semi-maligned fishery because of this. (Or infamous.)
We're begining to suspect they are profiling a double fly rig with split shot too. (But that's another thread.)
If your game is B+ to A already, this small step takes it to A+. Maybe, valedictorian!

Jim

Last edited by Bigfly; 08-23-2011 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Not saying it isn't true in some places, but where I have fished, it hasn't been an issue.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfly View Post
Mr, all I can do is invite folks to our water and do the test.
Seeing is believing for most fishermen. (But not all.)
I learned about mud (guide love) on the SanJuan.
I'm not saying you can't catch fish without mud, I am saying it helps to pass muster with the tough fish here, just like in NM.
Fish here not only know about leaders, they hate indicators, and blingy flies too. Bead heads are often a fish repellant.
Doing what works many other places, gets you blanked here, or just dinks.
Most fish here in the 20-30 inch range, are better than most fishermen in whatever range...We have a semi-maligned fishery because of this. (Or infamous.)
We're begining to suspect they are profiling a double fly rig with split shot too. (But that's another thread.)
If your game is B+ to A already, this small step takes it to A+. Maybe, valedictorian!

Jim
I'm a pretty good trout fishermen... I got my butt handed to me on the Truckee.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Chi, Illinois? The T?
How cool.
Come back for a rematch....
When I say, we are shaped by the water we fish, I'm not kidding.....
I've been asking guys that fish and guide all over, what is harder than the T?
The Williamson in OR. gets the vote.
Road tripping there this fall, I'll let you know.

Jim
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfly View Post
Mr, all I can do is invite folks to our water and do the test.
Seeing is believing for most fishermen. (But not all.)
I learned about mud (guide love) on the SanJuan.
I'm not saying you can't catch fish without mud, I am saying it helps to pass muster with the tough fish here, just like in NM.
Fish here not only know about leaders, they hate indicators, and blingy flies too. Bead heads are often a fish repellant.
Doing what works many other places, gets you blanked here, or just dinks.
Most fish here in the 20-30 inch range, are better than most fishermen in whatever range...We have a semi-maligned fishery because of this. (Or infamous.)
We're beginning to suspect they are profiling a double fly rig with split shot too. (But that's another thread.)
If your game is B+ to A already, this small step takes it to A+. Maybe, valedictorian!

Jim
Jim,

You raise a very important point and one that is easily forgotten. We often write posts that assume that all trout will behave in the same fashion.

As you have pointed out, they do not. Trout, just like all living populations, demonstrate variance in their behavior. I also happen to believe that large trout do not get large and survive solely because they have been unbelievably lucky. I believe that if you can fool the large fish, you can fool the small and medium fish. The opposite is not true.

Trout have a low IQ but they can and do develop survival behaviors. Selective feeding is a behavior that can bedevil humans that are 20 times smarter than a trout. I believe trout can learn to associate observations that are associated with traumatic experiences. When those experiences are to be avoided, they can use the associated observations to avoid the traumatic experiences that followed.

The phenomena of the newest and greatest fly is an example. I have experienced time and time again, when a fly will work just great for a couple of years, then it becomes just another fly. Why is that? I happen to believe that it is because the fish "learn" (if that is the correct word), the surface impression of that fly does not equal food, it equals trauma.

Have you ever had a fish come up to take your dry fly and then there is a late refusal? You cast again over that fish and it comes up half way before rejecting your fly. You cast a third time and you see it rise up off the bottom but no further. On the fourth cast it does not even move from it's position. I cannot think of any explanation for that type of behavior other than short term memory. If the fish had no memory we should get about the same reaction every time.

Fish also have a longer term memory. That is how we explain the fact that we can still catch fish on the Madison with a salmon fly dry 2 weeks after that hatch is completely done.

I happen to believe that in heavily fished waters, when the fish see the same leader surface impression day after day, and that is followed by getting hooked; eventually some of these fish associate that surface impression with getting hooked. I don't think the fish is able to reason that out by thinking that impression is a leader that is attached to a fly so I better not eat that fly. It is much simpler than that. It is avoidance behavior through association. They associate the surface impression with trauma. To avoid the trauma, avoid the surface impression.

Whether we call it learning or not, I think they avoid certain flies and certain surface impressions associated with flies.

I will agree that in most places one does not need to worry about such details, but in heavily fished waters, I believe that this phenomena does occur; and I think the survivors, i.e., the largest fish are more likely to exhibit this behavior.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfly View Post
Chi, Illinois? The T?
How cool.
Come back for a rematch....
When I say, we are shaped by the water we fish, I'm not kidding.....
I've been asking guys that fish and guide all over, what is harder than the T?
The Williamson in OR. gets the vote.
Road tripping there this fall, I'll let you know.

Jim

It's on my list, for sure, Jim. I used to get out that way quite a bit more with a developer/property management client that I have. I'll be resigning myself from that account due to other work obligations in November and it will be a sad day for me. They're located in Colorado as well and I also get to fish when in CO as well.

My next trip out there will probably be on my own dime unless I can convince the client to hold the October meeting in Truckee instead of Colorado. Next time, I'll go with a guide, though, rather than trying my hand at it again. I really want to catch one of those bruiser rainbows. I did hit some smaller streams around there with the 4 wt. and had a ball catching some smaller rainbows. Great fighting fish in the 12-14 inch range, smaller streams, beautiful scenery, beautiful fish. A little north east of Truckee. Very enjoyable time.

Cheers,
Mike.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

Silver, beautifully put.
"I believe that if you can fool the large fish, you can fool the small and medium fish. The opposite is not true."
Environmental pressure shapes us all (living things), short term and long.
I've never believed they're "smart", but I have been "out smarted" by a few fish.
It's partly the indignity of that fact, that keeps me coming back.

That, and being able throw a bit of fluff to a being from another realm....

Mike, I'll picture it......October!

Last edited by Bigfly; 08-24-2011 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

I agree that the leader should sink, and it should have no kinks or curls in it. If not, even wild, virtually unfished trout will often shy from it on a glassy calm pond - especially if there is an alternative.

Even saltwater fishing, leaders should be changed if they get slightly scuffed or fish will shy away. Sailfish will not come up for a ballyhoo which is missing a scale. Blackfin tuna only 2 pounds old will not take a bait moving at 8 knots with wire for a leader. The list goes on and on.

Everything we can do to have our flies, lures, baits, lines, bodies, clothing and rods inconspicous will help us in catching fish - especially big ones.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Light tippet or not...

I really appreciate all the discussion of tippet shadow, tippet sinking, etc. But does it matter how light the tippet is? My contention is that if the fish can see 5x tippet because it's casting a shadow or reflecting light, they can probably see 8x tippet doing the same thing.

And I certainly believe trout can learn to avoid the causes of trauma after they are hooked a few times. I also believe that not all trout are created equal. Not all of them are capable of learning to the same extent, which is one reason some get big because they've learned to avoid negative cues, and some get caught so many times that they eventually die of some kind of delayed mortality even if a meat fisherman doesn't get them. In fact, I kinda believe that some trout are genetically programmed to learn more quickly or perhaps even to "notice" negative cues from the start, and these fish are seldom catchable because of it. And the more pressure a stream gets, the more likely it is that the genetically "smarter" fish are mostly the survivors who pass along their genes to the rest of the population.
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