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Old 08-19-2011, 01:11 PM
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Default catching bigger fish?

so as im starting to catch more and more fish on my dries. the size of these fish are staying the same. 3-5" ill go to a hole where i used to nymph and catch a 17" fish and pull out a 7" do the big guys just not like to rise? if i wanna catch 10+ do i need to nymph and use streamers? could i possibly be to loud for the bigger guys to rise? (my theory is if they are 10ft away right next to some rapids those rapids are way louder than me so i just try to stay hidden) or what am i doing wrong?

although i did have one SUPER exciting fish yesterday. i drifted my fly and as i go to recast. i mean my fly is no longer touching the water. a little 4" fish comes flying out of the water and grabs the fly. its whole body was vertical out when it got hooked. stupid thing messed up my cast and hit my square in the mouth! i was smelling that fish the rest of the day! haha.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

Sometimes it is a matter of economy for a large fish. What I'm saying is- it takes a fair amount of energy for a large trout to rise to a small fly for the given quantity of calories gained. There are of course exceptions such as if the hatch is extremely heavy and a big trout finds a productive feeding lane and needs to do little more than open it's mouth.

Also remember, big fish got big for a reason- they don't get fooled to often and they know how to be on the lookout for danger. For this reason I have found that large trout in clear water are best stalked on cloudy days, early in the morning/late evening or better yet- when the stream is full and slightly off color.

I have a wild trout stream very close to me and sometimes when I am at the local fly shop I'll hear people talking about how to fish it. More times than not, I'll hear someone claiming the best fly choice is a size 18 or 20 hare's ear nymph. To this I smirk and say nothing as I have caught may trout using much much bigger flies. For this small stream my choice is to go on a cloudy day and throw a size 10 or even 8 Kaufman's stimulator nymph.

Give this a try, unless your stream is constantly pounded by fisherman you could be in for a great day.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

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Originally Posted by russellb View Post
Sometimes it is a matter of economy for a large fish. What I'm saying is- it takes a fair amount of energy for a large trout to rise to a small fly for the given quantity of calories gained. There are of course exceptions such as if the hatch is extremely heavy and a big trout finds a productive feeding lane and needs to do little more than open it's mouth.

Also remember, big fish got big for a reason- they don't get fooled to often and they know how to be on the lookout for danger. For this reason I have found that large trout in clear water are best stalked on cloudy days, early in the morning/late evening or better yet- when the stream is full and slightly off color.

I have a wild trout stream very close to me and sometimes when I at the local fly shop I'll hear people talking about how to fish it. More times than not, I'll hear someone claiming the best fly choice is a size 18 or 20 hare's ear nymph. To this I smirk and say nothing as I have caught may trout using much much bigger flies. For this small stream my choice is to go on a cloudy day and throw a size 10 or even 8 Kaufman's stimulator nymph.

Give this a try, unless your stream is constantly pounded by fisherman you could be in for a great day.
the stream i fish has the most traffic in the state..... i need to find a new stream damnit! haha its just the closest to me so i go to it on weekdays only
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

Bummer- I say that your best chances are to become a keen observer and learn to find feeding fish and be there when the conditions are right. Those big fish eat and you can catch them, you just need a game plan.

Look for situations where the fish would have a sense of security-

Deep pools at the base of some rapids- this is the trifecta as the big fish has security of deep water, oxygenation, and food funneled to it.

Cloudy days make big fish way less skittish

Higher off colored water offers lots of food of a great diversity making the fish opportunistic and less likely to key on one food source. High water that is off color also makes it harder for the fish to see what is moving around on the bank and will be a similar effect as a cloudy day.

Find fish that are actually feeding. We always see those big trout lounging in the deep pools, in most cases these are NOT feeding fish- don't waste your time. Go when the fish move to the head of the pool and into feeding lanes, this will be very early am or at dark.

Get your fly down to them! If you are not loosing flies occasionally you are not on the bottom.

If this stream get loads of traffic you may have to moderate my big fly approach, unless the water is slightly high then throw the big stuff.
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

Hi TexUte Fly,

You need to think about the Trout's feeding habits. The time to fish dry flies is when the fish are feeding on a hatch. When there is no hatch the bigger fish retire to the depths and feed on subsurface food. You are catching immature fish who don't know any better. Also due to their size they stay higher in the water column to keep away from the bigger fish. Early morning and late evening is a better time to try dry flies as there is a better chance for the fish are surface feeding.

You need to decide if dry fly fishing is more important to you than catching big fish. Have you tried a dry fly with a nymph dropper?

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Old 08-19-2011, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

Since you say the water your fishing gets pounded hard, it's entirely possible that the bigger trout are feeding heavily at night, when they feel much more secure and there's no one around to bother them. I've seen situations where this has happened, and with other species too. It's illegal to fish at night in MD's trout streams, but stained water & cloudy conditions as russellb has advised, might be the next best opportunity for you, particularly in the early morning. I've caught some decent size trout by doing just as he has said. Although I have much more success with large nymphs & streamers. When I fish surface flies for trout it's primarily terrestrials.

Also, if possible, do some walking & go well past the most traveled areas to places other anglers don't or won't usually go. Most streams have such places, and you may find some "new" water on the same stream you've been fishing.

I know of a place on a stream here, were a walk well past the end of the worn trail has yielded some decent fishing for me several times.
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

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Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Since you say the water your fishing gets pounded hard, it's entirely possible that the bigger trout are feeding heavily at night, when they feel much more secure and there's no one around to bother them. I've seen situations where this has happened, and with other species too. It's illegal to fish at night in MD's trout streams, but stained water & cloudy conditions as russellb has advised, might be the next best opportunity for you, particularly in the early morning. I've caught some decent size trout by doing just as he has said. Although I have much more success with large nymphs & streamers. When I fish surface flies for trout it's primarily terrestrials.

Also, if possible, do some walking & go well past the most traveled areas to places other anglers don't or won't usually go. Most streams have such places, and you may find some "new" water on the same stream you've been fishing.

I know of a place on a stream here, were a walk well past the end of the worn trail has yielded some decent fishing for me several times.
yeah on my days off i usually walk about an hour before i start to fish. but i do go 4-5 days a week min. and so some of those i only walk 15 min before i start to fish.

night fishing--- when i do this back home i need lights. do you bring out lights and point them where you are and go? or just go under a full moon? and what do you throw? nymphs? dries? streamers? colors? i wouldnt mind going after work one day (i get off around 11-12) moon should still be big enough the next couple of days.
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

I used to do a lot of night fishing and from my experience you want to avoid shining any lights on or near the water. We fished mostly with dark colored streamers in a downstream swing type method. We would catch some very large trout in amazingly shallow water so remember they only need enough water to cover their backs. Somewhere along the line I decided that sleep was better than big fish....
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

I've never fished at night for trout. As I said, it's not legal here, at least not in designated trout streams. But I have fished for bass at night a few times. I carry a small light with a red lens, and usually fish from a boat, so that makes it much easier to deal with the dark. Wading might be tricky, and likely dangerous if there's any appreciable current.

I wasn't suggesting that you fish at night, just that the bigger trout may be doing their feeding at night, and resting during the day.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: catching bigger fish?

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Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
I've never fished at night for trout. As I said, it's not legal here, at least not in designated trout streams. But I have fished for bass at night a few times. I carry a small light with a red lens, and usually fish from a boat, so that makes it much easier to deal with the dark. Wading might be tricky, and likely dangerous if there's any appreciable current.

I wasn't suggesting that you fish at night, just that the bigger trout may be doing their feeding at night, and resting during the day.
oh one of my favorite spots i believe to be over fished. i once saw 10 fish taken out of it in one day when all the tourist were here.. but i do continue to see fish rise and i have seen a 19" fish get pulled out of there (that would be illegal to take) so i know there is still fish there even though i havnt caught one there in 3 weeks. maybe theyve out smarted us and started to feed at night. its about a 100ft walk from the car park and doesnt have any strong currents. thats where i was thinking to fish at night. i would be more worried about an animal creepin up on me than the river hurting me. but as i found out last week my dog can take care of that
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