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Old 11-07-2012, 08:58 AM
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Default More newbie questions

Well, that "old guy" came thru again yesterday when he invited me to go fishing at a place called "Dunbar Creek" here in Western PA. It was a really nice day and didn't even need to wear gloves, even though there was "frost on the pumpkin" as grandpap used to say. I have a couple of questions from yesterday, but both are sort of of the same strain.

The water was 44 degrees (F) yesterday. I take it that is a little cold, right? And the trout are pretty lethargic? Jules--the old guy--caught five browns yesterday. He said they were hitting softly and not putting up any fight whatsoever once they were hooked.

Whenever the fish are acting this way, how do you tell a soft hit from, well, nothing, I guess? There were at least a half dozen times (probably more) that I thought I felt something but caught nothing! He had me cast into the the white water falling down into a pretty deep pool. He showed me how it drags the fly downstream, eventually, and then the water swirls backwards some. He said the trout are looking downstream at this point as food flows thru the rapid water then floats BACK to them at this one point.

He caught two fish right off the bat in that spot, right where he said he would. I do it and...NOTHING! I felt tugs but thought it was the water pushing the fly deeper. Were those "feelings" really soft hits? How can you tell the difference?

Also, when do you set the stinking hook? I was lucky enough to watch a decent sized brown hit my fly but I swear it was in slooooooow motion. I am equally sure that I acted like a five-year-old as I got so excited one the fly disappeared into its mouth and I yanked the darn thing straight out before he closed his mouth...and wrapping it all over a branch behind me so badly that it took me 20 minutes or more to untangle every darn thing. That was the first time I actually saw a fish take a fly and I (obviously) got a litt...lot too excited.

I guess to sum up the questions:

1. How do you tell a soft hit?
2. When do you set the hook once you see the trout suck it into its mouth?
3. Do you do anything differently if the water is cold vs a little warmer, like 44 degrees vs. 60 degrees (F)?


Thanks,
ray
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: More newbie questions


This is probably the single most difficult lesson to learn about trout fishing and the reason most people rely on indicators.
It's all about reading the water and then using your experience to visualize when it's time to strike. Supposedly when you're good at it..... it will just happen. I don't think that it's even that easy.
Don't expect to be this good until you have many, many hours of on-stream experience. There's no short cuts.
It's one of the many things that makes fly fishing such an interesting hobby.
jpbfly, rockriver and shotgunfly like this.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: More newbie questions

So that is the reason why they told me it will take at least three years to get any good?
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: More newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by busbus View Post
So that is the reason why they told me it will take at least three years to get any good?
Ummm.... I'd say more than 3

I've fly fished all my life and been serious about it for over 40 years including a number of years where I fished nearly every day, in season.
This is not something that you'll pick up over night.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: More newbie questions

Well, they meant it would take three years to even start to get the hang of it.

How long will it take for me to get the hang of getting fly line, leader, tippet, and fly out of a myriad of trees branches and briers?
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: More newbie questions

Never
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: More newbie questions

It will all click one day for you. Far as seeing fish strike, it's a good way to pull the fly away from the fish. Done it 1000 times. Dunbar is a heavily hit stream. Fish are educated well there...not to mention the poachers looming. Days I fished it, I used size 18 parachute adams or same size FOAM ants. For the falls, cast toward it and let your fly drift down. Yes, you will see the trout coming for it. Wait to feel it!
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: More newbie questions

How were you rigged? Were you straight line nymphing or strike indicator nymphing?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: More newbie questions

I wasn't using a strike indicator. I think I was overly anxious. (Doh!!)

As far as feeling the strike, that's what I am wondering. How is the feeling of a soft take different than, say, they fly hitting the bottom of the stream or being pulled by fast water? Actually, it was pure luck, but I did cast above the two fish and was actually able to get it to fall right in-between them all three times before one looked like he sucked the fly into his mouth.

Still a little perturbed that these cold-blooded animals keep outsmarting me. Makes me wonder if I am at the top of the food chain.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: More newbie questions

Guided a couple guys yesterday in roughly the same conditions. We fished nymphs under a customized yarn indicator with delicate tippet. water was 43 degrees and gin clear.

It took them a while to get it, but you must set any time the indicator stops floating naturally. They caught several fish on the indicator "pause". Also, learn to fish to the fish and set on fish movement. Although the conditions are tough, it's great to be out this time of year.

Wouldn't be a bad idea to observe your friend at close range.

Duane
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