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Old 09-28-2013, 07:57 PM
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Default Playing fish

Maybe I was taught wrong. Maybe I just picked up a bad habit. Or maybe I'm not following some kewl fly fishing style.

Today I watched a fly fishing show that got me to pondering this..not for the first time though. The guys would hook a trout,,,then reach toward God with the rod at full arms length pointing exactly upward while reaching skyward, and play the trout. Ummm,,,I never did this with any fishing gear,,never playing a fish with an extreme vertical skyward point unless perhaps moving around some obstacle that momentarily demanded it, such as having to move over a buddy's head while fishing from a boat,,but rather,,,I play a fish from the side with mostly a horizontal rod,,,then lift vertical as needed when time to net. Just feels like the 'right' way to do it,,to me anyways.

Am I out of touch, out of my mind, out of my league or just no classic style of fly fishing ?

If I have a bad habit,,it's been a lifelong bad habit.

As I said, I've pondered this many times before and thought I'd just put it to you pro's tonight ?

Mike
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

There will be as many opinions on this as we have members but I'll give mine.

I lift the tip when first hooked to a fish then I keep the rod down and try to reel the fish in. If the fish comes in easy (head first) I then lift the rod to get the fish skimming along the surface head first toward shore.

If it is a big fish that I really want to land and if I can get it coming head first along the surface I back away from shore and drag the fish right to the waterline. The idea of keeping it on top and head first has 2 main points of rationality.

1. There is less water for the fish to use against the pressure of the rod when at or near the surface. Try this, in a pool dunk under into 4 foot of water and try to swing your arms fast in a radius from the side to the front of your body. Feel the resistance? Now stand up and with the arm just a few inches under the surface do the same exercise..... Way different huh?

2. Fish do not swim well or fast in reverse.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

The other guy was doing what is known as the "Orvis Pose" or "high sticking." It's a good way to break a fly rod.

Click the image to open in full size.

http://www.sageflyfish.com/blog/04/2...-by-joe-mahler

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http://americanangler.com/technique/busted

I also fight my fish with the fly rod to the side and only lift the head at the end of the fight to guide the fish into the net.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

You and me both. The only time I extend my arms upward is if the fish is running over an oyster bar or something. Otherwise I keep the rod tip up, but in front of me so I can pull up and reel down (this is for larger fish). If its a trout that's usually not necessary, and pulling a bit from side to side tends to tire the fish more quickly. At least I think so.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
1. There is less water for the fish to use against the pressure of the rod when at or near the surface. Try this, in a pool dunk under into 4 foot of water and try to swing your arms fast in a radius from the side to the front of your body. Feel the resistance? Now stand up and with the arm just a few inches under the surface do the same exercise..... Way different huh?

2. Fish do not swim well or fast in reverse.
There's a little more to say so.............

Over the past ten seasons I've had some excellent conditions to polish up my style for successfully landing fish, especially big fish. I've arrived at the technique I use through trial and error but to me it is clear that if I hold the rod tip high I lose more fish. Many are lost when they are at the surface and begin to thrash uncontrollably and before you know it..........ping, gone.

I noticed with salmon and large trout that the deeper they were the harder the rod bent and the more likely it was that the fish was nowhere near where the line was entering the water. I've seen fish go soaring out of the water 10 yards from where the line was submerged and some of these were lost. They came off while I was lifting the submerged line and trying to catch up on the reel.

So the answer (or so it seems) was to get them and the line near the surface and keeping the line tight I continuously keep turning them toward shore & me. With really strong fish this can be a nerve racking business but you get the hang of it. Each time I can turn the fish toward me I reel hard and use the fusiform shape of the fishes body against it. The shape is very hydrodynamic and they come fast when you are pulling them headlong toward the rod tip or shore. Often the big ones turn when the water gets shallow and they run and when that happens you simply start the process over. If they dive you lift, yes you raise the rod high and muscle the fish back to the upper layer of water using the strength of the rod and your height & arms to get him up. Once he is back up you go back to the low rod - the turning - and pulling the fish to shore alternating lifts and pulls to keep him up and slide him along toward you.

Practice makes perfect and I handle the little guys the same way because when opportunity knocks you want to be ready.

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I don't post many fish pictures but thought it appropriate to make the point of whatever I'm doing, it seems to work.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

High sticking is for pulling a big bass out of the pads quickly, because I'd rather chance breaking a rod than wonder what I almost caught. Other than that it does sound like an attempt at style points.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

Playing vs. fighting a fish.

I used to answer the " Do you play or fight a fish ", question this way,
I come to play, but if a fish wants to throw down, I'll fight !

You play a fish with the upper third of the rod, you fight a fish using the lower third of the rod.
Silver's graphic gets the basic point across. Which guy is putting the most heat on his opponent? He's the one in a fight, the other guy is just playing around.

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TT
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

I enjoy when the fish fight/play. On hook set I raise rod tip , not the Orvis pose but I do keep it above my shoulder to keep tension and avoid long distance release. Typically it takes less than 1 minute to get them to hand. Think 6" up to 12" trout. For bigger ones who don't want to come in I keep rod tip up and let them do their thing, but I don't horse them around. Once they begin to settle a little I try to sled them across the surface like Ard mentioned.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

Plain and simple. Rod tip high for fresh surging fish to give more shock absorption. Tippet, small fly, fresh runs...very smart tactic. When in control and the fish has settled lower and redirect. Keep rod low and directioned to steer fish. Then lift rod tip to bring head up to land.

Basic. I have screamed at my clients many times to get the rod tip high as you can.

A well seasoned fisher does not have to rely on that tactic as much.

---------- Post added at 08:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:42 PM ----------

By no means do I do this a lot...only with greenhorns when they have a big, tippet testing, small fly testing, deep surging fish that I know will contribute to my c note at the end of the day....

They saw the movie now they need a picture with a fly caught trout.

Big hooks, large tippet make this MUCH less important.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Playing fish

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochise View Post

I have screamed at my clients many times to get the rod tip high as you can.
Really! If you scream at your clients, you won't get a tip and they probably won't hire you again!

I have found that the folks who point to the sky usually have a leader longer than their rod, and they don't want to reel the loop inside the top guide? IMHO, the leader should always be shorter than the rod (even in crystal clear water)
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