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Old 06-25-2014, 10:15 AM
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Default Nymphing vs. Snagging

Intentionally snagging fish (hooking them anywhere but inside the mouth) is illegal everywhere I fish.

In most cases, the law allows for unintentional snagging by saying you must release the fish immediately.

When nymphing, it seems I snag more fish than when dry fly fishing, wet fly fishing, using streamers or just about any other method. I suppose with C&R it's kind of a moot point, but still unsporting. In fact, hooking a fish in a fin probably does less damage than hooking it in the mouth.

I had a chance to see exactly what can happen while fishing in very clear water. There were several trout in a pool. One of the ones on the side of the pool away from me went after my nymph, but missed/refused. I tried to set the hook and hooked the next trout closer to me in the dorsal fin. I imagine something similar happens when you can't see what's going on while nymphing in a deep hole - you feel (no indicator) a tug, do a hook set, and you get a snagged fish.

Is this common? Do you snag more fish while nymphing than while doing something else?
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

It definitely goes in spurts. I have days where 50% are foul hooks and other days zero.

If I am running a dry / dropper that is when I snag the most. I used to "worry" about why I am snagging but realized just what you said... Sort of out of my control.

Tell you what a "finned" brown trout on a 3wt in swift water really adds a little excitement though
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

Quote:
Originally Posted by plecain View Post

When nymphing, it seems I snag more fish than when dry fly fishing, wet fly fishing, using streamers or just about any other method. I suppose with C&R it's kind of a moot point, but still unsporting. In fact, hooking a fish in a fin probably does less damage than hooking it in the mouth.


Is this common? Do you snag more fish while nymphing than while doing something else?
I bet you are using a double nymph rig. When using TWO or more nymphs, the fish can take one nymph; and when you strike, it has let go but the other nymph hooks the fish. I don't snag many fish when using a single fly.

It also happens when fishing a dry dropper especially when the dropper tag is relatively short (6" or so)
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

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Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
I bet you are using a double nymph rig. When using TWO or more nymphs, the fish can take one nymph; and when you strike, it has let go but the other nymph hooks the fish. I don't snag many fish when using a single fly.

It also happens when fishing a dry dropper especially when the dropper tag is relatively short (6" or so)
Makes sense. Except - I almost never use two nymphs. What I described is happening on a single fly in almost all cases.

To put some perspective on this, I'd say I snag 15-20% of the fish I land while nymphing.

Without an indicator (don't like them) I'm doing a lot of what turn out to be 'false' hooksets when I feel anything that seems odd at the rod tip.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

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Originally Posted by comeonavs View Post
It definitely goes in spurts. I have days where 50% are foul hooks and other days zero.

If I am running a dry / dropper that is when I snag the most. I used to "worry" about why I am snagging but realized just what you said... Sort of out of my control.

Tell you what a "finned" brown trout on a 3wt in swift water really adds a little excitement though
Haha - this is so true. Nothing is quite as good of a fight as a medium sized fish by the tail in a small stream. Even if you do feel a little bad pulling them up on shore...

That having been said - I used to snag a lot more fish nymphing a double rig - but I started putting a little more line (say, 12-18" even in shallow water) between my bugs and haven't had nearly as many problems.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
I bet you are using a double nymph rig. When using TWO or more nymphs, the fish can take one nymph; and when you strike, it has let go but the other nymph hooks the fish. I don't snag many fish when using a single fly.
This happened to me yesterday. Double nymph rig, landed a 16" rainbow and found the dropper midge in the trout's fin.

I figured it happened in the net because I have had a trout spit the hook in the net earlier this week. It makes sense what you described. that trout put up a heck of a fight!
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

Snagging happens. There's not much that can be done about it unless you become the perfect angler... And I bet you even Lefty snags a few still to this day... As long as its not in their gill plate I feel pretty confident in their survival... How many trout you caught that had a chunk taken out or talon marks on its body... Trout are a lot tougher than we give them credit for.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

I've snagged way more fish stripping streamers than nymphing.

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Old 06-25-2014, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

Like silver said, it happens when I have a short dropper on.
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:17 AM
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Default Re: Nymphing vs. Snagging

Regarding "nymphing only", I can honestly say I have never snagged a fish past at worst around the outside of their mouth (like those nasty eye snags).......No doubt I'm doing nymphing wrong, yet I don't use indicators, I watch for the line to suddenly be stopped and I very slightly lift my rod tip slowly.

Now that probably means I'm missing a lot of bites, those I catch outside yet around their mouth I suspect the fish has spit it out and my slight lift sets the hook.....In kind I tend to check my hook rather often to insure it is sharp (in that I know it bounces off the bottom). That pretty much means anything that picks it up is usually going to get hooked.

The so rare i don't include them snags to body or fin only happening when I begin to recast, yet never from just a drift or hook-set.

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