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Old 09-08-2008, 04:20 PM
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Default Side Hooked

Hi All,

I've had a little luck lately with brown's in the Wood (as well as a few other) river up here in RI. Unfortunately no pics, just trying to get the fish back in the water as quick as possible. On a couple of occasions, specifically when using a cricket (size 12 if it matters) somehow I managed to hook the side or the back of the fish. How does this happen? It's almost as if the fish is rolling up over the fly to knock it under water and getting hooked in the process...really I have no idea...just trying to learn/understand...

Note: both occasions the hook was safely removed (barbless) and the fish swam off with plenty of spunk left in him

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Side Hooked

Hi Scott,

Here are a couple of thoughts based on you not being an experienced fly fisher. New fly fishers sometimes are not ready for the strike. This can happen when you have too much slack line on the water. Or the line is not under your finger pressed against the grip. Sometimes by the time a fly fisher gets everything in order and strikes the fish, the fish has already spit the fly. The late strike catches the fish on the body.

Now if this is way off I apologize. You may be very adapt at striking fish.

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Side Hooked

Hi Frank,

Your explanation may be exactly right. I'm not doing too bad on casting, but I'm finding out that trying to get the line to lay down across a river/stream to get the fly to present a natural float in some situations is a bit trickier than I imagined. Specifically, a few spots I've gone are where the river splits around a small island (very small) and is coming back together. The current's pretty quick on the sides and slow in the middle causing an unusual drag. Often I end up with a good bit of slack in the line that makes it difficult to get a good and timely hook set when the fish strike. I've missed many more fish than I've hooked because of this. However, I understand it's all part of the process and it'll come with time. I appreciate the response.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Side Hooked

Hi Scott,

I am glad I was not too far off base. Learning to control slack is a tricky thing. You need enough to keep drag out but not so much than you miss hookups.

Here is a suggestion that might work on the situation you described. I would make a reach cast up stream. That is you cast the line tip across in front of you but you reach up stream before the line touches the water. This will give you slack close to shore and it won't drag the fly. As the faster water speeds up the fly line close to shore you need to make a flick mend up stream and then raise the tip. This should give you a good drift. The high tip will keep some of the line off of the water closest to shore. I find the reach cast to be one of the most useful that I use.

Frank
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Side Hooked

Seems like you know the situation, your explanation sounds like it will help reduce the influence the current on the near side of the stream has on the line on the far side. Sounds perfectly logical, I'll be able to try it out this weekend, I'll let you know how it goes. I appreciate the advice.

Thanks again,
Scott
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Side Hooked

It takes a little practice to get good at what Frank is describing- reach cast, mending, etc, but once you get it, it makes a world of difference. I need to go fishing!
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Side Hooked

It isnt that uncommon for a fish to (as with trout) swipe at a lure or fly. Though feeding fish often to hit a lure (fly included) and you get a hook set in the mouth. Though fish that are not active or a bit warry, will often hit a lure out of a reaction. This reaction often ends up with a missed strike or a hook setting outside of the mouth. Often in this swiping a fish can hit at a lure and your hook setting reaction can be slow enough that you foul hook a fish. Here in ND a fish that is hooked behind the gill plate is considered snagged and must be put back into the water ASAP. We also have a rule that any snagged fish is a NO NO.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Side Hooked

Well, got a chance to try the reach cast over the weekend, looked more ugly than pretty but I understand the concept, it'll come with time. Also spent some time in a few different areas working on reducing the amount of slack in the line while trying not to have a negative influence on the drift of the fly. As long as I'm conscience of it that should get better too. Didn't catch anything or even get any strikes for that matter. The way I look at it is that it's a small investment in time toward the bigger picture. Always happy just to be out fishing...

Couldn't agree more that snagging a fish isn't a sporting way to bring them in, just worked out that way a couple of times. They were back in the water with plenty of fight left in them, hopefully to catch again another day...

Scott
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