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Old 10-12-2013, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: Bead heads and shank length?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
The question really is whether the angler/tyer thinks the fish accepts the bead as part of the nymph or ignores the bead as it does the hook bend and point. Simply stated, if you tie a bead head PT and a non bead head PT on a size 12 2XL XH nymph hook, does the fish see both flies as the same size nymphs or as different size nymphs?

When the fish are feeding opportunistically, I think it doesn't matter. But if the fish are selectively feeding, do they see these 2 flies as different? I happen to believe the fish have the ability to see these flies as different.

The reason is that in some heavily fished waters, the fish have been caught with bead heads so often that they have been entrained to ignore the bead heads. So I am very confident that fish have the ability to notice the difference between bead and non bead head flies.

The question then becomes if they can see the bead in the above case, can they recognize the bead as not part of the actual "nymph" and see the bead head as a smaller nymph than the non bead head.

I don't have the answer to that question, but my belief is that some fish can be selective enough to do so. Is it then important enough to consider this in choosing the fly according to the hook size or the actual nymph portion of the hook?
This is very reminiscent of Marinaro with a little bit of Merwin thrown in too. Ever since I read about "the unfinished fly", I have been applying the concept to most everything I tie.

I do agree that a trout sees a nymph crammed in behind bead as a different nymph. For me I tie "low water" versions of thing - same basic principal that is usually associated with the classic solar flies.

Given that a trout has about a two week memory and a sort of "compare to flash card" kind of memory, for me, means that being able to maintain proportionality of the fly by using the hook itself as the measuring tool is far more important than the hook or bead. For a long time I have looked at this as I am probably tying different sub-species of a particular nymph or tying them at different phases in their life cycle.

...or, a #16 PTN crammed in behind a bead on a standard shanked hook is a different bug than the same fly stretched out on the same hook without the bead.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Bead heads and shank length?

I agree with you.

---------- Post added at 01:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:20 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by random user View Post
Given that a trout has about a two week memory and a sort of "compare to flash card" kind of memory, for me, means that being able to maintain proportionality of the fly by using the hook itself as the measuring tool is far more important than the hook or bead. For a long time I have looked at this as I am probably tying different sub-species of a particular nymph or tying them at different phases in their life cycle.

...or, a #16 PTN crammed in behind a bead on a standard shanked hook is a different bug than the same fly stretched out on the same hook without the bead.
I agree with you.

Fish do not learn in the sense that people learn.

I do believe that trout have what we would term a form of memory, although whether it works like human memory is another question. I'm not sure that fish even "memorize" in the way that people memorize and hardwire their memory to create a permanent record.

A fish cannot "learn" or "reason" like a human does. It may seem like learning but really it is what psychologists call operant conditioning.

BF Skinner demonstrated years ago that changing behavior does not require reasoning but positive or negative reinforcement. This is called operant conditioning.

B.F. Skinner | Operant Conditioning - Simply Psychology

We see it every day when we fly fish. How does a fish "learn" to avoid a dragging fly? How does a fish become selective to a hatch? It is not by reasoning it.

It is operant conditioning, in the first case by negative reinforcement (being caught or by not being rewarded with food), and in the second case by being rewarded by food.

So how does a fish "learn" to avoid a bead head fly? The same way it "learns" to avoid a dragging fly. If negative consequences occur often enough, operant conditioning occurs so the fish does not reason the tippet is attached to a fly, it associates the drag with a negative event. In the same way, fish can associate a bead with a negative consequence of being caught and "learn" to avoid bead head flies.

A second form of condition is
We see it when fish that are fed with food pellets become aroused when we throw pebbles instead of food.

These fish have been trained by this technique. Both types of conditioning require no reasoning. These fish have been trained by this classical conditioning.

BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | How do you train a fish?

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Old 10-12-2013, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Bead heads and shank length?

Silver, I think you have it backwards.... aren't the fish conditioning us as fishers? Feels that way to me most of the time. Then again most of what we know to be true is the product of the operant and classical condition we are randomly exposed to daily or the residual affects of it which have been passed down to us as 'knowledge'.

The two week memory thing and the flash card memory thing I referred to was to some studies done in Scotland in the 80's.... With both captured wild brown trout and lab browns in a "skinner box".

I get what you are saying (worked in behavioral health for a number of years). I get that salmonoids have a very narrow genetic range that is effective in the wild. A one-pound female brown will lay 400 eggs, 98% of which will hatch. Only 2 of those hatchlings will make it to a year old. So, there is a slender balance between the indiviual fish inately takes risks to feed vs when it will run for cover.

What baffles me about salmonoids is that they are in that very elite group of creatures that use interception on a regular basis across the species and sub-strains. That seats them with humans and birds of prey, and they are some of the newest creatures on the planet.

If you are really interested in this stuff, seriously watch trout tacking flying ants. A good monocular is your friend.

Lastly, I think if we ever do get a good handle on selectivity, many of us will stop fishing.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Bead heads and shank length?

This has been one of the most informative and interesting threads I have ever read. It proves I am just a greenhorn amongst masters.

But I have one question: Is it really worth it getting to the point we have gotten here? All of this information is incredible but it is also starting to make my brain hurt! LOL!!

I think I am going to continue to go about things the way I have been doing them. I have been having a wonderful time fishing with hooks and materials that are not proportioned correctly.

Maybe the fish I have been catching didn't get the memo! Things have been working out just fine. Of course, I am not going after that one renegade who won't get caught. So what? I guess the reasons I go fishing (currently) is not to catch every fish I pursue. Sometime, the fish gotta win. That is what "sport" is: sometimes you win; sometimes your opponent winds. That is what brings you back again: the thrill of victory and to get even for a past defeat!

I like it this way. Even though I am no smarter than the fish I happen to catch. Maybe ignorance is bliss!
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