Thanks Thanks:  1
Likes Likes:  33
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1

    Default Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    So i am new to the fly fishing world. But things are going better cause i am starting to actually catch fish... Kind of. Over the last couple weeks i hooked into some big river trout. I am using a 9ft 5wt. But i can never seem to get them to my net before they get themselves free. Usually by rising out of the water and shaking their head and they get the fly out of their mouth somehow. I have watched videos on fighting trout and landing them.
    Still seem to lose them. Anyone else experience this and overcome it? Maybe some tips?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
    Posts
    11,302

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    Consider some fine wire #10 hooks; I don't use barbs but these things jus penetrate.

    This flu sxit sucks!
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  3. Likes brownbass, hairwing530 liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    1,432
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    Keeping constant pressure is important. Meaning, keep the rod tip up. The moment there is little pressure holding the hook in, many fish will move / spit the hook. Over the years, I have had the good fortune to have helped a good amount of young fly fishers hook and land their first fish… Many times, the first ones come after a few are lost to river before getting into the net… 90% of those losses are because the pressure was not kept on the rod. Your rod should have a bend in it the whole time, until the fish is netted.

    I am betting that if you keep that rod tip up, your next hookset will end with a fish in the net…. Best of luck.

  5. Likes hairwing530, ia_trouter liked this post
  6. #4

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    We all go through losing streaks, but since you're relatively new to fly fishing it could be you. When I've fished with newbies they lose fish in all kinds of "creative" ways, and like cutthroat said, slack is a big reason. Another reason I see is those fish just aren't well hooked. Newbies are often dealing with line control issues during the presentation and they often don't get a firm hookset because they have slack line or they're afraid of breaking their tippet and set weakly. I'm not saying do a bassmaster hook set, just raising the rod firmly often does it, but you need to have most of your slack line picked up or its just not happening. I know if I hook a fish well I almost can't lose them, even with barbless hooks and all kinds of slack line during the fight. Of course some fish you're just not going to land, and big trout have tougher mouths and seem to know how to shake themselves loose, but with time you'll start landing many more than you lose.

  7. Likes Lewis Chessman, ia_trouter liked this post
  8. #5

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    Good tips. Do you guys retrieve line with your hand or with your reel when you catch one?

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Anthem, AZ
    Posts
    1,464
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    When I first started fly-fishing about 12 years ago I also lost plenty of fish just moments before being able to land them. Don't worry this is normal; I still have days like that even now.

    One piece of advice concerning your scenario when a fish rises to the surface and loses the fly on a headshake: try not to allow the fish to rise all the way to the surface. When a fish headshakes in open air that allows a lot of slack to be introduced in the line, making it easier to shake loose of the fly.

    When I see/feel a fish rising I drop my rod tip to almost horizontal and pull smoothly and fairly firmly to the downstream side. What I'm trying to do with that is upset the fish's 'balance' by turning their head to one side. This usually prevents the fish from getting its head above the surface, or it will even turn downstream on its own, thereby preventing the fish from being able to headshake above the surface. Once something like that happens, I return the rod tip to a more vertical position (no more than 45 degrees off the horizontal).

    Of course the bigger the fish the more difficult it will be to control his head, and consequently the more difficult to land them. But that's the challenge, and so then the fun.

    Hope that helps.

    Peace.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

  10. #7

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    Lot of good advice here so far. I somewhat disagree with the previous post about keeping the fish from jumping. I love it when a fish puts on an aerial display. If I lose it that way, so be it. I’m just out there for the fun anyway.

    On your question about fighting fish from the reel or by holding the line in your hand. It is good to get in the habit of getting the fish on the reel as soon as possible and then fighting it with the reel. That’s the only way to handle big fish, but I do it by reflex so that no matter how big (or small) a fish is, I strip slack in as fast as possible controlling it under the index finger of my rod hand. Once I have all the slack out of the line to the fish, I reel that slack up as fast as possible so the line goes directly from the reel to the fish.

    I think most experienced fly flingers do the same.

    Don

  11. Likes scotty macfly, hairwing530 liked this post
  12. #8

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    Quote Originally Posted by jayw2942 View Post
    So i am new to the fly fishing world. But things are going better cause i am starting to actually catch fish... Kind of. Over the last couple weeks i hooked into some big river trout. I am using a 9ft 5wt. But i can never seem to get them to my net before they get themselves free. Usually by rising out of the water and shaking their head and they get the fly out of their mouth somehow. I have watched videos on fighting trout and landing them.
    Still seem to lose them. Anyone else experience this and overcome it? Maybe some tips?

    1. Get big fish on the reel. Loose line in loops on the water or ground is asking for disaster. You can't effectively follow a fish without having the line on the reel. Line on the water can tangle in your feet or even worse, form a knot that gets pulled through the guides, breaking a guide off. That is why salt water fishermen get big fish on the reel ASAP.

    2. Fight fish from a DOWNSTREAM position. If a big fish gets downstream from you, you must follow it and get DOWNSTREAM from it. If you cannot get downstream wile wading, get on the back and run downstream to catch up and overtake the fish. If at all possible, make the fish fight against the river flow.

    3. USE SIDE PRESSURE to maximize the pressure the fish must fight. DO NOT hold the rod high unless you have to clear line. An upward rod angle pulls against the weight of the fish.

    I've seen many beginning fishers who do not know how to fight large fish efficiently. This is because they mimic what they see on television shows. Almost all anglers on TV hold the fly rod up at an angle. It is called the “Orvis Pose.” In my opinion, it is the sign of a newbie.

    You will even find blogs that tell you to keep a high rod position. I totally disagree

    How To Fight and Land Fish While Flyfishing

    Instead, this blog on the top 5 mistakes has it right.

    Timeless Tip Tuesday | Mistakes Made Fighting Big Fish

    It is more effective to fight fish with the rod tip parallel to the water. By parallel I don't mean that you point the rod tip at the fish. Rather, hold the parallel rod to your side, so that the angle of the line to the fish from the rod tip is still the same as if you held the rod up.

    Use side pressure as been said before UNLESS:

    A. You need to keep the fish's head up to avoid snags bottom snags, weeds, etc.

    B. The fish has run so far that you need to keep line off of the water to minimize stress on the tippet.

    C. You are running to catch up to the fish and a high rod tip position minimizes the bow of the line in the water as you run.

    These conditions do happen more often with large fish, but if the above situations do not happen, a low rod tip position with the rod to one side or the other places the maximum lateral pull on the fish toward the angler. The reason is simple plane geometry and the way the pull on the fish changes with the upward pull of the line. The higher the rod tip position and the greater the angle of the line up from the fish to the rod tip, the less pull on the fish toward you.

    When you hold the rod up, your angle of pull is up and part of the force is going to fight gravity by pulling up against the dead weight of the fish. This portion of the force is wasted and not tiring the fish, nor is it pulling the fish toward you. By holding the rod to your side, parallel to the water or even under water at the level of the fish, all of the pull on the tippet is pulling the fish toward you. As an example, if the angle of pull from the fish is upward at 45 degrees, half of the pull is lifting the dead weight of the fish and only the other half is pulling the fish toward you. If the angle is 45 degrees but parallel to the water, almost all the pull is against the fish and not gravity.

    Here's a simpler example. If you pulling on a weight, would you rather be pulling it up hill or down hill? With a high rod position you are always pulling that fish uphill. Don't let the fish use gravity against you.

    Not only that but in real life the situation is even worse. While the weight cannot increase it's pull down, a fish can. All it does is angle it's pectoral fins down and the force of the water pulls it down and it can pull down greater than it's body weight.

    So if you can pull laterally without snagging the line or leader on an obstruction, do so. It places all of your pull on the tippet against the fish laterally and none against gravity lifting the fish.

    In salt water against tough fish like tarpon, you will see experienced anglers placing their rod tips UNDER the water to try to*decrease that upward angle that wastes a part of the tippet breaking strength.

    Holding the rod to your side allows you to immediately change the direction of the pull and confuses the fish. For example if you have the rod low to your right side, the fish will naturally pull against the line and try to go to your left. Now if you immediately switch sides to your left, you are pulling the same direction as the fish, and you will gain some line before the fish can reverse itself and try to go to your right. By alternating sides, you can literally "walk" the fish to you. This technique is analogous to a boxer who has to fight someone who can box right or left handed. It doesn't allow the fish to get into a pattern and it will tire a fish much more quickly.

    The closer you are to the fish, the greater the actual angle of pull on the fish with this alternating side tactic. If the fish is far away, it won't have much effect at all because the change in the angle of pull at the fish is so small.

    Fight fish like the guy on the right.



    When you pull to the side, the fish will counteract by pulling against the direction of pull. You can use the instinct of the fish to to bring the fish to you.

    Say you are facing the fish and you have the rod to your right. The fish will pull away and to your left. If you now switch the rod to your left side, before the fish can reverse his angle of pull to the right, the fish will swim to the left toward the rod tip. By alternating your pull from the right to the left, and left to right; you confuse the fish and each reversal brings the fish ever closer to you in a zig zag pattern. Basically, it is using the principle of Judo to fight and frustrate the fish. You are using the natural tendency of the fish to pull against line to tire and confuse it.

    Use the ALTERNATING PARALLEL ROD TECHNIQUE and you will be surprised at how quickly you can bring the fish to you. I call it "walking the dog". You "walk" the dog right to you.

    We all know that the water closer to the surface in a river flows faster than the water that is deeper. When we lift the fly rod, we are trying to bring the fish closer to the surface, where the fish can use the faster water flow against us. The only reason to do that is if the bottom contains snags. If this is not the case, placing the rod tip close to to under the water, places the greatest stress directly on the fish.

    I tend to keep the rod just above the surface for two reasons. The first is I often don't really know where the underwater snags are and by keeping the tip just above the water allows me to switch sides on the fish.

    But in the situation where the fish is taking the line into the brush or near a known snag. I put the tip under the water because if it gets to the snag, I know I've lost the fish.

    This brings me to another key element of fighting a big fish. That is to know where it will likely go before you hook it. This is known in the military as situational awareness. Whenever you are fishing where you may hook a large fish, you should know before hand where it will likely head. There are "safe" areas that a fish will head to when it is hooked. Big fish get big because they have likely escaped many times before, and they will do the same move that got them out of trouble before.

    So preparedness is key to winning the fight. If you are surprised at how the fish escaped, you were not prepared and that should be a learning experience.

    When using extremely light tippets, a "softer rod tip" slower action fly rod will protect the tippet. If you do not have a slow action fly rod, placing elastic material like Rio Shock Gum between the fly line and leader or in the leader between the butt and leader transition will help protect the tippet.





    I place this at the end of my post because this will change as advancements are made in polymer chemistry —-> Use the strongest tippet available to you. The stronger the tippet for diameter, the harder you can pull on the fish. At this time I believe it is Stroft Tippet Material. It is what my friend Gary Borger uses.

    Gary Borger » Blog Archive » Stroft GTM Tippet Material

    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    2,418

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    When using extremely light tippets, a "softer rod tip" slower action fly rod will protect the tippet. If you do not have a slow action fly rod, placing elastic material like Rio Shock Gum between the fly line and leader or in the leader between the butt and leader transition will help protect the tippet.



    I have used the Trout Shock Gum on my Sage 6-weights on the San Juan, to great effect. It's a day saver when the wind cranks up, and you have little choice but to use a hammer (a fast 6-weight) to combat the conditions, but still must use tiny hooks and very light tippet for big fish.

  14. Likes scotty macfly, hairwing530 liked this post
  15. #10

    Default Re: Is it normal to lose most fish before you can land them?

    Also with spin fishing id let the fish run if it wanted to and make sure the drag was good and when it stopped running thats when id reel in. Does that same principle apply to fly fishing?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Take the pic or land the fish….
    By CutThroat Leaders in forum Fly Fishing How To's
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-22-2014, 08:13 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-21-2013, 06:40 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-16-2012, 06:40 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-01-2012, 03:30 PM
  5. Most fish actually evolved on land, not the sea
    By Editor in forum News & articles for discussion
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 03-13-2012, 07:37 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Do Not Sell My Personal Information