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  1. #21

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    Quote Originally Posted by flav View Post
    I went barbless years ago and I think a lose a few more than I did with barbs, but not many more. I would guess I land about 2/3 to 3/4 of the fish I hook. Most fish come off in a few seconds, but if they're on for longer than that most make it to hand.
    Sometimes I go in streaks, though, losing a large percentage of the fish I hook, then for some unexplained reason I won't lose a single fish for long stretches. I don't worry about the bad streaks, I figure it all evens out in the end.
    Hi Flav

    I totally relate to your message !

    The most annoying are those few fish that I fight for several seconds and suddenly lose, most of the time with the feeling the line snapped but then I see the fly still there: those are the most unexplainable for me, even though not the most frequent

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and Bozeman, Montana

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    In my experience hook size matters. I often fish size 20 - 22 dry flies. It’s not unusual for fish to come unhooked, which I don’t mind so much as long as it doesn’t break off, and I have to tie on another tiny, hard to see fly.

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  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Great State of Texas

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    After you have a solid hook set: I think fly size matters a lot. I tend to fish very small (#22-#26) flies most of the time and seem to lose more fish than when I fish larger (#18 and bigger) flies. Because of the small fly size, I am using 6x or 7X tippet. Surprisingly, I don't have a lot of break-offs, but I do fight the fish differently, more carefully, which usually extends the fight allowing the fish more opportunities to pull free.

    With all that said, I would say my overall netting rate is around 65%-70%. However, there are days when I seem to net 90% of fish I hook, and other days when I lose 90% of the fish, with no valid reason for either.

    One side note: One of my favorite, most used summer/fall flies is a Graphic Caddis (#18), barbless. I fish it a lot and hook a lot of fish. But with that fly my net rate is around 40% to 50% or maybe even lower. My lost rate is noticeable lower with this fly. I would love to get a few Graphic Caddis tied on a barbed hook, as an experiment, to see if that would dramatically increase my netting rate.

    BTW, the largest trout I ever hooked was a massive brown. I was using a Graphic Caddis. Fought the fish for a long time, before it came unhooked. I was a great fight, but I am still bitter to this day!

  5. #24
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Truckee, CA.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    Pati....I like your approach.
    For the past 2 decades or so I have been keeping track of my "success" stats. The preceding thirty years I just fished.......
    I'm with Ard. The way we were taught early on when dry fly fishing, is to raise the rod. Which is fine if you are throwing a dry upstream....but fish are everywhere...and there is a sweep-set, and strip-set as well.
    One easy tip...set downstream, since the fish are facing up stream. Higher stats will result.
    Over the years of guiding I have watched hundreds of people miss/lose fish by lifting. And have grown very tired of this. If we work so hard to get a fish on, why always relate to them in the same way?
    I stopped vertical sets, and my stats went up. I started moving with the fish, instead of just standing there, and stats went up.. If there is no one to watch how you set, film yourself. Unconscious setting is not helpful. I find most people are unaware of what they do. When you do know, your stats go up.
    We battle down and dirty mostly....rod tip near the water, with the same bend as if lifting vertically.
    Then, which ever way the fish moves, I pull the opposite. Which means changing the angle.
    I have a protege that has been hooking up biggies regularly, but not landing them all. He is coming along nicely though and fishing a lot, which is key to getting better. He said to me the other day, the same thing Ard mentioned....don't pull super hard, and they may just swim to your hand first try. Think angles, not power. He fished hard for a year before he discovered losing a bunch of toads.
    The best part for me, is to see smarter (bigger) fish respond to the hook up. Yesterday my friend was taking a drift (We trade drifts to increase our study level.) and hooked a nice fish. I suggested the fish was acting cagey...warning, warning......
    and then the fish put on a show and promptly broke him off. Elapsed time 5 sec. He liked the fact that I called it while he was hooked up......some fish have been hooked before, got off and remembered how to get away. Some really nice fish are pros at escape, having collected a few tricks over time. I have become a pro at reading their actions. Like playing chess with a bunch of really good players.
    Landing a big fish is a dance...the secret is to see each fish as unique....and dance closely in step. They don't all act the same, why should we?
    If you think about how big it is, or if someone is watching, you have an increased chance of loss. Stats go down..
    My least favorite is the husband who glances over his shoulder to his wife..."Honey, I've got one!!!!"
    Game over....
    Get emotional, stats go down, no emotion is best, but takes practice (many lost fish.). Don't break your concentration.
    I have said before, I teach "Virtual Fishing".
    We walk to the water, and predict where the fish is holding, and what would be a perfect drift and offering?
    AND, what would be the perfect set for the situation. Since our goal is one fish, one drift, this is required.. Then I project where the fish may go...(root balls, heavy current, ect.) then I figure where I can run too. (Most fishers hold their position whatever the fish does and try to winch them back, or can't move because they didn't check where they could run before casting......
    And I consider where I would like to take them to net.....most fishers just follow along while lifting the rod, like they are walking a dog. Don' this. When you are not directing them, they are directing you. And, often resting them to boot.
    Most folks don't want to think about these things, and their stats suffer for it.
    I don't believe in luck, but do believe in excellence applied daily. When my students do this, their stats go up........
    Break down what you do, and study what you can do better, then execute..
    Keep at it, and let us know how it goes.....

    Fish regularly, but not out of habit.....

    Last edited by Bigfly; 12-05-2019 at 01:37 PM.
    The bar isn't set by the fish we catch, but by the one's we don't.


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  7. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    south of Joplin

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    Excellent post Jim. I like the "virtual fishing" I've always said the scouting and imagining positions and angles was the real fishing.
    I like the rod tip near or in the water myself. I don't that it helps but when a fish jumps I give line and rod to him for a moment, it seems most fish I've lost were jumpers.

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  9. #26
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Truckee, CA.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    One thing I have learned about teaching, is that much of what I do after 50ish almost unconscious.
    So I think out loud with a client by "Thinking about what to do?". (You can do this by yourself, but hopefully no strangers around to wonder about your sanity.)
    They give their input, I give mine.....we pre-visualize the process. I think of it as front loading success...
    This started partly due to losing big fish that bolted and I lost them. One of the local fish's favorite moves.
    I started looking where I might run, should it happen on this drift.
    Started landing more fish.....
    Applied this approach to all facets of play, and started landing even more fish.
    The better I got at thinking about how it will go; Perfect first drift, menu choice, best set, etc... bigger fish came to hand more often with fewer drifts. And I add....if you do everything perfect, you should expect a don't be surprised! Too much surprise...stats go down.
    To get to the level of one-drift, one is mandatory to work things out before casting.
    I started thinking about 1 drift because it happened on accident a lot while teaching...often on the first drift.
    So, i figured if you could do it on accident, you could do it on purpose.
    This goes for all styles, dry, nymph, streamer...
    The result of not fishing randomly, and paying attention to what you are your stats go up.
    Making 200 poorly considered drifts with the "lucky fly", setting willy-nilly and then just standing and watching when you manage to hook-up...not so much. At least it never helped me....
    I think of this as a secret in plain sight.....anyone can find it. If there is a divide between the recreational fisher, and the pro/advanced fisher, this is it. Plus thousands of water hours of course.
    It is hard to share the feeling of calling it (this drift) and then having it work out correctly with a fish of dreams.... Honestly, the only thing better than me doing this, is watching a student realizing this by one-drifting a fish purposefully and netting it.
    Once you do this a few times you realize it is not an accident.....or luck.
    I ask people, what do you do, when you do it perfectly? Answer, do it again.....

    Last edited by Bigfly; 12-05-2019 at 07:58 PM.

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  11. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Montrose, CO.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    100% I hook and land only one fish every time I go fishing. 100% doesn't look too good now. 0 for 1 might be a darn good number depending on a species being sought. How many guys I know that went for GT and hooked a fish and landed zero but others didn't even have the hook up. Lol. I'll take the hook up and early release anytime, especially this time of year.

    Honestly, I've never even considered a year average.

    So, who is making the new year's resolution to keep a little black book of meaningless on the water data? Hook up to landing conversion rate

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
    Nice fish! Do you have anymore pictures of it lying in the dirt?
    As publicity increases so does the propensity of tripping over yards of mono attached to a Dipsey sinker.

  12. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Brazoria County, SE Texas
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    Interesting going back to the OP on what competition type anglers do perhaps differently than the recreational angler, interesting because I fished with a former competitor of fishing tournaments this past Friday.

    There’s definitely an intensity about the competition/pro type of angler, a sort of laser focus on the task at hand. I feel like I’m pretty focused on the presentation, getting the particulars right on that aspect to get the eat, but maybe less so on the time frame after the eat.

    I had a large fish on and had fought it well enough to get it close to the boat. My friend, the former competition angler and captain of the boat, forgot the net, but he still gave me a semi hard time on how I mismanaged the last few moments of the fight ultimately resulting in losing the fish. But, I knew I wasn’t doing everything I could have done and just was being lazy about it.Later in the day, I lost another good fish mid fight and my friend, the competitor Capt said I would have been in real trouble with him had I been his partner in a tournament losing fish like that.

    So, how intense, how competitive, how much do you like to focus, what do you want from fishing, what’s your basic personality, all of this comes into play.

    There’s definitely fish I have wanted to bring to hand and didn’t and ones that I did and the things I did and didn’t do made a difference. I fish with some good fishermen that are skilled at finding fish and making presentations and managing the fight. I can be really focused on the finding and the presentation, but sort of go into a trance and check out a bit on the fight. This only normally bothers me if I lose a string of fish.

    I’ve fished in a few low end tournaments and actually did pretty well, but I dislike being in that level of focused, intense, driven results oriented mindset for the most part. It’s a runaway train, the competition, the other competitors are also likely doing everything they can to best you and everyone else. So then you or I realize to be competitive, I must be that more focused and prepared and studied and it can become all consuming.

    I want to learn and improve but I also want to chill and relax. I can only take so much high intensity focused type fishing, sight fishing wary fish would be an example, it really beats me up mentally after a time and would just rather at times just toss something that sinks along a structure and kind of tune out somewhat.

    Tuning out, relaxing, being meditative, watching the birds, looking at the clouds, can be a worthwhile goal, something to pursue and cultivate. Having to win every battle comes with a price.
    Presentations made
    Sighted fish, structure and sign
    Eats, but never blind

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  14. #29

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    Hi Karstopo,

    I tend to be like you, more after the relaxing part, and once the fish has eaten my bug somehow it's "job done" and the most important part to me (fooling the fish) is complete....But I also love to see and admire fish as they are beautiful creature, so if there are basic technical things that I can learn to root into my brain (reeducating/muscle memory) to land more fishes then I want to learn these!

    I guess focus is indeed part of the equation, but typically if it s a big fish or a tricky fish that I caught on a tricky drift, I will be focused, yet I tend to lose those "more important to me" fish more often than my "daily bread" fish if you see what I mean. I will be trying to side strain only rather than keep the rod high as many seem to advise AVOIDING to keep the rod high (although I ave read to keep the rod high in quite a few books and magazines...).

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Truckee, CA.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Hook up to landing conversion rate

    I am constantly meeting people who say they want to fish better, but will not change their approach.
    Lazy, might describe it. Or afraid to find out how much better they could/should be.
    This has been my observation for the 20 years as a guide. I know a couple who have been saying it the whole 20 years. Sheeesh!
    They don't want to get up early, or go when it's cold, or only if they will catch for sure.......
    Knots are a bother, good rods are too expensive, flies used to be cheaper......etc.
    I'm over it.
    I have been known to give freebees to the motivated folks.
    But for the rest, I say my phone number has been the same for 30 years.
    You have to come find me, because I am on the water watching and fishing.
    If I am sitting, I am chill, I've had people walk right up to me and scare themselves because I was so still.
    When I'm fishing I'm focused. A bomb could go off and I wouldn't blink.
    The hardest fish are smarter than most fishers, so you need to raise your game to meet one regularly, and not just accidentally once a year, or once in your life as a fly fisher.
    Focus is a brain muscle, and the way you build a muscle is using it...........start with one drift well focused, and work your way up to a whole fishing beat, then two........
    Or not.
    I study my failures like a forensic tech. Why did it happen and what can change so it never happens again?
    As a coach, I have near infinite patience for people who try......and zero for the rest.
    Life is too short to wait for folks to get it together.

    My students become dangerously effective anglers by following the simple philosophy I've given you guys for ten years.
    Think before you fish. Slow down, and get that first drift over the plate.
    My goal is one drift, one take, and one fish to hand, every time. When I get there....I'll let you know.
    My fishy friends report their "score for the day" 1 for 4 grabs, or 2 out of 4.
    Yesterday my student went 4 for 4 with a streamer...that is perfect In my world.

    imagejpeg_0[1] by James Landis, on Flickr

    The smaller fish of the 4.....

    Last edited by Bigfly; 12-15-2019 at 03:44 PM.

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