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Thread: Looks can be deceiving

  1. #1

    Default Looks can be deceiving

    I went for a little trip down to the river to get me some fishy action. When I arrived, it was picture perfect. Fish were active and the carp were tailing. The carp were ALL OVER. Sorry about putting so much emphasis on it, but they were swimming and feeding everywhere.

    I put on a clouser craw and had at it. Turns out, my luck was already down the toilet. (I tie my clouser craws with UV Orange Ice Dub and a crayfish orange rabbit strip tail. It may not be an "exact" clouser craw, but that's just what I call it.)

    I didn't feel like heaving my 8wt around, so I brought my 6wt. It would have fared fine because there weren't any monster carp around. Well, my casting turned out to be a nightmare. Even with a small size 8 hook, the rabbit strip soaked up some water and made casting awkward. Normally it wouldn't bother me, but I couldn't do any Belgian Casting because there were some plants that were always right where I needed to cast. So after fighting off tangles and dredging sticks and debris off of the bottom, I finally hooked into 3 fish. All of them came off. They wanted the fly, but I kept losing them. Casting also got increasingly difficult as I battled scum in my guides and on the line. It comes with the territory when carp fishing around here.

    To top it off, I had one final tangle and the leader wrapped around the fly line. I ended up tripping over a rock and cinched the leader around my new line. I don't think it cut into it, but I was a little disturbed about it.

    So, sitting here and going over the day in my head, I think I figured out why I didn't get any positive hook sets. I think the carp are short-striking and I need to cut back the tails on the flies. I never had any issues catching carp before, but then again, I never went for them this early in the year.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    southern Ohio

    Default Re: Looks can be deceiving

    Some days are a lesson in humility.
    Sounds like one of those days to me.

    My guess is that you are on the right track. Shorten the tails on the flies and get back out there!

    Hope to see some pics of nice fish after the next trip!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Myrtle Grove, NC

    Default Re: Looks can be deceiving

    Last saturday I found a pod of about 100 brown trout in an area that is very 'hit or miss', and over a few hours landed several decent ones. Although I didn't get any takes from the biggest fish.

    I went back a few days later, and found the pod was smaller. I used the same technique (sidearm under a few branches to a downstream drift). I got about a dozen bites, but kept missing the hook set. I finally got something small...
    As I was walking out, I spooked ~80 fish off of the riffle below the hole where the pod "used to be"...

    Had I seen that most of the pod had just moved into a better eating zone, I probably would have done better.
    I ended up snagging and untying knots all afternoon...

    Instagram page @tblom77

  4. #4

    Default Re: Looks can be deceiving

    This might help, it might not, take it for what it's worth to you:
    I do most of my bass fishing with flies that get heavy when they are wet. What I do is use a short leader and tippet combo. I use a few feet of the very fat section of the leader and 3X tip only a couple of feet long. It ends up to be 5 -6 feet total and it has enough mass to control the wet mess on the end of it. Bsss don't care as long as you don't beat the water to death. I throw big sloppy flies with a 6 weight this way and it works great. As soon as I try a full length leader and tippet combo I am all tangled up and frustrated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    St. Louis, MO

    Default Re: Looks can be deceiving

    if they are eating it but the hookisnt setting, you are setting the hook too soon. You need to pause a second or two longer and let them suck it up further. they havent felt the steel of the hook yet since they hadnt spit it out so I would say you're setting too early.
    "When you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all."

    Storm Drain Bonefisher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: Looks can be deceiving

    Some days are a lesson in humility.
    And hopefully, a well earned lesson. I've had plenty of those & finally realized, those types of days taught me more than the good days where everything seemed to work as I hoped.

    Make your adjustments & go back at it with your newly acquired knowledge.

    Those types of days taught me the importance of stealth, patience, persistence & perseverance, not to mention how to improve my casting in those situations.

    IMO you're doing fine by thinking about what you did wrong & trying to correct it. Just don't over think it, it's fishing, not rocket science. Most of this type of lessons I endured resulted in a simple solution. Sounds like you may have it!
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Looks can be deceiving

    It goes to show that after 16 years, anyone can have days that makes you feel like a newbie sometimes.

    I agree about setting the hook too soon. The water I fish isn't clear so I can't see them take it, so I go by feel and line movement. When they're in full swing, they usually take flies like a freight train. (Reminds me of how bass or bluegill take a fly.) The flies are about two inches long or so, so I tied up some Backstabbers that are a little shorter. I am truly blessed where I live though because the carp themselves are not very smart. (By carp standards.) They've never seen a fly. It's the water than can make them tricky to catch. (Scum, junk, etc.) I'm fishing with the wife's grandpa this afternoon and I'm hoping that he has his Ohio license because if he does, I'm going back there. If not, I'll head to the ponds with him and then go back myself this evening providing the weather holds out.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Looks can be deceiving

    Quote Originally Posted by jhammer View Post
    It goes to show that after 16 years, anyone can have days that makes you feel like a newbie sometimes.
    I started fly fishing when I was 14 and am now 63 and I still feel like a newbie on some days. But that's why it's kepted my intrest for 49 years.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Looks can be deceiving

    A quick update....

    I did get to go back out today and seen a few carp swimming around, but no feeders. I couldn't tempt any into biting. The weather wasn't very cooperative. It was extremely windy and overcast. I'm not sure how I came home without any free piercings. Either I'm pretty decent at casting, or just plain lucky.

    I did manage to end up with a small channel catfish for my efforts. Now, the brown-lining bug has officially bitten me for this season.

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