Selecting flies after a bump - Page 3 - Spey Pages
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post #31 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:09 PM
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Not the same . . . no a bump, but a boil behind the fly.

Last week my buddy and I had a wonderful day on the Bonaventure swinging tiny plastic tube flies in or waking in the film.

Same exact scenario in all of these four fish. Swirl behind the fly.

Stop. Wait about 2-4 minutes. Make same cast, same fly about 18" shorter . . . no reaction. Then cast at the right length. All four solid grabs. 3 of the 4 landed, one just came off after a minute or two.

I've also done the exact same thing with a bump. Same fly. Wait. Recast short. Recast correct length and hold a loop. When the fish takes, give them the loop and most of the time, solidly hooked.

All above for Atlantic salmon. The only time I hold a loop is after a bump, not a boil or regularly swinging.
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post #32 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 02:49 PM
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I've varied my approach so many times over the years, and often its just what feels right in the situation and the time of year, and how grabby the fish are, etc., but I mostly stick to following general rules of thumb:

Summer fish: I back up 10 steps and come back with the exact same fly. If it doesn't stick after a second pass I'll usually then change flies....backing up again before I start. Some folks say the more times the fish sees your fly, the less likely it is to take. I think thats probably true a lot of times (not all the time) when it's right in front of them in striking range....but I seem to think if they see it swinging tantalizingly from just outside striking range distance a couple times it can continue to arouse their interest...kind of like playing with a cat and string. It also allows for a brief amount of time to settle in before it gets right back in their wheelhouse. I kind of like to tease them without getting too many casts in their striking range.

Winter fish: I usually change flies right away and back up 10 steps. I find winter fish are less likely to play around as much, and are often traveling more. The second pass is usually my last chance, and I'll cut to the chase much quicker.

If I have limited time and think my odds of finding a another fish are slim, I'll I sometimes fish another part of the run (or completely different run for a brief period and then come back to the player and see if they'll engage again. I'll start way above the lie. One interesting thing I've found after doing this, is sometimes I'll hook a fish in a different lie with the exact same fly I had used. While on some occasions it was probably the same fish that had moved, its happened enough in different lies that I believe it was another fish that I hadn't moved the first time.

I probably over complicate things a bit much and so much is just chance and the mood of the fish, but its such a fun game to play!
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post #33 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 09:19 PM
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I'm commiting Ard's advice to memory. Hope to use it soon.

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post #34 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 12:08 PM
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It's fun to work a "player," however, a mere bump may not be a steelhead. That said, If I feel anything, I will immediately present the same fly again. In my experience, if it is a steelhead this is when they will most likely take it. After a cast or two more, I will keep working through the run, unless I'm sure it's a steelhead then I'll try some of the other stuff mentioned. A boil or splash near the fly is a much better indication than a bump and more worth the time of playing with it. The fish may also have been spooked if it felt the hook. If it was a steelhead but it's not come back to the fly I figure there may be others around, so again, I move on. I have found that the more water I cover, the more chance I have of finding a fish. I'm just not going to mess around too long, unless I'm sure...
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post #35 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 12:15 PM
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I wish I had read this thread BEFORE my Ronde float. Had a player come back twice and this might have helped seal it.

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post #36 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 06:15 PM
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post #37 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 06:57 PM
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I believe any or all the approaches will work in different situations. I was recently reminded that Steelhead have the uncanny ability to sense desperation.


Which way to the river?
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post #38 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 11:02 PM
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As a naysayer I'm forced to inject another thought. This scenario is very familiar to most of us who fish steelhead frequently. When I feel a grab I recast as initially, don't change anything. If no luck I always continue downstream, slower and more aware. In most situations steelhead are glued to the bottom and when they come up to take a fly they end up holding a good ways downstream, the current causes it. They'll take a holding spot downstream almost every time...and move back to their preferred spot over time. So, keep moving downstream and don't change flies. If the fish felt resistance or a prick they might be uncatchable for a day. If you end up wading half way to where you think the fish was originally, then go back upstream to try again.
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post #39 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 05:18 AM
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I rarely ever get grabs or plucks, I have friends that get a lot of them and I always think their fly is moving to fast. Summer fish should be all in and attack that fly, winter or colder water, yea they might not be as committed.

When I do get a grab or pluck I make exactly the same cast but try to get a bigger mend to slow the fly a bit, if nothing I change angles 1 or 2 casts then I keep moving down stream and that is when I usually get hooked up. My theory is that they will move up river to investigate what is in their area, touch it and move back down to thier lie. Once we have pushed that fly back down to them it is fight or flight.

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post #40 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by beatle View Post
All great advice.— Yoda would approve.—On a similar topic, what is your protocol when skating or waking a DRY-FLY?—When is it time to change from DRY to wet?—-Bring it on Boys!


If you tie on a wetfly after a fish showed itself to a dryfly, you're not gonna land a dryfly fish.

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post #41 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 11:37 AM
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I think for the most part most of us do a portion of what Ard suggests if not all. The one thing I'm going to take away from all this is the fact that I need to move back upstream not just 5 yards like I have been doing...but 30! Great thread fellas...keep it up!
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post #42 of 42 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 05:09 PM
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So Iím standing in the Bulkley just upstream of the Smithers bridge. Probably ten guys have gone through before me during the day but, improbably, I get a nice bump. I step back upriver five paces and swing though again with the same fly and the same presentation until Iím five paces below where I got the bump. No action.
This year fishing not far from where you were I encountered three occasions like yours, two on dry flies and one wet fished just below the surface. My standard procedure is to cast right back to the area of the bump if nothing happens change to a smaller fly of the same pattern go back upriver a few steps and fish down. On one occasion this year the fish came back on the next cast but no hookup, on all three occasions the smaller fly did the trick. Two of these times I went from a size 6 to an 8 the other 8 to a 10. All of these fish bumped the fly but the hook did not sting them on 4 other occasions the fish were stung and did not return.

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