So .. you hook 7 and all of them come un-pinned?? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-07-2004, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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So .. you hook 7 and all of them come un-pinned??

Fished the North Umpqua again over the long weekend. Hooked? 7 and everyone of them came un pinned withing seconds.

As this is a fly fishing only river you've got to use unbarbed hooks; to get weight to get them down to the fish's level this tends to require larger/heaver hooks.

The third thing I remember reading in the dim past is 'some ties' will have a tendency to ride 'flat' to the river bottom rather than hook point up/down. What may cause this? Ask as I think this may really be the problem over the past few days of SHEESH!!!!

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-07-2004, 11:51 PM
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I have a good buddy that is down there now. Good to know that there are fish to be had.

I can't say what patterns you were referring to riding on their side but I have found some speys to do so on occasion if they are not proportioned well. One thing that seems to help is the addition of a short tail. As for the side riding being the problem, I would guess not. If anything, although not pleasing to the angler, the side-rider should aid with corner of the jaw hook-ups. The only time I would see it working against you in on takes on the hangdown where you tend to front-lip them.

It could be that you just had a bad luck streak. I went 0-for 7 this spring and early summer before reversing the trend. Right now on the year, I am running close to 50-50. PArt of it is luck and part is hooksize. In many cases it is the same pattern but the July and August fishing has been done with 5s and 7s where the Dec-June was with 1.5s and 3/0s.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 01:27 AM
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Hello Fred,

Let me shed a tear for ya!!! Rough life and all to be hooking Umpqua Steelhead like they are going out of style.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 02:21 AM
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Fred - if you were staying at Susan Creek again, then we were just a flick cast away from each other. My problem isn't hooks too light, but too wimpy - a TMC 7989 was pretty well bent out.

Last edited by SSPey; 09-08-2004 at 02:26 AM.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 12:57 PM
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Fred, Putting your fly in front of 7 fish and moving them is awesome.

The real problem is you were not fishing the surface, NFU fish are awesome risers. The coming unpinned is the Steelie God letting you know that you can float it.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 01:16 PM
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Hook 7 On the N. Umpqua!!!!!!

What were you using???????

I have heard that flies with Dee style wings plane out better and don't ride "flat"...

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 04:18 PM
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Fred, it just happens. Sometimes it's not the fly, just pure dumb luck. Have had plenty of week long fishing trips over the years. Fished with same guys (well, they're all older, and they are slowly dying off on me) for years. Most of the time we'll switch up to what the hot "color/size" is. One guy will be spanking them, while the rest of us, using same color/size aren't doing squat. Or better yet, we're hooking, but LDR every one. Just happens sometimes. I remember about 8 years ago, I didn't land ONE fish in a week. But hooked quite a few. Mixture of salmon and steelhead. Had a few as close as the bank to unhook, but off they came. Alot were "Fish on" that fast. Guess what happened next trip? I couldn't lose. Should've bought a lottery ticket. I don't think I lost one fish, not ONE! I was batting 1000. Both extremes. Did I do much outside the norm? Not really. I was fishing what normally works, and even switched up my lures hoping that'd change things (either size or simply the lure all together). But they didn't. Think if you're in the zone, you're good to go. But if you do have the "bad mojo" as they say, you're just there for the ride and simply enjoy having the fish approach the fly.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 06:56 PM
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I'm with Andre. Bad karma going down after NU fish. In early August I went 4 for 4, with three of them completely on the surface, and the other barely subsurface when I changed from the waker to chase a player, and it was too dark to change back when the player quit playing.

However, I've got to say that hooking 7 fish is a pretty good weekend for anybody, and you're fairly new to the river! Great job.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 07:19 PM
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I'm with Sparse . . . 7 hookups on the Umpqua for the weekend is pretty good, especially since you're fairly new to it. Not being well hooked, well . . . Momma said there'd be days like that. Even though I live in NY, the Umpqua has been my "home" steelhead river for over 30 years it's my favorite steelhead river. I've even fished an entire week with only one fish. You did good.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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The 'luck' not withstanding what really surprised me was

the almost total LACK of other folks fishing the river. A couple places had 4 or 5 (immediate steamboat creek area pools) and the odd one down stream all the way to Rock Creek. (Even a couple from Rome, Italy!) By 10am I pretty much had the whole area to myself.

All of my fish were hooked in the bottom half of 'Surveror' (sp?) above Mott bridge. Interesting thing was they were all 'hooked' on the bottom 1/3 of the swing. Which may speak to the comment above about poor hooking on a 'hange down' mentioned above. Fly was moving quite slowly through this part of the swing.

Posted the same question to the UK board and did get one very interesting response ... e.g. large hook or no, the tie was too big. Apparently this can cause the hook to go to a neutral boyance and make it drift 'flat' to the bottom.

Going to test this out tomorrow or Friday by doing the same fly, same hook, but on a far smaller (low water) scale. That said, William (inland) sent me a PM asking what hooks I was using and gave me a list of what he thought were the WORST hooks going. He even had them listed in the right order of what the fly's were tied on!

Think this is going to cost me some more money as I've got a lot of those hooks. Pooie!!!!!

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 10:31 PM
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Hooked 7 fish, heck I haven't hooked seven steelhead in my lifetime! I bow to your steelhead prowess!! Maybe I need to move to Oregon....

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 05:58 AM
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Various Hooking Techniques

Although a different species, there seem to be a lot of similarities between fishing for Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon. Much has been written in the UK angling press about hooking Salmon.
Some advocate the use of a loop of 1 to 2 yards held between the finger and handle of the rod. As soon as a take is felt the loop is released allowing the fish to turn, while feeling the minimum of pressure. This seems to be a better way of hooking fresh from the tide, lively fish that are often soft in the mouth. It is also a good method of hooking fish in slower flows.
In faster streams or with larger or more aggressive fish, "fishing off the reel" is the norm. There are various ways of doing this, but the crux of them all is to have the drag of the reel set to stop over spooling, but let a taking fish pull a few yards of line with minimal resistance.
In the case mentioned, where all the fish were taking on the hang or "dangle", something which may help is to raise the rod quite high as the fly comes to the dangle. This should provide a hanging loop which gives enough slack that, when a fish takes it feels little resistance as the line straightens.
My personal preference is to keep a loop of 2 yards of line held in the rod hand. I think that this covers all situations, should a fish take slow or hammer the fly.

Having said all that, we all have bad luck. I went through a whole season, where my hook up rate was phenomenal, but I could not land a single fish. I questioned everything I was doing, from line control to hook type. The answer was that I was doing nothing different than successful seasons before or after; just pure bad luck.

Hope this helps.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Gary, the dropping some line is an interesting idea.

I do this when I'm running floaters, but never have with a 'sunk fly.' Maybe it's time to 'revisit' old ways!! with an eye to cleaning up what could be a 'bad act?'

I'll give that a try tomorrow on the upper Rogue. As of 9-4 the official count of summer runs into the top end of the river was 6,300 some fish plus the fall kings (closed to fishing for these fellows for another couple of months). A nice problem to have is the summer's tend to stack up below the spawning kings so it's darned near impossible not to hook several over the course of a day.

Interesting on a 7136 sage!

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 10:49 AM
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Fred -
Congrads on solving the large part of the puzzle - hooking 7 in a weekend is awesome!!

While it is common to go through long losing streaks I have to vote with the need to look at the hook and the hooking setting. It has been my experience that there is a lot of difference between hooks with those that look the "prettiest" often are the ones that preform the poorest in converting strikes to fish to hand. That said I like hooks with long points (many of the heavier wire hooks have short points that are pretty ineffective, especially when the barb is pinched). All things being equal I prefer a lighter wire to heavy though have to be careful that the wire is not springy and will not open under normal fishing pressure.

The take on the last of the swing is the most difficult one to convert to a solid hook up. The tendency on the strike is to being pull the fly directly from the fish's mouth. If you can train yourself to wait a beat before the hook set the fish will have a chance to turn so that the sit places the fly in the hinge rather than front of the mouth. For me the best method is to hold the rod tip a little higher during the last part of the swing, lower the tip on the take creating some slack/delay and then deliberating setting with a sweep towards the bank.

This situation is often worst during low flows as the fish tend to take more delibrately. A surface presentation is a good suggestion - the takes tend to be a little more aggressive however even then the take on a hang fly can be difficult. In fact the stike setting method I talk above was what I can to out of frustration at missing dozens of surface takes on the hanging fly.

Wishes for continued good fishing
Tight lines
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-11-2004, 01:48 AM
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Looks like we are going to have to break you of fishing sub surface. Floating line wakers the only way to fly.
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