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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With recent rains came the hope of new fish entering the system. This fall I have been using a 48' Spey-evolution and 15' floro leader. In essence, turning my 10.6' switch rod into a dry line long belly experience.

I managed to access the river at first light and had first water advantage for several nice pools and runs over the next 3 hours. Nothing. No tug, bump or splash. This led me to question if the rain had been substantial enough to draw in fish.

Eventually I came upon center-pinners who all had landed a few nice fresh fish. Nonetheless, I kept swinging classic mixed wings despite watching them catch bright dime fish.

Well, after another 3 hours of skunk it was fair to say I was feeling quite discouraged. I made the switch to a scandi set-up with a polyleader and various brass eyed marabou leaches. Nothing for the next two hours.

After the 2nd pass through a favourite stretch I clearly recall thinking, "what's the point," when I was jolted by a vicious take that screeched tens of feet of line off the reel. 4-5 three feet high jumps, upstream/downstream runs, nose digging bulldogging. The whole shebang. Best steelhead fight I've had.

I have never felt such gratitude and appreciation to a fish for taking mercy on me. Fervour restored.
 

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" I kept swinging classic mixed wings despite watching them catch bright dime fish."

I had the same experience this fall with the lack of rain on my river. I tried many carefully tied classic patterns without success only to have them go after a lowly olive wooly bugger! Go figure. :rolleyes:
 

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Beautiful fish. That gives hope to a rookie like myself. A few weeks ago I hit a deep pool west of the GTA where the previous year I'd caught on the centrepin. Watched with dismay as two pinners landed three from the same deep pool after I'd just finished swinging through for a half hour. Definitely discouraging, but I will stay the course and resist the temptation to pack the pin in the car.
 

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Coldhands those deep pools that pinners are hooking fish in won't always produce a fish on the swing as the fish can be in a "resting state" as opposed to a player fish that we are searching for
 

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Thanks still learning, had to try though. Old habits die hard. Have only caught some little ones, but on a positive note on flies I've tied and in water good for swinging, I know a good part is being in the right place at the same time as the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
On this day the pinners were being very successful in typically good swinging runs, like long glides, pocket boulder water etc. That probably added to the frustration of it all. Even had one pick my pocket with a bead!

Having watched several of them land their steelhead, I will proudly say that the meanness and intensity of my fish that moved for the fly was 10 fold more. Looking for players is what it is all about.

Adam
 

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Might be a mercy fish but he looks pissed....and wild.

Great story that all of us spey casters here in Ontario can relate to. Choosing quality over quantity has its rewards.

Larry
 

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Having watched several of them land their steelhead, I will proudly say that the meanness and intensity of my fish that moved for the fly was 10 fold more. Looking for players is what it is all about.

Adam
I totally agree with the concept of looking for the players. The methods I employ - utilizing a dry line all winter and skating all summer/fall tend to elicit fewer strikes and bring fewer fish to hand, but those that do come seem to come to the fly with a vengence. The trade off with using these methods is worthwhile for me.

Stick to your guns. Good job on having your persistence pay off with a beauty of a steelhead.

Todd
 
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