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Discussion Starter #1
Was out the other morning swinging streamers on a stretch of my local. Basically bombing the far bank and trying to tempt the browns into a reaction bite, followed by a gentle swing through some shallow runs. I brought a few to hand, had plenty bounce off, and lost track of the nips. My reaction time (cold) was not the greatest.

The bouncers I figured were due to the size 4 4xl hook, but the nips were hard enough to make me release a slurry of profanity. Kinda felt like I shoulda got a few more of them. I generally leave a loop from my index finger on my top hand - not to let the fish run off with it, but to let my finger feel the hit. The rest of my strike is a top hand squeeze and side strike.

Wondering what tricks/tips you all use -
 

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Dedicated Fisherman
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Hi,

I've been using feather wing streamers and Sculpin patterns for trout for a long time. For me the secret has been 'don't strike'. You feel a bump, a nip, and you strike........ nada, nothing there and many times the fish won't come back. When I feel a tap I do nothing, if it keeps tapping sometimes I'll drop six inches to a foot of line and then let it keep arcing. When I feel a pull, weight on my rod tip I lift to see if it's really there. If it is I drop the tip and do a bit of a pull on the line to try driving the point home. This is how I do trout - steelhead trout and salmon, grayling too. Don't strike, wait.

Ard

PS. A good way to think about this is that if you just let the fish work at hooking itself you don't miss any. However, if you react when you feel the tap, you will miss a lot of them. I know it's hard for some folks to break the habit of reacting when you feel something but once you have steeled your nerves and remain calm you may find that you'll see the catch numbers go up a little...........or a lot :)
 

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like Ard, i'm 100% in the do nothing camp. nothing, that is, until the fish is solidly hooked, and taking line. then, i will sweep a bit towards the bank, but never does my rod go up, or upstream. i've tried the loop, it works too, but now i'm under my index, tight to the reel, or if i've been stripping line, tight under my finger. stripping, swinging, trout or steelhead. i do nothing. the fish has to be able to turn with it, or you're taking it away from them. there are lots of grabs you wont hook, no matter what you do. but, for the ones you can hook, you wont, if you react, and pull the fly away before they turn with it.
 

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Hi Mike,

Have you found through experience that when you react and rip it away the come back fish are few and far between? I figured that out long ago fishing browns, when you do nothing and the fish fails to get hold & be hooked they usually will chase after it again if you know where to put the cast. When you prick one or startle the fish with the fly ripping away they seldom look again.

I like that; 'The do nothing camp' :)
 

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Hi Mike,

Have you found through experience that when you react and rip it away the come back fish are few and far between? I figured that out long ago fishing browns, when you do nothing and the fish fails to get hold & be hooked they usually will chase after it again if you know where to put the cast. When you prick one or startle the fish with the fly ripping away they seldom look again.

I like that; 'The do nothing camp' :)
yep. and often a more solid grab on the same swing, or maybe a couple strips to piss em off. even a dry fly, if you dont set the hook, they will usually eat it again on the next cast. just like you said though, strike immediately, and its game over. i had to learn by trial and error too. doing nothing comes easy to me. i'm inherently lazy ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So....................

Maybe original poster reads and takes our word?
Nah nah, I'm just packing my things and headin' on over to the do nothing camp - it just confirms what I was starting to think. I have noticed when I jerk on the nips that I get zilch on the subsequent swings back through. The bouncers are just gonna happen.

I was perusing some trout spey vids one day awhile back and saw some pretty creative striking. Of course, quick sets and throwing their whole body into it makes for some good entertainment I suppose.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't leaving anything on the table!
 

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Stubby-legged
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Years ago, while fishing some stillwater, we found that a weighted leech was the only fly to move the brookies.
The only way to hook them was to hesitate, push the rod tip forward and strike sideways.
We figured the trout were coming up behind the fly and we "pulled" the fly put of their mouths when striking up.
 

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I only have 2 hands
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176 Posts
The River Nip

I have had very similar experiences and results. I always try to imagine waiting on the prey to turn at least 90 degrees with that fly sucked up before the hook set. The world is perfect and they always take the fly real deep:rolleyes: and IF the fish are just nippin (I can't believe they would ever do that!:eek:) well heck I haven't tried voodoo.........yet
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Trailing hooks

Years ago I started doing the trailing hook thing (think Ray Schmidt's Rattlesnake) to try and up my chances at the ones that come up and tap at it. I can't say that it necessarily helped me catch more - but that may have been just me. Same with the Ishiwata patterns out there with the intruder-style hook rigging, I can't say that I catch anymore fish than I do with the long shanks and fish that crush and hook themselves...

I liked your thoughts on sets, but what have you seen with trailing hooks?
 

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I only have 2 hands
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176 Posts
Trailing hooks are another universe entirely! They make complete sense when it comes to fly action and hooking mechanics... but do they really land more trout(or steel)? Seems like a lot of steelhead anglers think articulated or tubes or intruders hook and hold better than classic j hook flies.The difference I have seen is only when the fish are really slammin' it, the j hook is brutal and sometimes deadly even when barbless where as the short shank drop hook seems to be a touch gentler on those beautiful fishy faces. The Sculpzilla(trailing hook fly) seems to catch as many as the Sheila(j hooker) when trout(or steelies) are really biting. But on the short strike even if they get hooked,it is amazing how well they can throw a hook. Better to have loved and lost......................
P.S. Speyside Scotch and SpeyPages Late Night Speydreaming is a wonderful substitute until the next time the real thing happens. Thank you all for your contributions to this amazing dimension!
 
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