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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This weekend i was on the Rhonde and clearwater and ran into some serious problems hooking fish. I had three grabs, and had two of them pinned ( pulling line and thrashing then they were gone) I am currious how you all react when you get a grab. I didnt do anything to the rod when i had the grab that didnt stick (on the hang down while i was stepping down whammo then nothin) on the fish that stuck around for a few seconds i moved the rod to the side. Well what do u guys think i did wrong?
:confused:
 

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chrome-magnon man
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dsteady knows of what he speaks!

fish on the hangdown (or dangle) are the hardest to hook. After missing one on the Skeena in September I had a chat with Lani Waller who confirmed that in his experience those remain the toughest hookups.

Another thought is to switch to tube flies so that you can fish any size pattern with a short shank hook. Tubes have made a big difference in my hooking/landing ratio.

Other than the basic stuff (keep your line tight; don't horse a fish unless you have to; keep the fish on the shortest line possible), sometimes they just come off.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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If you had 3 grabs you were quite a bit ahead of most guys fishing the same area.
As to what you did wrong I'm not sure. On the ones you swung on when they stuck around for a few seconds maybe you should've given them a few more seconds. Sometimes no matter what you do you don't connect, yes even three times in a row.
There are a couple schools of thought on a slack loop under your finger to let slide on the take. If you haven't tried it maybe you should.
 

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sometimes they just come unbuttoned there is nothing you can do about it.. some hold a loop and let it go, some react with a hard hookset like a bass fisherman some do nothing till they feel the fish hooked and they all do equally well. i am convinced it does not matter what you do, the fish that stick stick and the fish that don't don't.

i have said this before but i don't even think having ultra sharp hooks helps, as long as the point isn't damaged it's as good as it gets, with of course one exception that being the partridge "N" hook which is a worthless POS of a hook because the point is too short.

sometimes they just come unbuttoned and there is little to nothing you can do about it. just be thankful that you got grabbed at all and enjoy the scenery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys i was truely blessed to get those grabs this weekend. I think ill try some tube flies...and a loop.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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thoughts on the loop

Ok, after a couple years now experimenting with loops or no loops here's what I've found:

1. On short to medium length casts (40ft - 80ft) with floating lines loops seem to be helpful.

2. longer casts with floating or sinking lines running straight to the reel seems to work better for me.

I used to fish loops on all cast lengths but after thinking about it and experimenting I realized that the additional slack created by the loop is not necessary on a longer line because there is so much slack in the system anyways no matter how hard you try and keep things tight. Wiggles in the line, plus the natural stretch of leader and line give you all the slack you need to allow a fish to turn with a fly.

Another thought about loops--they have a nasty habit of getting wrapped around your reel handle, so be careful with them. When fishing a loop I always turn the spool to make certain that my handle is near the reel foot, not near the loop.
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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Did you sharpen your hooks between grabs? I have been practicing this religiously ( after every fish and every 20 casts or so) since my move to the east coast and the results have been very good.

That being said fish on the hang down are tough.

-sean
 

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Oh how I miss the NW
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sean said:
Did you sharpen your hooks between grabs? I have been practicing this religiously ( after every fish and every 20 casts or so) since my move to the east coast and the results have been very good.

That being said fish on the hang down are tough.

-sean
Sean,

You sound like my friend Steve Buckner. Between the two of you I find myself working a file more than swinging a fly. ;)
 

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Fish on the dangel are sometimes tough to hook properly, To hook these fish better I sometimes strip an extra 3 or 4 feet of line off my reel to send down river after my swing like a mini dead drift. give it a go and see if it works for you.
 

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bad luck

I recently lost 3 cohos in a row all at the beginning of the swing after two strips.

First one was on a dull bronze streamer hook so I blamed that on myself.

Next two were on tube flies with ultra sharp octopus style hooks. They were long casts so I blamed the loss on the near horizontal hook setting (versus vertical if I were standing on top of the them). Both fish were positive hook-ups...one in fact went 60 feet into my backing in 5 seconds...

Oh well, keeps me dreaming...
 

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I recently had a fish pluck on the first swing, but without a hook up. I made the same cast and the fish took again, this time I let it take my loop, plus a few clicks off the reel (no drag) just for good measure. Then I set the hook: no fish. I returned that evening to the same run and had another fish take, this time I set after it took only about half my loop: corner of mouth hook up and a landed fish.

What'd I do wrong (or right)? See Above.

The hang down is tough I think because there is no current to help set the hook on the fish. Anyone ever tried to hook steelhead in stillwater? It's really tough.

daniel
 

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This may be little more than personal mythology on my part, but any dedictated steelheader will have a book full of it (and I mean full of it) before long. Anyway, I think I've had more solid hookups after switching to Jim Teeny's nymph hooks. Very wide gap between point and shank. I tie just about everything on them. I also carry a lucky coke can, picked up right before my best steelhead morning ever, but there's just one of those. One coke can that is. Well, one best steelhead morning too. Cheers!
 

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Tube Flies and staying conected

Losing fish is just part of the game but I have found a definite difference in hook ups & landing fish with tube flies & short shank tube hooks. Lawrence
 

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I've found that I get more solid hookups by leaving the rod down when I get a hit until all my loop is pulled out and the reel is running. That's about the only way I can hook them when they hit on the dangle.
 

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How about no loop

I was fishing the Skagit with Ed Ward, who seriously knows how to hook steelhead, and he fished with no loop and merely kept his rod raised about 2-2.5 feet above the waters surface. This leaves a sag in the line which allows the fish to grab the fly and turn. I adopted this technique and found that I began hooking more fish on the swing, but those darn hang down hookups seem impossible. I have, however, twice had a hang down grab that did not connect, only to get the fish on the next hang down running a loop.
 

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roballen said:
sometimes they just come unbuttoned there is nothing you can do about it.. .
On that note, I will relate one that still haunts me. Last spring while fishing the Skagit with Chris DeLeone I hooked a big ol buck by our estimation. A very wild, fresh and hot as you know where fish, he got sideways and upstream even on me twice , porpoising like a tuna several times, we got a very good look at him and the battle was epic almost I would think. BUT....... after all that when I got him close in and just hanging down below me he just slipped off easy as pie. Chris mentioned that I probably held the rod too high and he's right but after all that battle and runs and twist's to just come off like that-----PLEASE?!?
 
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