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 Post subject: Thoughts on flies......
PostPosted: June 17th, 2017, 7:45 am 
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......working like gang-busters for a few years, then zip.

Hmmnnnnn.........I thought about this a lot during the down times on my last trip to a rather famous LL Salmon river.

On many prior trips my "go to" rig had been a Copper John on the point, and a bh PT on the dropper. The catch rate had been something like 50/50 for many years. Fine, right? Then a few years ago the catch rate definitely tipped toward the PT....that the point that I didn't tie a CJ to my tippet on a five day trip.

On this same stream another great fly used to be a Red Brassie tied on a scud hook......about an 18 or so. I used this fly extensively this trip, and I cannot remember taking not a LL on it.

My number one fly on this particular well attended stream at this time of year for the last fifteen years, or so, had been a Glo Bug in pink.......with a yellow eye dot. I used to absolutely hammer the Landlocks on that fly. Some trips it was mostly all I used, and did really well. Again this trip I took not a single LL on the Glo Bug.

Trout have brains the size of a pea......but I am convinced that they remember getting stung by flies after a few times, and start avoiding those patterns.

Copper Johns used to be tied with PTs as my #1 nymph, but I'm convinced so many ffers are using them now that the trout have gotten used to seeing them on heavily fished waters......and now avoid them.

Some nymphs that are great for guys do zip for me......the green rock worm caddis' being one of them. I've tied and fished these for years after being told how great they are.......and I bet I haven't caught a dozen trout on them in twenty years of fishing them. They just don't work for me.

Thoughts?

Dave M

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PostPosted: June 17th, 2017, 8:13 am 
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Though I do not fly fish the numbers of days I have in the past, I have experienced the same thing even with some of the same flies!

I see it now too trolling. Some years i have a hot lure and others on the lake agree, then it goes cold the following. Are the fish getting conditioned to it? Maybe.

I think it might be more of a factor of confidence and timing. It's a favorite fly, it works, then one day it does not, you try something new and it does well and then you start using a new one fishing the old favorite less. Then you say, I haven't caught a fish on the old standby in 3 trips. Wait a minute, I haven't fished it in 3 trips. Maybe once the fly starts to take a back seat, we lose confidence and don't give it a fair shot.

Then again, I sometimes feel the downeast salmon committee put up warning posters on glass bead red brassies, because they don't fish like they used to even when I fish them a lot.

Curious to what others think.

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PostPosted: June 17th, 2017, 2:38 pm 
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For the past 6 years, I haven't had the time (Addie is 6, nicholas 4, Mackenzie 2) to settle into a river for so much time to see those "go to's" come and go. They mostly produce when I need them to, during the 2 long weekend trips that were contracted Pre Kids.

However, my go tos are unique, and most wouldn't take the time to tie them. So I don't expect they get much play.

However, I have only fished "down east" twice, about 10 years ago... and even I knew about the red brassies and i lived 8 hrs away.

Just curious... what color glass bead?

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PostPosted: June 18th, 2017, 12:05 am 
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Last week I was fishing a river in the Northwest and I caught approximately 30 brook trout and 2 salmon all on a dropper (home made recipe of a simple green caddis worm) There was a poor older fella that was fishing just down river from me that said he had only caught 2 fish all day.

We chatted a bit and I gave him a copy of my dropper. He tied it on and quickly caught 3 or 4 fish while I sat and watched. He then abruptly took it off and put it away so he could copy the pattern, said it was too valuable to lose.

I had as much fun watching him become excited as I did catching fish myself, it was a good day!
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PostPosted: June 18th, 2017, 8:54 am 
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Partial relevance.

At a famous salmon river back when I was just starting fishing I was fishing with my friend Bucksmelt. He literally was standing next to me catching salmon after salmon on streamers. I have not hooked one. We started with the "what color you using?, then after he was catching them nearly every cast moved to "how long a leader, sink tip rate"?
After hours, he gave me a fly, then we moved to him giving me his spot and rod. Lol. I was standing in his spot and he was coaching me on the cast and retrieve. Nothing. He took the rod back and started nailing them. Some days you just have bad luck with a lucky fly.

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PostPosted: June 18th, 2017, 3:11 pm 
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The Oxford Dictionary defined fly fishing thusly: The sport of fishing using a rod and an artificial fly as bait.

Nothing about catching in the definition!


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PostPosted: June 18th, 2017, 3:43 pm 
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TGIF wrote:


However, I have only fished "down east" twice, about 10 years ago... and even I knew about the red brassies and i lived 8 hrs away.

Just curious... what color glass bead?



Tim......

I use a clear glass bead on some. And a brass bead on others. I'd never noticed a difference in the catch rate.

Dave M

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PostPosted: June 18th, 2017, 9:24 pm 
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Dave M wrote:
TGIF wrote:


However, I have only fished "down east" twice, about 10 years ago... and even I knew about the red brassies and i lived 8 hrs away.

Just curious... what color glass bead?



Tim......

I use a clear glass bead on some. And a brass bead on others. I'd never noticed a difference in the catch rate.

Dave M


I have noticed a difference, and generally steer away from clear glass beads on flies.

With that said- presentation (depth and drag) usually are the key factors to my hookup success. Followed by leader material.

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PostPosted: June 18th, 2017, 9:38 pm 
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Funny this turned to beads. Today the hot fly was an #18 PT, wasn't expecting it, I added it as a dropper on a re rig. Had the bead come off the fly and onto the tippet, yes it was tied correctly, and it was the right size for the hook. Definitely a winter tied fly, one that has never been fished. Makes me wonder if it was a cheap bead,hook or just a fluke...


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PostPosted: June 19th, 2017, 2:42 am 
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hmmm... i use a lot of black... and of course pink over here... interesting to hear no go on clear... maybe that makes all the difference in the world.

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PostPosted: June 19th, 2017, 5:05 pm 
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I stayed with variations on bead head pheasant tails, some of them with flashbacks, and never went the Copper John route. (I hate tying with epoxy--got to try that UV stuff some day to see it that gets me over it.) They worked, and still do, with copper, gold or brass beads. Someday I'll try glass. "Pheasant Tails" with copper wire bodies in green, red or copper and thoraxs of peacock herl or dark hare's ear work, too. Never messed with biot tails or epoxy backs, though.

I'm convinced that presentation, size, general shape (mayfly nymph vs. caddis larvae, for example), and color, in that order, are what matter. I've never been one to figure minor variations will make a huge difference. I used to carry boxes of different smelt patterns. Now I use a few variations on Black Ghosts--marabou and bunny strip for the most part--and some darker featherwings like a 9-3 or a Kennebago Smelt in a variety of sizes.

On certain waters (where I think yellow perch are often on the menu for landlocks) I would never be without a yellow streamer, but I don't think it matters if it's a yellow marabou, a Colonel Bates, or a Barnes Special. It often seems to matter a lot if it's a size 6 vs. a size 10, or fished fast and near the surface vs. slow and near the bottom.


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PostPosted: June 20th, 2017, 3:09 pm 
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TGIF wrote:
hmmm... i use a lot of black... and of course pink over here... interesting to hear no go on clear... maybe that makes all the difference in the world.


I have tied thousands of flies with clear glass beads and have found they work great. They imitate an air bubble and coupled with a CDC puff get great results in small midge and mayfly type nymphs. I pretty much gave up on copper and brass on brassies and small 18-22 size nymphs and go exclusively glass. Lots of clear, but also red and root beer color.

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PostPosted: June 22nd, 2017, 6:22 pm 
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I'm with Jeff. Presentation is on its own at the top of the A-list. Everything else is b-list or lower. Anything mildly resembling the food item a trout/salmon is after, delivered in the manner in which the naturals are being consumed, is a winner.
I had a great time fishing a heavy salmonfly hatch this week. The naturals were size 4. Time and again I tossed my #8 orange-bodied stimulator under an overhanging willow, and time and again it was inhaled by a trout. Heavy water, they don't have time to consider the size. Whack and attack!
I laugh when my wife says a certain color is "outdated." Colors are colors, they have appeared on the spectrum since the Big Bang, or whatever, and they're on there for time eternal. Trends be damned.
I feel the same way about fly patterns. They will always work well, in their moment, and thoroughly dependent upon their presenter.
I had an opportunity to fish a tailwater where the featured menu item for it's hefty trout are mysis shrimp. This is a famous water with constant crowds, drifting mysis patterns day in, day out. I stepped into a run with a rig starting with a split shot, then a big Beadhead hares ear, then 18" 6x fluoro to a #18 mysis. Two more split shot between the BHHE and the mysis.
First time on this river, first time fishing mysis. Absolutely hammered fish, one high-stick, tight line drift (no indicator) after another, taking the mysis. Mysis don't change and neither do obvious feeding lanes. Time eternal.

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PostPosted: June 23rd, 2017, 1:47 am 
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care to share a good mysis pattern? For all of my tying taht has improved dramatically over the years, i can't tie a shrimp for the life of me!!!!

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2017, 8:09 am 
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TGIF,
I bought my mysis from Dragonfly Anglers in Crested Butte, CO. They were "Charlie's Mysis", a simple yarn body and tail with tiny orange or blue eyes. Good pics and tutorial at Charlie's fly box.
Every one of those eight were lost to breakoffs from big fish! 6x and heavy flow...sometimes I could lay them over to the flat to land them and other times, no chance.
I bought another eight from Arkanglers in Buena Vista (CO) for another tailwater outing today. If I don't lose em all I will try to post a pic, but again good pics and tutorial at Charlie's.
In other evidence that size is sometimes irrelevant, per tip from Arkanglers, I fished huge #6 Chubby Chernobyls over a significant #16 caddis hatch on the Arkansas last evening, to spectacular results. They just crushed those Chernobyls!
Fly shop plugs are appreciation for excellent service and quality conversation/info sharing. Hope that's OK.

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