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 Post subject: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 7:51 am 
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I wasn't surprised at the take, nor the size of the trout. It had been an exceedingly great morning of dry fly fishing (four days ago) on a favorite Maine river. Pigs lined up at the trough, pigging out, and not another angler in sight. And these gluttons had not yet become wise to my imitations, which were large and bushy and not long on the surface before getting sucked down.
I was calmly playing the large fish toward shore when I became aware it had hunkered down on the bottom. I could still feel it tugging, but the weight of the fish seemed to increase and then it suddenly felt like a moving rock, and then a still rock. So I applied more pressure and quickly realized I was hung up on or near the bottom. Strangely, I could steel feel movement through the line. And then the movement ceased. I worked my way upstream and down, and waded out as far as I could to try to free my line. No luck. After some time, I shrugged my shoulders and pulled back on my line until it popped free. Fish, and fly, long gone.
A dead-end hookup on a very nice fish. Not my first, nor last I'm sure. I've thought a lot about these moments, and how a fish is able to achieve it's freedom by using a sunken obstruction. The kicker is that I've not often, maybe never, experienced a fish using streambed obstructions to break the line off. It's always a dead-end hang-up resulting in me having to break my line free. My guess is that the obstruction in question is usually a sunken log, stump or branch, and the line gets pinched in a slot in the wood or woven around a branch stem.
Any similar experiences on dead-end hookups?

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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 8:50 am 
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Location: Sidney, Me
The only thing it brings to mind wasn't my fish. Long Pond in Belgrade used to have an excellent salmon fishery (though you couldn't really prove it by me). One time in the Spring at Castle Island I could see a fat salmon of 20 inches or better keep swimming up from below then heading back down. I was excited to try and catch it at first, then I realized it was tethered, it must have broken someone off and the line was still caught.


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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 9:55 am 
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I have come across decomposing bass, bloated and stinky that tethered at Rory said, I truely hope that didn't happen to the trout that had done it to me.

I have only had a couple, and all of there were the precious times that I managed to hunk those lunkers thatbwe see swirling below old wooden sluice dams. On a streamer rig, I can keep them out of the lumber, but these two times I was using dry flys and had no stopping power.

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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 10:38 am 
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Rory, I've seen that scenario on the Mascoma River in NH. Standing on the edge of the tailout of the dam pool, drifting dries. Most of the risers were rolling and sipping, but one nice rainbow kept leaping clear. Wouldn't touch anything offered. So I go in for a closer look and indeed, it was tethered by heavy mono to a sunken branch. I netted the fish rather easily and freed it from a giant spinning rig (rotating spoons with a worm hook trailer). It swam away seemingly in fine health.
I don't think many large fish hooked and broken off on 4x or smaller tippet stay tethered long. But heavier mono for sure will spell the end for a fish.

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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 10:49 am 
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I've seen and caught plenty that were towing around pre snelled leaders with perfection loops.Those things need to be banned.


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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 12:32 pm 
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RoundaboutCaddis wrote:
I've seen and caught plenty that were towing around pre snelled leaders with perfection loops.Those things need to be banned.


What's wrong with perfection loops?


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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 4:29 pm 
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I have done a lot of work on eagle claw snelled hooks in my youth.

It is funny though, youncan buy 100 bait hooks at Walmart for 1/4 the price of 10 eagle claws with 30lb mono... I guess the striper grade line gives them the chance to play them quick and release them healthy. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 10:56 pm 
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titleguy wrote:
RoundaboutCaddis wrote:
I've seen and caught plenty that were towing around pre snelled leaders with perfection loops.Those things need to be banned.


What's wrong with perfection loops?


Nothing. It's the rotting mono on spinning rods that get "knotted" to them that's the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 15th, 2017, 11:02 pm 
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TGIF wrote:
I have done a lot of work on eagle claw snelled hooks in my youth.

It is funny though, youncan buy 100 bait hooks at Walmart for 1/4 the price of 10 eagle claws with 30lb mono... I guess the striper grade line gives them the chance to play them quick and release them healthy. :roll:


And then your buddy with the double treble hooks can catch them again and rip the gill plates off. Maine needs more General Law waters....


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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 16th, 2017, 7:27 am 
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Joined: May 6th, 2017, 8:59 pm
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Location: Arundel
There's a spot in a favorite river where there's a sand bar downstream of the area I fish. I've had good luck with large landlocks there. One strange thing I've encountered a number of times is the salmon fight their way down to the bar and, best I can tell, bury their noses in the sand and pop the fly out. Of course the barbless hooks make that easier for them. But I've lost four or five salmon that way in the years that I've fished there. Never encountered this in any of the other places I fish for landlocks.

I've also lost big trout who've broke me off around boulders and logs. Another tactic they've used is trying to race into heavier currents and hanging broadside to it to snap your tippet. They don't get big by being stupid.

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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 16th, 2017, 9:47 am 
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Well... it isn't just maine. Returning back from a pretty remote part of Spain, I had the pleasure of having a 6" rapala plop through my drift from about 90' away on the far bank ... a 30" bluefish would have been afraid of this thing. Much less a trout which were averaging about 4". Of course, earlier in the day, two sunbathers asked me how the fishing was. I was really grateful for sunglasses and the opportunity to practice my Spanish with locals. So... win some you lose some.

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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 16th, 2017, 10:47 am 
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Tim, I suspect you are seeing different sunbathers than we are...

But in all seriousness, and something to ponder, By law you're limited to three single pointed hooks when fly fishing regardless of the water. Yet on the same General/ALO waters you can run six on a rapala. Wouldn't a three single pointed hook rule across the board help limit damage to C&R'd trout? In my opinion treble hooks are redundant and do a lot of unnecessary damage.


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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 16th, 2017, 1:47 pm 
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Location: New Hampshire
Well, most of the sunbathing resembles the Quebec invasion on OOB.... but every once in a while it is worth a double take.

I 100% agree. Treble hooks are an absolute menace to anything they hook into... mostly fingers, cloths, boat liners, and of course fish. I don't see a big issue if someone is fishing for the table, but anything that will be released won't have much left to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 16th, 2017, 3:12 pm 
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Good topic for another post. Limiting treble hooks to General Law waters would be a start, three single pointed on ALO....


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 Post subject: Re: Dead-end hookups
PostPosted: July 17th, 2017, 2:32 pm 
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I read today about a city gov't employee (ethics manager) who was caught soliciting a prostitute. That would classify as a "dead-end hook-up", eh.

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