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 Post subject: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 10:11 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: January 3rd, 2017, 10:10 pm
Posts: 13
Good Morning-

I am from out of town working in ME this summer. I've been taking advantage of the LLS/ST fishing opportunities within a couple hours of Bangor. I've been fishing a couple of well known large rivers that hold LLS and ST. Quite a change from what I'm used to (upper Delaware River), but I'm having a lot of fun and catching quite a few fish and am also getting into some decent fish.

I'm basically fishing three ways: dry dropper (large stimulator, size 12 EHC, etc. with a size 12 or 14 beadhead hares ear or PT nymph, swinging a streamer (sparsely tied weighted muddler - size 2 or 4 4xl), or swinging wet flies (i am brutal at tying wet flies so they are pretty generic sparse soft hackles). I've gotten most of my decent salmon (16"+) swinging small i.e. size 16 or 18 soft hackles. I have only got a couple fish on streamers, and have yet to get anything over 14-inches or so on one. I've gotten maybe 2 decent fish (16"+) on a dry fly and 1 decent fish (16"+) on a dropper. I have taken plenty of small salmon and brook trout on the dry and dropper.

Is it typical to get larger LLS swinging small wet flies - or am I reading into it too much with too small of a sample size (approx. 50 hrs of fishing)? I hardly ever fish wet flies back home because I catch mostly small trout using that technique. I'm starting to tie more wets and working on improving my technique. In 6 or so days of fishing in ME, I'm starting to come to the conclusion that this tactic could be deadly.

Like I said, this is a change from what I'm used to (fishing to rising brown and rainbow trout with small dry flies), but LLS are a blast and its sometimes more relaxing to blind cast to likely holding areas than to target risers.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 10:50 am 
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FFIM Addict
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5114
Location: Near the tying bench
Streamers are effective, but I find there's a seasonal component as to when they're most effective. In the spring, smelts (a prime food source for LLS and lake trout) are active and often get sucked into the rivers on their spawning runs- so smelt patterns work well then. In the fall, bright/gaudy flies trigger strikes out of aggression. In between, streamers fished at first light or well after dark can also produce- but generally don't fool many fish otherwise.

This time of year- the fish have a lot of food literally floating by their holding locations. Mostly small nymphs either on a drift to a new feeding location or emerging. They tend to be small in Maine- so the smaller wets and nymphs work well. Try them in sizes 16 down to 20. And on more heavily pressured waters- the fish tend to shy away from larger offerings as they've seen them from numerous other anglers before. Small soft hackles work well for LLS.

Good luck and enjoy your time in Maine.

_________________
"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 11:51 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: January 3rd, 2017, 10:10 pm
Posts: 13
Thanks. Reading my post above, i don't like the way it sounds. It's not like I counted or measured every fish, and I'm a fisherman so 16" might be closer to 12" on a ruler LOL.

Thanks and maybe I'll see some of you out on the rivers.


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 11:57 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: March 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Posts: 512
Mikem12 wrote:
Thanks. Reading my post above, i don't like the way it sounds. It's not like I counted or measured every fish, and I'm a fisherman so 16" might be closer to 12" on a ruler LOL.

Thanks and maybe I'll see some of you out on the rivers.


Don't worry about it. You should have said 18" or 20" plus, everyone else on here lies about fish size anyway...


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 12:47 pm 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1201
Location: Bangor
Says the moderator....... :lol:

I have had a great deal of success on salmon this summer head hunting, just as you would on the Delaware. My go to bugs have been either 16 purple haze or a 16 missing link. These have worked since early June.

The dry and dropper thing is also effective, but tends to attract the medium fish. Make sure your dropper is tiny and shiny.

The other, low percentage, but super fun method, is to skate big attractor dries through the rough water- you will be amazed at the hits you will get ( and the size of the fish you will miss).

I watched some guys short line nymphing in skinny water last weekend doing well on big fish last weekend, as well.

Finally, powerbait seems to be very effective on ALO waters..... 8)


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 2:44 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: March 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Posts: 512
titleguy wrote:
Says the moderator....... :lol:


I have also not received an invitation for your driftboat either this year.....

You need to try The Kitner Boy pattern. I know someone who can tie them.


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 2:58 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: January 3rd, 2017, 10:10 pm
Posts: 13
I saw someone shortline nymphing last saturday night that absolutely crushed it. Not my preferred method to fish but certainly effective.

All this talk about drift boats... I am kicking myself for leaving mine in Hancock, NY and not bringing it with me. If anyone wants a float on the Upper Delaware you're more than welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 5:58 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5106
Location: Manchester, ME
For that headhunting, don't be afraid to switch it up and fish a small dry fly with a soft hackle on a shortish dropper. The dry helps you get a drag free drift and follow your fly, but in my experience most of the takes will be on the wet fly in the film.

A classic combination on one of the waters I suspect you are fishing is a 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis followed by a 16-18 West Branch Caddis/Nancy's Prayer tied wet.


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 6:04 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5106
Location: Manchester, ME
Good history, photos and info on the WB Caddis/Nancy's Prayer here.

http://invictaflies.tripod.com/id220.htm

There are many variations, and they all work.

I'm partial to a cinnamon body, wood duck wing (with white tip), short brown antron shuck, and a hare's ear head. I tie some with small wet fly hackles, too. I don't fish the dry fly version, but others do well on it.

And on your dry/dropper rig, try the same thing with a smaller pheasant tail. Most of the bugs this time of year are pretty small, except for the stoneflies. If you see them, toss something big, skate it, and be glad you are on the river that day!


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 7:01 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1201
Location: Bangor
Mike- were you at the West Branch last Saturday evening?


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 7:42 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1201
Location: Bangor
RoundaboutCaddis wrote:
titleguy wrote:
Says the moderator....... :lol:


I have also not received an invitation for your driftboat either this year.....

You need to try The Kitner Boy pattern. I know someone who can tie them.


Drift boat has only been in the water twice all summer.... Hopefully this fall it will get more work.


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 11:20 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: January 3rd, 2017, 10:10 pm
Posts: 13
Yes, I was there all day Saturday through Sunday afternoon. I was also there this past Tuesday evening.


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 11:45 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1201
Location: Bangor
Did I talk you?- I was the guy camped at 108 who was complaining about the people standing on fish on Saturday night.


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 12:04 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: April 8th, 2008, 9:54 am
Posts: 197
Location: Berwick, ME
Here's my recipe for big LLs this time of year, and keep in mind there are only a select few rivers that will hold big LLs at this point. If the river is connected to a deep lake most big LLs have migrated to the lake. For those that do fish this time of year I only toss big streamers at dawn for a bit or after dark. By day I mostly toss tiny shiny nymphs, the depth depends on the run and the time of day. I am fishing sizes most won't even try, they are custom ties I make, and I usually do better than most. A huge part too is how you fish em. I can hand my rod all rigged to a newbie and coach him and it will sometimes take a couple hours before they can get the drift right and set the hook quick enough for such small flies, but then it is usually game on. I only go to dries or wets if there are consistent rises or I am fishing a run I know well and know I can trigger a rise with a dry. This time of year mid day if I go dries it is typically a stimulator with a flying ant trailing. Then I switch to dries with emergers for the last hour, often into dark. I have noticed that probably 80% of the crowd is gone and it is dark thirty when I really start getting the big fish on the surface. This can be tough depending on the moon phase and cloud cover situation. I am often casting to rises that are ten feet away and these are the lazy dimple type rises, not the splashy obvious ones. If you can pick those out of the crowd you will learn to hook into the big ones that hide all day and binge at night.


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 Post subject: Re: LLS Questions
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 2:51 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: January 3rd, 2017, 10:10 pm
Posts: 13
We may have talked. If we didn't, I was thinking the same thing. When I got to that spot I think I was the 2nd person on the water. I caught most of my fish before the crowd arrived closer to shore than where most people were wading. I was at 107 (I think). I was one of the first people out that evening in that location. I caught fish at a couple of other access points off of the campground throughout the day as well.

I'm pretty sure I'll be headed back the weekend of 8/4.


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