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Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2013/8/24 0:35
From Montgomery County/Centre County
Posts: 13
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I am a PSU student and today after class I went over to a rather famous limestone stream. While I was there midges were just pouring off the water in hundreds at a time. In every direction you can see trout rising on the midges. Despite drifting magic midges size 20 on multiple fish I only had one fish rise twice and missed him both times. most of the trout seemed to completely ignore my fly, neither moving to it or away from it. What am I doing wrong???
On most of my drifts I was able to eliminate drag. Is my leader too short? I was using 8ft of 5x.
Or are the fish just not catchable. I was able to catch them the week before spring break

Posted on: 3/17 22:35


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 637
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Well my first guess would be the fly size. I've fished many midge hatches - and a #20 fly is kinda large for that in my experience. I usually start at a size #22 - and often have to go smaller.
Also, 5x tippet is kinda large for midge fishing IMO. I usually use 6x - and sometimes even go down to 7x.

Other than that - who knows. Maybe the water was lower and clearer.
Or the fish have been getting lots of pressure in that spot.

Just curious - was there much snow around the stream today?

Posted on: 3/17 23:00


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 422
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I agree with dryflyguy that you should have tried something smaller. I am not all that familiar with Magic Midge pattern but if you were sure that the trout were feeding on midges then you should have tried different midge patterns as well. Sometimes a small change can spark big differences in fish responses. When it comes to midge fishing I basically only carry and fish a few patterns. Zebra midges, Al's rats, Griffith's Gnats, and some tiny parachute style midge flies gets me through. Often a tiny barely weighted zebra midge or Al's Rat just floating in the film gets the job done for me.

Posted on: 3/18 9:19


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 311
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Personally, I'm convinced that the majority of times that we don't get takes on our dries it is do to drag... ...even when we don't think we are having problems with drag.

My thinking would have been:

1) Longer tippet

2) Lighter tippet

4) Change casting position. For example: Up and across is not always the best casting angle regardless of what you read in the books. Often enough, changing to across and slightly down yields stunningly quick results.

5) Smaller fly

6) Fish a fly just under the surface. A lot of "rises" are actually fish taking a natural just under the surface.

7) Try a very different pattern from what you started with or went to in step 6

The above are not really rules, just the progression I would probably follow.
4, 5, and 6 could easily be interchangeable depending on how I see the fish react to my presentations.

Posted on: 3/18 11:33


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2116
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Quote:

PennKev wrote:
Personally, I'm convinced that the majority of times that we don't get takes on our dries it is do to drag... ...even when we don't think we are having problems with drag.

My thinking would have been:

1) Longer tippet

2) Lighter tippet

4) Change casting position. For example: Up and across is not always the best casting angle regardless of what you read in the books. Often enough, changing to across and slightly down yields stunningly quick results.

5) Smaller fly

6) Fish a fly just under the surface. A lot of "rises" are actually fish taking a natural just under the surface.

7) Try a very different pattern from what you started with or went to in step 6


The above are not really rules, just the progression I would probably follow.
4, 5, and 6 could easily be interchangeable depending on how I see the fish react to my presentations.




^ read and bookmark for future reference. Great post.

The last thing I do (unless I actually see a different bug being taken by fish)
is change patterns.

I agree, the angle of approach is very important and often overlooked; plus it's the easiest thing to change without messing with tippets and rigs and flies.

Try working on some aerial mends and on-the-water mends as well as controlled slack casts to get a better drift. That's something else easy to do without re-rigging or changing flies.

Longer tippets usually mean less drag, so do that next. Thinner tippets same thing - but don't get silly about it. Plus too fine a tippet collapses on your cast and ruins your presentation.

Most times it's not about the fly, it's more about the guy holding on to the cork at the other end...

Posted on: 3/18 12:02

Edited by afishinado on 2017/3/18 12:19:40


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 486
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All very solid advice given above.

And sometimes regardless of our experience or lack thereof it's good to be able to accept the fact that the fish kicked our butt that day and just observe the feeding fish all around us. It's really pretty cool to just watch sometimes. Keep after them!

Posted on: 3/18 14:21


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2013/1/27 10:24
From Sweet Valley
Posts: 143
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Throw a size 14 parachute purple haze and prepare to be surprised. If they are looking up and being difficult when when trying to 'match the hatch' sometimes they will hit ridiculous stuff.

I do that after basically following the steps of advice above with no luck. Typically I will hang a zebra midge off the back of the attractor fly as well.

Posted on: 3/19 10:06


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2116
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Quote:

allan_s wrote:
Throw a size 14 parachute purple haze and prepare to be surprised. If they are looking up and being difficult when when trying to 'match the hatch' sometimes they will hit ridiculous stuff.

I do that after basically following the steps of advice above with no luck. Typically I will hang a zebra midge off the back of the attractor fly as well.


+1....lol

Last year we were having a tough time bringing fish up to our dries in Montana (specifically the Yellowstone and the Madison). The only fly that seemed to work consistently was the parachute purple haze.

BTW, there are several patterns called the "Purple Haze".

The one I am referring to is simply a parachute adams with a purple body.


Attach file:



jpg  Parachute Purple Haze.jpg (85.63 KB)
53_58ce949c6ad73.jpg 650X385 px

Posted on: 3/19 10:25


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2013/8/5 23:08
From Lancaster
Posts: 233
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It's hard when the flies comming off are that small but as mentioned before you could use a tiny midge pupa as a dropper and see if you get some results.

2 things may happen if you do this:

1. Your dry fly will slow down and may present better to the trout and they may start to sip your fly. In this car you can loose the midge pupa and work on your drift.

2. They may rise to the midge pupa. In this case they are likely taking emergens and not feeding on the surface at all and you can just loose the dry fly and fish midge pupa or your favorite emerger.

Posted on: 3/25 19:59


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 59
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Lots of good advice here. It's so frustrating to see so many risers and not be able to buy a take! It's happened to me plenty of times. I don't have a ton of experience fishing midges, but recently I had an experience with some rising fish. I knew they were eating midges, because that's all I saw buzzing around, excepting an occasional caddis fly and some little black stone flies (which I never see trout eating, for whatever reason).

Anyway, initially I tried a little dry fly, but no dice. As I watched more closely, I noticed that a lot of the time the rises I was seeing weren't actually breaking the surface. So I tied on an unweighted midge pattern, very small (I believe it was a #22 or #24 on a scud/emerger hook). I fished it as a dropper under an elk hair caddis, and that turned out the be the ticket! The fly drifted just under the surface, and the dry fly acted as a very sensitive strike indicator. I actually ended hooking the largest fish of the day on the EHC, which was a plus!

FWIW, the midge pattern that was working for me that day was tied from DMC embroidery floss. Purple body with a black head. I have to say I think I will fish that fly again in the future! The purple, after it got wet, looked very bug-like to my eyes, and the floss always has a few fine fibers that remain sort of loose to imitate the fine legs or other texture that a real midge has.


Here's a link about the fly I was using. It's called the Yong special.

https://bentflyfishing.wordpress.com/a ... l-a-deadly-midge-pattern/

I modified it and used a single strand of embroidery thread rather than whatever brand of thread they recommended. It's super cheap, versatile for fly tying, and comes in lots of colors.

Posted on: 3/26 11:11


Re: Fish Rising All Around Me, Can't catch them

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 2363
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Pennkevs post is spot on in terms of importance of various adjustments.

But, in a midge situation like that i'm starting off no larger than a size 24, and with a fairly long 6x tippet. Just out of experience in trying to get a decent drift. With small flies micro drag is a b. Then I'd use that approach.

Often the naturals are like size 30s. 5x won't even fit through the eye.

Don't let it ruin your confidence. Midging is tough. Caddis is hit or miss on fish response. There's a reason we all like Mayflies.

Posted on: 4/7 19:21






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