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Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2011/7/7 20:06
From South Central,PA
Posts: 434
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Last night I was fishing a small creek with that holds some wild browns. Most of what I was catching were in the 4-5" range. They were hitting one after another on dry flies...whatever I tied on. Eventually I wasn't even concerned with the fly I was casting. Fly choice was whatever was big and bright enough for me to see with the glare of the evening sun. I was running out of time (had to pick up kids) and I moved to the last stretch of creek before rolling out. It looked very very fishy. First cast I caught a very nice brown in the 14" range. After I let it go, I put on a new fly...I think it was a size 10 or 12 adams, which I cast to the same spot and I saw a mouth that looked as big as a softball come up and grab it. It shot partially out of the water when I set the hook, and I could tell it was a monstrous brown. He twitched under water and the fly broke off. It all happened so quick I was dumbfounded...I felt nothing (line pressure) or perhaps the adrenalin masked it. I've had this happen with other big fish, and I keep telling myself, let it take line, use my drag, dont try to haul it in too fast. I was using 5x tippet...Honestly didn't think I would run in to a fish this big. What amazes me is that I can get a snag in a tree and put a huge amount of pressure on the line before something gives....when I catch a fish like this, it doesn't seem to take much to break off.

BTW, this is my 3 or 4th year fly fishing...I start to feel like I know what I'm doing, and then something like this happens...back to the beginner forum for help!

Posted on: 2013/6/27 14:23


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2011/6/29 9:38
From Philadelphia
Posts: 2145
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Did the fly break off or did the knot come undone? If it's the latter, you need to tie better knots but if it's the former, join the club and I've been fly fishing for over 20 years. Big fish break 5X tippet. Now I obviously wasn't there but if you pointed the rod at the fish and didn't use the rod as a shock absorber only you know that. Just because you lose fish (big or small) doesn't mean you are back to beginner status. Hell a true beginner probably wouldn't have gotten the fish to even hit the fly!


Posted on: 2013/6/27 14:51


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2009/6/5 14:47
From SW PA/Tioga
Posts: 196
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You don't know how lucky you are to have a place to fish during a weekday evening.

Yep, it happens.

Could have been a nick in your 5x, could have been the knot, could have been old tippet material. Just try to figure out what the weak link was an make it better.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 15:25


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2007/3/24 2:29
From Luzerne County, PA
Posts: 374
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I broke a fly off on Tuesday just casting, apparently my tippet was scraped up. It's difficult to check all the time during low light but still worth the effort when you break off a nice fish.

Foxgap is right about using the rod as a shock absorber, sometimes those fiesty head shakes will end the battle quickly.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 16:25


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2011/7/7 20:06
From South Central,PA
Posts: 434
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Now that I think about it, I don't think I tied a good clinch knot. I'm sure the 5X didn't help but it was a situation were I was not expecting anything that big. I suppose I should start expecting the unexpected.

Here is where I think the knot failed (lets see if I can describe this) First, I dont think I wrapped it more than 4 times. Then I went through the bottom loop (at the hook eye) ...HERE IS WHERE I SOMETIMES MAKE A MISTAKE...when I go to pass the line back through the top loop of the knot, sometimes the line will wrap 360 degrees around the knot before I pass it through the top. I know this is not exactly correct but I never thought it mattered...until now. (does this make sense?)

Posted on: 2013/6/27 16:33


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2011/7/7 20:06
From South Central,PA
Posts: 434
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This is the IMPROVED clinch knot I'm describing.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 16:36


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2011/6/29 9:38
From Philadelphia
Posts: 2145
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Look up how to tie the double clinch knot. I always use that knot with light tippet on bigger flies.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 16:47


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 841
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7 turns on a clinch is just a superstition of mine that seems to work.

Any stream that has little wild browns can have big wild browns. All it takes is one good undercut or plunge pool, etc.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 17:32


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2009/6/5 14:47
From SW PA/Tioga
Posts: 196
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Quote:

bigslackwater wrote:
I'm sure the 5X didn't help but it was a situation were I was not expecting anything that big.


5X should not be a problem if it is strong 5X in good shape. Many nice fish have been landed on 6X.

Quote:

bigslackwater wrote:
Here is where I think the knot failed (lets see if I can describe this) First, I dont think I wrapped it more than 4 times.


I like 8 turns, DGC said 7, either sounds better than 4.

Quote:

bigslackwater wrote:
Then I went through the bottom loop (at the hook eye) ...HERE IS WHERE I SOMETIMES MAKE A MISTAKE...when I go to pass the line back through the top loop of the knot ...


Forget the IMPROVED clinch. There is no improvement in strength and it makes it much harder to get a good knot.


Absolutely follow Foxgap's advice for large diameter wire vs tippet size. The regular clinch only works when the tippet size is matched to the hook size.

Posted on: 2013/6/27 17:59


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2766
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Hey, it happens to all of us. The important thing is that you file this one away in the memory bank and learn from it. From what you wrote, it could have been a few different things that cost you the fish. One thing to remember....if you are using a larger fly on lighter tippet, it will require more turns on the clinch knot. Being surprised by the big fish may have got ya too. Sometimes there is a fish in a location that makes it nearly impossible to land. I hooked a fish on 3x / drake emerger a few weeks ago. 3x is plenty of line....usually. I had the fish beat until he saw the net coming at him. He found another gear and snapped 3x like it was 7x. I estimated the fish to be 25-26" and definitely would have been my largeston a dry. Don't forget to check your knots throughout the day and never assume there's no big fish or that a fish is done fighting.

Posted on: 2013/6/28 6:36
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Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 740
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Quote:
Could have been a nick in your 5x, could have been the knot, could have been old tippet material. Just try to figure out what the weak link was an make it better.


I agree, the tippet was probably faulty or it was a bad knot. Doesn't matter, it happens to everyone.

Quote:
I saw a mouth that looked as big as a softball come up and grab it. It shot partially out of the water when I set the hook, and I could tell it was a monstrous brown.


You got the best of that fish, the real fun is getting the fish to eat on the surrface and leap from the water.

I was fishing a mouse for largemouth yesterday and had the samething happen. A fish hit the mouse and the line went limp. When I realed in to see what happened, the mouse was gone, the tippet broke below the knot! The knot held, but the small section of tippet that went through the hook eye broke. When I inspected the rest of the tippet it was all frayed up. Don't feel so bad, it happens.

Posted on: 2013/6/28 7:27


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2011/7/7 20:06
From South Central,PA
Posts: 434
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Thanks for the words of encouragement everyone...I'm not too disappointed now. I hope to get another shot at it before it gets too warm...If not I'll try again in the fall. On the bright side I've learned that there are really big fish in a place that seemed very unproductive in the past. It might be time that I revisit all the places I've chalked up as unproductive. I guess I'm getting better.

One thing that really improved my results was fishing upstream. In the past I've always worked my way down stream and across. This time I moved slowly one step at a time and worked my way up. It's a tough creek because there is no banks to travel.. It's thick vegetation on both sides through the best parts.

Posted on: 2013/6/28 10:58


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13667
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The truth is, as you get better, crap like this happens MORE, not less. Sure, you also catch more. But if you lose X%, then just hooking more of them means you lose more of them...

Same with hooking up on branches, getting wind knots, and other stuff that makes you want to break something. As you get better, you do it just as much, if not more. It's just that your trying to do harder things, and more often putting yourself in situations where it matters.

Getting better does mean catching more fish, but it doesn't mean less screw ups. Think golf. Even the pro's find themselves wanting to break their clubs over their knees as much as anyone. It's just that they screwed up trying to make a shot that you or I wouldn't even try.

Just as a side note. Fish have teeth. Bigger fish have bigger, sharper teeth. If you happen to hook them in the front of the mouth instead of the corner, line rubs on teeth. That's often how breakage happens. And while I'm a mono guy, it is perhaps the one major advantage of fluoro. More abrasion resistance.

Posted on: 2013/6/28 14:44


Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
Posts: 1710
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Dumb question, but did you remember to wet the clinch with spit before you tightened it ?

Also, I'd get a new spool of tippet just in case it's a bad spool.

Posted on: 2013/6/29 14:00
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Re: Need to vent...another one got away.

Joined:
2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2013
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Quote:
Bigger fish have bigger, sharper teeth. If you happen to hook them in the front of the mouth instead of the corner, line rubs on teeth.


This is what came to my mind. Especially wild browns. Was the line all curly at the end like the knot gave?

Posted on: 2013/6/30 11:37



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