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Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

Joined:
2011/9/26 0:56
From around boiling springs
Posts: 181
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find ripple ,nymph till fish is caught , nymph again . at a ripple you can really get away with a lot. this memorial day me and my dad were fishing big springs he was practically standing on top of the spillway water and ended up hooking into the one of those notorious monsters . after that he jumped out i jumped in and caught a 17 in rainbow same hole he had just caught a fish out of five minutes before .

Posted on: 2011/12/11 0:47


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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FWIW, spooking fish is a fact of life. You're simply not going to avoid it completely. Accept it, and when it happens, don't waste another second on spooked fish and move on.

But yeah, there are things that can help you do it less. Some of which you're already doing with the shirt color and all. Valley isn't a tiny stream, and I can usually backcast there, though there are places where small stream methods are necessary. My hints:

1. This is #1 for a reason, it is MOST important. Distance is your friend. As you become a better caster, you'll be able to fish that same spot from a little further away, and that makes all the difference.

2. Don't worry so much about wading. I mean, be quiet and go slowly when you do, and yeah, its better to be on shore, all else being equal. But #1 is more important. If wading allows you to approach a spot from a few more feet away, it's worth it.

3. Where possible, approach fish from downstream. They face upstream. That said, it's not always possible, again see #1. If you can get significantly better distance from upstream, do it.

4. Stay as low as possible, including the rod. Go sidearm if you can, avoid false casts as much as possible. Fish are conditioned to look out for danger from above.

5. Pay attention to shadow direction, see #4.

6. Seek out water and holding lies where it's a little easier. Slow, glassy water is tough for anyone. Don't get me wrong, there's fish there. But if the name of the game is to catch as many as possible, then you aren't trying to catch every single fish, but rather, spend as much time as possible in high % places. Move and take lower hanging fruit. Seek out current and a riffly surface. Cover is also good, those root systems and such.

7. VC fishes 1000 times better after a rain. It comes down real quick. If you get a 3 inch gulley washer, the next day is when you want to be there. For lower water conditions, there are other options. A large part of being a good fishermen is having a stable of streams, and knowing WHEN each is going to fish well.

Posted on: 2011/12/15 7:22


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
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Good advice already here, but I'll add the following:

I agree with pcray's point #2 about not wading being overrated. If it is more practical and you stand a better chance of catching the fish from shore, then do it, but if not then wade. I think this is especially true in small mid to high gradient Brookie streams. A lot of times the only way to get a casting lane is to be physically in the gulley carved by the stream itself. This often means fishing a hole or riffle and then standing in it to cast up to the next hole or riffle. In addition I've noticed that I spook MANY more fish in a small stream by attempting to make a cast from shore next to the hole, than from in the stream but below the hole.

While I think not wading is overrated, the role of shadows is severely underrated IMO. It is my experience that if a fish sees your shadow, or your rod's shadow, for all practical purposes it has seen you and you should move on. If the fish are spooky in general (headwater Brookies for example) they usually bolt for cover right then and there, which is clear visual evidence to the angler that the fish is spooked. If the fish are more accustomed to people (like Valley Creek) the fish may not bolt until you approach it, but it knows you're there and you might as well move on. The general idea with shadows is to try to keep the sun in front of you (and your shadow behind you) as you approach the spot you want to fish...easier said than done I know.

A lot of times these concepts are at odds with one another when you're on the stream. Meaning you generally want to fish upstream, but what if that means in this case the sun will be behind you and your shadow will cover the hole as you approach your casting lane. Each scenario is different, but on the stream it's funny how your brain works. The more you fish, the more angles and options your brain starts to see on how to fish a spot and how to make the best cast and presentation.

IMO Valley is a midsize creek (unless you're fishing way upstream into Chesterbrook, which you may be), albeit on the smaller end of that range. There should be enough room there in most cases to get some decent length casts in though. Valley's tough, the fish are pretty, but well educated. My advice with Valley is to try to focus on the riffles and midstream eddies made by larger rocks. These areas often have more broken water and give you a little extra stealth before you'd spook the fish. The deeper pools and runs are tough to fish there period when the water is clear.

Posted on: 2011/12/15 11:10


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

Joined:
2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
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looks like the consensus is to approach from downstream...I'd suggest doing the opposite. Since the trouts are probably conditioned to the classic upstream presentation, change it up on 'em and show them a presentation they're not accustomed to, approach from upstream, w/ a downstream cast. Or even fishing from the opposite bank than what is the norm can be enough.
I've seen this plenty on the Letort and the Breeches, have never fished Valley though...

Posted on: 2011/12/15 12:04


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

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From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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tomit,

What you are talking about is not spooky fish, it is finicky/picky fish. They are two very different things.

1. Spooked - Upon seeing a human, or a shadow passes over, they bolt for cover and stop all feeding activity. The fisherman see's darts.
2. Finicky/Picky - Fish that have seen plenty of imitations, and have become extremely selective. They are generally less spooky as they've become accustomed to humans, and will often hold position or even keep feeding when they see a fisherman. But they are ultra careful about exact imitations, drag, etc., and seeing a human may make this especially so.

The idea of changing sides of the stream, trying new approaches they haven't seen, etc., perhaps is good advice for #2. I think we were all assuming/commenting on the situation for #1.

Posted on: 2011/12/15 13:07


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

Joined:
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From down the block from the Letort.
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uhmm, no, sorry pcray, I am talking about spooking fish....false casts over risers from downstream will spook fish, lining a fish from downstream will spook a fish. Change up the presentation, and you just might spook less fish.

At the footbridge on the upper Letort for example, there's often a trout holding in a feeding position near the piling on the 81 side. Lot's of folks, joggers, dog walkers, etc use the path and that fish will spook easily when approached from the 81 side of the bridge...but approach him from the quarry side and you can usually sneak a few casts before he's onto you. They're also in tune to your footsteps there, I can often slowly pedal my bike right onto the bridge, rest against the railing and gaze down on him as he feeds, but as soon as you step on the bridge...gone.

The fish in these high pressure areas become accustomed to people entering the water at existing access points, they hear or feel your footsteps and bolt from the lie that's near that access. Change up your approach and sneak up to them from a different angle than they expect and you'll have a better chance of not spooking them...

Posted on: 2011/12/15 16:11


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

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From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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ok, my mistake, I misunderstood you then.

Interesting. Saying that fish watch certain areas more than others. Never heard anyone say that before, but seems at least possible.

FWIW, talking about the "spook" as in run for cover like a dart, I can't say I've EVER done it with a presentation, meaning line, leader, or fly. Once I'm in position and I make that final forward power stroke, the danger period is over, at least until I pick up for the next cast, at which point I'm waving a stick around like a lunatic again.

That's why I misunderstood you I suppose.

Yeah, I've noticed lots of situations like you describe. Where a fish remains unspooked until you step HERE. But I never thought of it as the fish watching that spot because thats where he expects to see people, but rather, just that the particular spot happens to be in his line of vision, or transmits vibrations better, etc. Refraction at the water's surface is a funny thing, they can be blind in one area and another seemingly similar area will look to the fish like your right on top of him. But you could be right, they might set up in lies which typically give them that early warning.

Posted on: 2011/12/15 16:37


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

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2006/9/13 10:18
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FWIW, Troutbert and I were fishing a NC stream, or should I say intecded to fish an NC stream on evening up in NC PA WB Big Run I think, We were coming down the last bit of the trail into the creek and off in the distance, over 100 feet away, we saw a brookie dart for cover. With no one else around it had to be us.
It goes to show how spooky they can be.

Posted on: 2011/12/16 16:36
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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I'd like to see the person that can consistently catch browns on the Le Tort by approaching from upstream. 1 your shadow will be on the water and that's a no no. 2 you want the trout looking into the sun, but with your body being Silhouetted against the sun, and trout will see that instantly, though they may not spook they WILL see you.
Know here the sun is all the time and it will be your friend.

Posted on: 2011/12/16 17:56
_________________
It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

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2007/7/2 19:40
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One thing people tend to forget is the fish can see you before you can see them.
Read up on the cone of vision of a fish-I forgot the technical words.
Whatever the refraction [?]bends the light so the fish can see you even if you are unable to see its position in the water.T he deeper the water the truer it is.
so we are usually kidding ourselves about staying out of the fishes cone of vision.They know we are there but as long as we aren't hovering over them we aren't a danger.
Sending out bad vibrations are a big danger signal as they pick them up with their lateral line.Amazing how sensitive they are but they can
key in on objects in dark and dirty water .

Posted on: 2011/12/17 10:32
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Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It
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From Monessen, PA
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I think pete's assertions are false. You can see fish when they can't see you, but you have to approach appropriately. The advantage that we have is that we know exactly (almost) what they are, yet they have no idea what we are. So in this regard, you can identify the fish as a fish before it can identify you as danger, even if you are within any part of its cone of vision. Generally, the cone points in a forward direction and, depending upon the trout's level of concentration, may be very focused in a forward direction. Not even trout have eyes in back of their head.

Posted on: 2011/12/19 15:51
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I don't like scrambled eggs, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked them, I'd eat them, and I just hate them. --Hank


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

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From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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They are somewhat false, yeah. But the cone of vision is larger than you'd think. With refraction, the trout's cone of vision opens up. But there is still a blind area close to the water where total reflection occurs. Snell's Law. n1*sin(theta1) = n2*sin(theta2). You can do the math if you want. n of air is 1, n of water is 1.33. But I don't know what the trout's cone of vision is, so I can't solve it.

I've always heard that the blind area, on a flat water surface, is approx 10 degrees to the surface of the water. No clue if that's accurate or not. But if you know that angle, then you can calculate how far away you need to be to stand upright and not be seen, or how low you have to stay based on distance.

Tan (angle) = your height/distance from fish

So, if 10 degrees were accurate, I'm 68" tall, so if I'm standing upright I'd need to be 386" (a little more than 30 feet) away from the fish in order for it not to be able to see me. If I crouch to 45", then I can get as close as 21 feet before it can see me. And of course, those heights are from the surface of the water. If you're wading, your shorter (good!). If you're up on a bank, then you're taller (bad). And don't forget about your rod.

That said, stuff at the edge of that cone of vision is going to appear tiny and insignificant to the trout, nomatter how close it actually is. As you get higher in it's cone of vision, you become magnified.

Stay low to the waters surface. Now you see why standing on a bridge is so scary to them!!!!!

Along the same lines, for us, a trout appears shallower and farther away than it actually is. That's why, if your sight fishing to fish and not to rings on the surface, you always start by casting closer than you think you should and work out to the proper distance.

Posted on: 2011/12/19 16:45


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

Joined:
2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
Posts: 906
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also, don't forget that the depth of the fish in the water affects the size of their above water cone. A fish close to the surface is peering thru a much smaller window into our realm than one holding on the bottom...


and Chaz, your blanket statements often make me chuckle. Pretty easy to approach a fish from up, down & all around and keep your shadow off the water, especially if you stay out of the stream. If I'm resting the water and see a rise downstream on the Letort, you can bet I'm gonna approach to within casting distance from upstream rather than back off, hustle to get below and then work back into a position from downstream. Chances are I've already been past that fish as I generally work the meadows upstream, and if that trout is comfortable enough to go back on the feed after I've been by, then he's probably comfortable with my presence there on the bank...granted I miss a lot of takes because it is a more difficult hookset from upstream, but just foolin' them on that water can be enough some days.

Thinking about this, I guess we should all be amazed that anybody even caught trouts back in the day when swinging a brace of wets was the name of the game...

Posted on: 2011/12/19 17:17


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

Joined:
2011/9/26 0:56
From around boiling springs
Posts: 181
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personally if fishing ever gets to the point im wearing a gilly suit and belly crawling to the stream there may be a fire sale on gear. is it awsome to catch some of those wary letort fish yea and its really rewarding . but so is bashing a fish over the head with a nymph for half an hour till it finally takes and breaks you off in the current. the only tactic i use at the letort is heavy sculpin drag bottom and repeat . is it the most effective no tactic ever devised no .do the guys doing the commando stalk catch more fish then i do probably. but for me that type of extremly technical fishing is not enjoyable . so i drag and scare and evently catch a few fish anyway .

Posted on: 2011/12/20 1:51


Re: Spooking Fish - Tactics/Techniques to Avoid It

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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The trouts cone of vision is roughly 60° + or -. So they can see you when you are too close, even though they may not know what you are their instinct tells them to hide. The deep they are in the water the more they can see. And they respond to colors, especially white, so don't wear a white tee shirt.

Posted on: 2011/12/21 17:23
_________________
It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.



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