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refusal strikes..

Joined:
2/8 21:59
From chester/potter county
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this may be a stupid question but why do trout make refusal strikes? it seems like they use energy to rise up to the dry and then to not take it..i don't understand why..

Posted on: 7/13 13:22


Re: refusal strikes..

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
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That's a very good question. You figure they know something is up and instinctively sense that there is some inherent danger is whatever they now realize is not the food they were after (or displays some visible flaw like too heavy/visible of a tippet). In my limited experience, it seems that pressured fish in PA/OH are much more apt to refuse at the last second than the seldom-fished mountain browns, rainbows and cutthroats I fished in Utah. You would think the latter were a completely different species given the way they bomb flies compared to their eastern counterparts (who require a much more precise presentation much of the time to be fooled into a bite).

Posted on: 7/13 13:40


Re: refusal strikes..

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6/18 20:59
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It looks like food until they close the distance and then have a change of heart. Maybe they see you, the fly drags, the fly looks less like food up close, fly size or something else causes a change in their mind. It can drive you crazy at times.

Posted on: 7/13 15:09
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Re: refusal strikes..

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2/8 21:59
From chester/potter county
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oh thanks fellas makes sense..i kept getting them a couple days ago so i was a little frustrated to say the least lol

Posted on: 7/13 16:06


Re: refusal strikes..

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2006/11/20 10:08
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6 Gun has it about right. You can run into both situations in PA. Pressured trout will refuse flies, but where you find trout that are not fished for a lot, you might find fish that aren't so picky.

Posted on: 7/13 16:30


Re: refusal strikes..

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2006/9/13 18:28
From chester ct
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one word - microdrag.

Posted on: 7/13 21:41
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Re: refusal strikes..
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Part of the challenge of fishing over difficult trout.

If you watch feeding fish long enough you'll even see this with naturals sometimes too. Something doesn't appear right and fish swerves off right at the bug creating the appearance of a rise.

Posted on: 7/14 7:14


Re: refusal strikes..

Joined:
6/27 1:21
From NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 115
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If you have the right fly or one in the ballpark and a half descent presentation then it is likely a tippet problem...First, use a longer piece of the same tippet diameter you are using (as much as 24 inches) to reduce drag and if that doesnt work then go to a lighter tippet (as much as 24 inches) to avoid microdrag as lestrout pointed out. If you still get refused then it is safe to assume something about the fly is significantly wrong. I fished Tulpehocken creek for 5 years and those trout as anyone can tell you are heavily pressured... but they still take an elk hair caddis. The only stipulation was that it needed to be presented on 24 inches of 6x most of the time so that the fly could tip, turn, and cruise the surface with no drag.

Posted on: 7/14 8:13
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Re: refusal strikes..

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We can only speculate and theorize as to why but only the trout knows for sure and they aren't talking.

Faster, broken water the trout has less time to decide - it is more a reactionary strike - so provided the dry fly passes the basic search criteria, which is generally a natural drift, the trout will take the fly. Flies are far less important in these situations.

Slower, smooth water the trout has more time to decide - it is more of a selective strike - so in this instance the dry fly must not only pass the basic search criteria it must pass a secondary and maybe tertiary criteria, as well, and this criteria can be positive or negative. The taking or rejecting could be due to almost anything, including one that nobody touched on and in my view is probably the most important, signs of life or specific movements of the insect.

I have seen on many occasions when trout are rejecting real mayflies that are just sitting on the water but hammering those that are fluttering/drying their wings. Or hammering those that are skittering about on the surface. Or hammering those that are bouncing up and down depositing their eggs. Or even something as seemingly insignificant as the fly orientation on the water. So it is important you watch not only what the trout is taking but also what it is not taking and try and determine what you need to show the trout (or not show the trout).

Signs of life is a very important characteristic. Tying a perfectly realistic fly that looks like the real thing in every detail may not work if it does not provide the illusion of life and many times the solution is not blindly changing flies and reducing tippet "hoping" you will find the answer. Many times the answer is in front of you if you look for it.


Posted on: 7/14 8:28


Re: refusal strikes..

Joined:
2008/5/29 15:28
From Lititz/Huntingdon
Posts: 934
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Quote:

johnstevens5462 wrote:
We can only speculate and theorize as to why but only the trout knows for sure and they aren't talking.

Faster, broken water the trout has less time to decide - it is more a reactionary strike - so provided the dry fly passes the basic search criteria, which is generally a natural drift, the trout will take the fly. Flies are far less important in these situations.

Slower, smooth water the trout has more time to decide - it is more of a selective strike - so in this instance the dry fly must not only pass the basic search criteria it must pass a secondary and maybe tertiary criteria, as well, and this criteria can be positive or negative. The taking or rejecting could be due to almost anything, including one that nobody touched on and in my view is probably the most important, signs of life or specific movements of the insect.

I have seen on many occasions when trout are rejecting real mayflies that are just sitting on the water but hammering those that are fluttering/drying their wings. Or hammering those that are skittering about on the surface. Or hammering those that are bouncing up and down depositing their eggs. Or even something as seemingly insignificant as the fly orientation on the water. So it is important you watch not only what the trout is taking but also what it is not taking and try and determine what you need to show the trout (or not show the trout).

Signs of life is a very important characteristic. Tying a perfectly realistic fly that looks like the real thing in every detail may not work if it does not provide the illusion of life and many times the solution is not blindly changing flies and reducing tippet "hoping" you will find the answer. Many times the answer is in front of you if you look for it.



And this is why I never complain when my leader/tippet is twisted. it puts movement to that bug on the water as the tippet unwinds. I see folks working like crazy to get the twist out of their tippet. In some situations it is the deciding factor.

Posted on: 7/14 10:30
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Re: refusal strikes..

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6/18 20:59
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If you don't take the twist out of your leader and hook a decent fish.....snap.

If it's all twisted anyhow, it's likely fly too big for tippet being used.

Posted on: 7/14 14:36
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Re: refusal strikes..

Joined:
2008/5/29 15:28
From Lititz/Huntingdon
Posts: 934
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Quote:

krayfish2 wrote:
If you don't take the twist out of your leader and hook a decent fish.....snap.

If it's all twisted anyhow, it's likely fly too big for tippet being used.


30 plus years of fly'n and never have broken one off due to the tippet being twisted. Matter of fact sometimes I even pre twist the leader/tippet. Oh, and I have hooked and landed many a decent fish. But it's always good to read others experiences and opinions.

Posted on: 7/15 7:59
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Re: refusal strikes..

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7887
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A refusal happens for a couple of reasons, usually it has to do with the pattern you are using, the size and color isn't quite right. Trout aren't particularly smart, on Friday evening for instance I caught and landed a 20 inch brown twice within 3 casts, the fish was hungry but hadn't learned from the first fly. But often when fishing the small patterns they are much more picky about the pattern like tricos. Many people think there are tricos in sizes other then #24, there are not in PA.

Posted on: 7/15 8:26


Re: refusal strikes..

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13667
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Agree on most of the above. It's a "change of decision". i.e. fish went after it and when it got close, something didn't look right. And yeah, the refuse naturals at times too. Agree it's most commonly drag or (lack of) movement, but can be size, pattern, color, or who knows what. And agree that in fast or broken water it makes the fish decide more quickly, hence less refusals and more takes.

Just wanted to add one thing. In a hatch matching scenario, refusals are a sign that I've got the right idea. In multiple hatch scenarios, it's quite common that you put one thing over a fish, and nothing. Suddenly, you change, and he rises and refuses. Now you're onto something. You've figured out what he's looking for. You just have to figure out that last trigger.

It is drag sometimes, but honestly, movement seems more common to me. In the above scenario, my next move is usually to, first make sure the fly is real dry and floats well, then cast up and beyond the fish, then skitter the fly into his lane, and then stop and let it drift right in his window.

Posted on: 7/15 10:43


Re: refusal strikes..

Joined:
2007/7/2 19:40
Posts: 15210
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Quote:

huntfish wrote:
this may be a stupid question but why do trout make refusal strikes? it seems like they use energy to rise up to the dry and then to not take it..i don't understand why..

don't know how long you have been at the game but many times in the beginning there is a tendency to think trout are refusing your fly when it was something else they were rising for.

Posted on: 7/15 13:03
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