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First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
1/31 12:17
From Pennsylvania
Posts: 46
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This year was to be trying all new stuff for me. For me that was fishing streamers and wet/soft hackles.

Today was fishing wets, caught about 10 I missed 30. Maybe more. Honestly.... Idk if that Is normal to be missing that many??

Any advice? Was I doing a rookie mistake?
I had a heck of a time hooking up. They was hitting it good n hard some down right violent. Is there something I was doing wrong or is that typical wet fly misses?
I thought most fish hook themselves? And hooking fish was to be pretty simple with them.

Posted on: 4/22 22:22


Re: First time fishing wets help.

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2009/11/5 1:46
Posts: 228
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If you were fishing downstream on the swing, what you experienced was not unusual at all. Trout feed on insects in the drift by essentially sucking them in -- if you're ever tried to pick up a bug floating on the top of the water by putting you hand under it and closing the hand, you'll have noticed that the bug just squirts away. The same thing would happen to a trout if it just tried close its mouth around a fly. That "good n hard" hit you feel is the force of the trout sucking the on the fly. The fly may never have entered its mouth because you're holding it upstream with a tight line. (I've witnessed this close before.) And even it the fly did make it into its mouth, if you set the hook, you're pulling it out of its mouth. The problem is worse in faster water where the fish expects the current to help pull the fly into its maw.

There are several things you can do to get more hookups -- if you can remember to do them:

1) Don't point the rod tip at the fly. Hold it up at about a 45 degree angle. The line hanging down will give some when the fish takes.

2) Keep a loop of line in you hand and let it go as you instinctively set the hook. This help prevent pulling the fly away.

3) If you can remember, don't try to set the hook at all -- just let the line tighten -- after you've waited a second or so. There's a reason that beginning salmon fishers across the point are taught to say "God save the Queen" before doing anything when a salmon hits a swung fly.

4) If you're fishing mostly across stream, when you do lift the rod, do so in a downstream motion. You might be able to pull the fly into its mouth.

5) Learn to fish a wet upstream. The fact that you're pulling the fly into the fish rather than away from it is one of the main arguments in favor of fishing wets upstream. (The others are that it's easier to get a dead drift, and you're fishing from behind the trout, so it's easier to get closer. Those arguments are sometimes true, but it's always easier to hook a fish that's upstream of you.)

You're always going to miss some of the time when fishing on the swing. It's the nature of the beast. For what it's worth, I fish wets 85% of the time, and have for years, but still have days like you did, batting .300 or so. I've had one day in the last month where I missed the first 8 takes before hooking a fish. I forced myself to stop being lazy and remember the things I just wrote about and ended up with a 20+ trout day.

It's a learned skill.

Posted on: 4/22 23:12
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Bob


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
2015/6/27 21:05
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redietz covered just about everything there! The hook up ratio is not great, but that jolt is worth it. Try swinging your hookset to the side too. Don't lift up, just sweep... gently.

Posted on: 4/23 7:59
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Re: First time fishing wets help.
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Agree - good advice from redietz. ^

One small additional point (pun intended): check you hooks to make sure they are sharp. I think barbless hooks stick and hold better in the smaller sizes associated with wet flies. This is probably not the reason you're missing fish, but always worth a double check on days such as you experienced.

Posted on: 4/23 8:07


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
1/31 12:17
From Pennsylvania
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Thanks so much for the great advice!

I was keeping a low rod tip and most times pointed at the fly. nearly

I never strip set any, should have tried that. I just lifted on the strike.

I assume fishing upstream you made lots of mends then threw a downstream mendyo get them swinging?

Or do you fish them Dead like a nymph?

Yesterday I fished a breadcrust and off that was a guides choice hares ear. Any patterns you could recommend for me?

Posted on: 4/23 10:57


Re: First time fishing wets help.

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Posts: 228
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Quote:

Redfin wrote:

Or do you fish them Dead like a nymph?


Yes, just that, except you're fishing just under the surface instead of near bottom.

Check out this video:

Wet fly fishing in rivers

The whole video is worth watching, but the section on upstream fishing starts at about the 12 minute mark.

Or you can just fish it like a dry fly that you can't see. The trick is telling when a fish takes, but it can be done.

Quote:

Yesterday I fished a breadcrust and off that was a guides choice hares ear. Any patterns you could recommend for me?


The list of flies would depend on where and when you're fishing.

If there is one fly that seems to work for me year round, it's the Partridge and Orange. It may not be the best fly for any given day, but it always seems to take a few fish. The same goes for a pheasant tail soft hackle.

If there are caddis hatching, a partridge and green, partridge and yellow when the sulfurs are on.

Dark Hendrickson and Light Cahill wets are both good at certain times of the year. (The former in March/April and the latter, tied small, after the sulfurs start.)

A lot of people swear by starling and herl, although it's a fly I don't fish (but I do fish similar ones.)

Wet flies are a very versatile way to fish, and worth spending some time experimenting with. Enjoy the experimenting!




Posted on: 4/23 12:03
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Bob


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
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Thanks so much.
And for taking the time to post that video for me.

Posted on: 4/23 12:08


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
2016/1/14 13:03
From Blair County
Posts: 57
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Redietz,

#1 on your list of tips above help me out a lot today! I just wanted to say thanks. I kept that in mind as I was fishing and definitely increased my hookup ratio.

Posted on: 4/23 21:27


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
2014/8/2 20:20
From Mechanicsburg
Posts: 428
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If fishing downstream, I find that sweeping the rod with the tip low horizontally and downstream of the fish helps with hookups.

Posted on: 4/23 21:52


Re: First time fishing wets help.

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Glad to hear it.

For me, it's something I have to consciously think about, even after years of fishing wets. If I let my attention slip, the rod tip finds its way down and I start missing fish.

Posted on: 4/23 21:52
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Bob


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 169
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Welcome to wetfly fishing!

Posted on: 4/24 22:57


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 169
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Some good all round wets are
GRHE,tyed in the round,or with a slate wing.
Wooly worm
Stewart's spider,and glassy spiders(a variation with fun hackle and peacock herl.)
Leading coachman,coachman,royal coachman.

A fun thing with PTSH's is to leave a tail on for mayflies,and rip it off for caddis .

You could probably fish the rest of your life with just soft hackles and wooly worms


Posted on: 4/24 23:05


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
1/31 12:17
From Pennsylvania
Posts: 46
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Appreciate all the help.

Most of the fish I caught was small. I did roll one that was decent. Going out today again n give it another go.

Posted on: 4/25 12:13


Re: First time fishing wets help.

Joined:
2013/10/22 3:43
Posts: 14
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I've also just started fishing some soft hackles. Been using 2 fly tandems. My question is should I be using splitshot when fishing them?

Posted on: 4/26 8:10


Re: First time fishing wets help.
Moderator
Joined:
2016/1/24 14:30
From Gettysburg
Posts: 1927
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Quote:

Keith wrote:
I've also just started fishing some soft hackles. Been using 2 fly tandems. My question is should I be using splitshot when fishing them?


I often do, especially if I don't see fish actively feeding near the surface.

Posted on: 4/26 8:22



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