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Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2009/4/24 16:40
From South Jersey
Posts: 537
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Yesterday I fished a SEPA class A stream in the rain. The water was up and pretty colored. It was raining off and on. I threw mostly black buggers and variations on them. I only landed one small brown, but seemed to miss a few short strikes. Hoping to reduce the nipping action I went smaller, but continued with the short strikes.

Any suggestion for better success?

As always I appreciate all comments from this valuable forum.

Posted on: 6/14 12:26
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Re: Short Strike Buggers

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2014/9/30 15:26
From Lehigh Gorge
Posts: 224
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It's a catch 22, but you can pinch off 1/2 the Marabou tail. It cuts down on action but improves hook up rates. It's important that you pinch it off with your fingers/nails. When using a scissors it makes the " cut" too abrupt.

Posted on: 6/14 12:31


Re: Short Strike Buggers

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2014/5/7 14:23
From Pittsburgh/Brookville
Posts: 189
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As Kelly Galloup would say, a REAL fish doesn't nip at the tail. Those are passive aggressive strikes and they are not striking it as a food source but more as a way of saying "get out of my space." You'd probably have much better luck fishing a dry-dropper when fish are short striking small streamers like this or at least dead drifting the bugger.

Posted on: 6/14 14:13


Re: Short Strike Buggers

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2013/2/16 0:51
From Northern VA
Posts: 705
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I agree with timbow. Some days the fish just aren't in the mood to commit to eating a streamer and nymphs will probably work better. In that particular stream that I suspect you are talking about, those fish see a fair number of streamers and metal spinners and are a little gun shy unless conditions are absolutely perfect.

Posted on: 6/14 14:23
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Re: Short Strike Buggers

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2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 1730
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I've chopped the tails short on some of my small micro-buggers (think like size 14), but that's just to make them easier for Brookies to eat. You do lose action in the fly to do that...Not that that matters much for Brookies.

How big of a Bugger were you using? If you think you're getting short strikes what's more likely happening IMO is the fish IS actually legitimately striking with intent to eat it, but not getting enough of the fly into its mouth. You go to set the hook and pull the fly out. As opposed to chopping the tail, I think a better strategy is simply to go to a smaller sized Bugger. For general (non-Brookie) Trout streamer fishing, I typically fish a 10 or 12. Maybe a 14 for Brookies or small stream Browns. I only fish anything bigger than a 10 when I know exactly where a big fish is present and I'm specifically targeting it.

Edit: Reread the OP. You did go smaller. How small is smaller in your case I guess?

Posted on: 6/14 14:45

Edited by Swattie87 on 2019/6/14 15:05:20


Re: Short Strike Buggers

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Reading, PA, via everywhere
Posts: 2458
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I get a lot of short strikes when fishing buggers, or streamers in general, down and hanging or swinging in the current. It's hanging in the water and they slap at it.

I do much better on hookup rate when casting up and stripping down, or stripping across current, or even kind of nymphing them with a lift strip or two mixed in.

I often fish streamers up and across at the bank, let settle into a run, and then strip it out of there before letting it get down below me into the current too far.

Posted on: 6/14 15:49


Re: Short Strike Buggers
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 3942
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Quote:

salmo wrote:
Yesterday I fished a SEPA class A stream in the rain. The water was up and pretty colored. It was raining off and on. I threw mostly black buggers and variations on them. I only landed one small brown, but seemed to miss a few short strikes. Hoping to reduce the nipping action I went smaller, but continued with the short strikes.

Any suggestion for better success?

As always I appreciate all comments from this valuable forum.


Short strikes fishing smallies are rare, but when I tie buggers for trout I tie my buggers short > not the tail, but the body.

Use an extra long streamer hook or tie the fly with the next size bigger hook with a longer shank.

Tie in the body short, covering only 1/2 to 2/3 of the hook shank and tie in your marabou right behind the body as usual.

The bugger will have the hook point protruding back in the marabou like a stinger hook which catches a lot more of the short strikers.

You can tie in a stinger hook instead, but tying a short body is the same as tying in a stinger without the extra tying steps and needing an extra hook.

I actually found some 7x long streamer hooks on closeout and use them to tie my trout wooly buggers, but a regular streamer hook a size larger will work fine.

Another idea to play around with; I have covered the bare shank behind the body with tinsel or flashbou giving the bugger a little peekaboo flash in the tail when the marabou moves up and down in the water. This works well too.

Posted on: 6/14 17:08


Re: Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2014/8/2 20:20
From Mechanicsburg
Posts: 527
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Lots of good info above. I have a similar issues when throwing short shank craft fur minnows for trout. The serious eaters will grab the fly by the head, where the hook is. The fish responding bc another fish intruded upon them, just roll and short strike. I now know that there's a fish there, and let them settle down while I take my time to rig up a nymph or dry-dropper setup.

Posted on: 6/14 18:03


Re: Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2015/6/27 21:05
From SEPA
Posts: 574
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I would second what pcray said above: I fish a streamer all kinds of ways until I figure out what will work that day. I also change colors not only sizes if change in size doesn't work. They may not be eating, but they may also be telling you something about your approach at that given moment, even if it is something you know works for you in many conditions. Depending on the creek, it may be crayfish not fish that has them excited in high water, so down and across is not the ticket, but tight-lining it or bouncing it downstream from usptream may work. I throw a downstream mend and use that tension to work a streamer downstream also.

You may hear streamer guys talk in terms of how many fished they moved, so a nip isn't all bad. That should also tell you that they don't all eat even if you do everything right!

Posted on: 6/14 18:25
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Re: Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 1112
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Interesting input from people. I generally fish nothing smaller than a 4xl hook shank size 6 bugger for trout and have tremendous success on them. I also almost always cast upstream and have an agressive strip back. Never seem to miss fish that strike it..

Posted on: 6/14 18:35


Re: Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2014/12/9 19:26
From Lancaster, PA
Posts: 73
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When I get short strikes or see follows, I tie on a squirmy worm 12 to 14 inches behind the bugger. It's interesting how many you see miss the bugger but hook up on the trailer. Sometimes I use a green weenie or a nymph, but the squirmy worm seems more effective.

Posted on: 6/14 20:50


Re: Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2010/8/31 3:12
Posts: 47
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Quote:

KGStine wrote:

When I get short strikes or see follows, I tie on a squirmy worm 12 to 14 inches behind the bugger. It's interesting how many you see miss the bugger but hook up on the trailer. Sometimes I use a green weenie or a nymph, but the squirmy worm seems more effective.


That sounds like a recipe for a lot of foul hooked fish.

Posted on: 6/15 7:31


Re: Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2006/9/9 8:53
From York
Posts: 177
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As the season wears on I find more non committals. Except during low light periods. Gets better in the fall then.

Posted on: 6/15 8:47


Re: Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2014/12/9 19:26
From Lancaster, PA
Posts: 73
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ColdBore,
Sorry I confused you! When I said hookups, I meant good solid strikes, not foul hooked fish.

Posted on: 6/15 22:18


Re: Short Strike Buggers

Joined:
2017/4/5 10:00
From Hermitage
Posts: 81
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I'm a small Bugger fan and usually use a 12 streamer hook. I have a lot of luck with brown Buggers and a darker brown tail. I'm thinking they look like crayfish and most of the time they smack it pretty hard.

Posted on: 6/16 7:33



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