This miay sound silly but.... - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 04-14-2007, 07:43 PM
Stu49 Stu49 is offline
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This miay sound silly but....

Hello All,
Well after having had a lesson in fly casting I can now land a fly on the water. Finally!!!
I am using a 6WT rod with a sinking tip line
Now for the question:
Having landed the fly on the water and it was taken by a very good fish how the hell do you play the fish? Since the reel i have only has a clicker drag I guess thats out so is it a case of just hanging on until the fish is tired?
this fish took me down to the backing 4 times on my first outing!
what is the stratedgy for fighting/playing fish? It seems so different to lure fishing.

Any advice welcomed


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Old 04-16-2007, 10:02 AM
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jero jero is offline
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Iīm no expert and only a few times in my life Iīve had to play big trout, but from what Iīve read and heard the recommendation is:

-donīt check the first run, let it rip all the line it wants, or you risk getting the tippet broken
-after that, if you donīt have a good drag, use your index and middle finger of your right hand and press the line against the rod and use it as a drag (donīt press to hard!)
-try and get downstream of the trout, itīs easier to reel it in and you avoid fighting both the trout and the current
-use a landing net
-use your reel bring it in, not your left hand ripping line (this Iīm not sure what the reason is for this)
-if it jumps, point youīre rod tip down to give it some slack and avoid breaking the tippet.
-if your doing C. and R, avoid exhausting the trout īcause itīll probably die after release.
-if your keeping it, when the fish starts swimming on its side it means itīs tired out and you can safely bring it in.
- keep the line taut but donīt over do it.

well, hope it helps at least a little...
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:05 AM
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Eric Eric is offline
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Jero's recommendations are excellent.

Couple more things:

As Jero points out, you always want to play a large fish off the reel. This avoids having loose line lying around on the ground to tangle or to step on. It's a good habit to get into to put fish on the reel as soon as you can; when you start going after larger and more violent quarry, this habit comes in handy.

Sometimes you'll have to pinch the line between your fingers while you reel in slack in order to keep tension on the line between you and the fish. This is awkward, even for anglers with lots of big fish experience, but you're faced with this situation more often than not when trying to get the fish on the reel. Keep the rod tip up, and let the line slip out of your fingers under light tension if the fish begins to run.

When casting or prospecting for trout, try to spot those places along the bank most suitable for landing a good fish. Look for back eddies, beaches, clear areas without overhanding brush. When you hook said good fish, head for one of these landing places you've pre-marked.

Palm your reel, if your reel has a palm-able rim, or else press your reeling-hand fingers against the side plate of your reel as the fish is running. This will impart enough drag to prevent backlash on reels without a drag system, Watch out that the spinning handle doesn't bash into your fingers.

So much of playing a fish depends on the weight of your tackle, tippet breaking strength, the size of the stream and velocity of the current, the presence or absence of snags and obtructions, your mental state (Oh My Gawd I've Hooked The Fish of a Lifetime), your experiece in similar circumstances, etc. Strategies for landing fish in a current are really no different for the fly angler than for the spin caster, it's just that you've got to use more finesse and dexterity in maintaining tension on the fish (i.e., taking the slack out of the line, working a non-geared reel).

A good trout will often make two strong runs. He'll take a lot of line initially, and then take off again after you've brought him mostly in. Be prepared for this second run; a lot of good fish are lost at this point.

When the fish jumps, don't hold him too tight. With Steelhead, salmon, tarpon and others of that ilk, the word is to "bow to the fish" in order to release tension on the line.

When the fish starts to "show color", that is, when he starts flashing his sides, he's more than ready to land. Be firm and bring him in as quickly as your takcle will allow. If he sticks a pectoral fin ridgidly above the surface, he's really corked.

Especially, if you're planning on releasing the fish, try to get the fish in as quickly as your tackle will permit. As Jero pointed out, playing the fish over long often results in a dead fish. At any rate, make sure you revive the fish completely before releasing it. The fish should bolt strongly out of your hands if it has really recovered.

As you gain control over the fish, try to work it into the calmest water you can, preferrable near one of your preselected landing spots. Be patient, but be firm; and don't make any sudden, jerking movements.

Again, if planning to release the fish, do NOT remove it from the water. Gently work the hook out subsurface and move the fish back and forth head-on into the current until it bolts from your hand.

There are a lot of other more subtle techniques in playing fish, but these are the 101 basics. See Lee Wulff's _The Atlantic Salmon_ for more advanced advice.

Hope this helps and welcome to the Forum,


Last edited by Eric; 04-17-2007 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 04-20-2007, 07:56 AM
Stu49 Stu49 is offline
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Thanks for the advice,
Certainly some value there for me
By a palmable reel i take it that is the one where the outside edge of the spool is proud of the frame. So the technique is similar to using your thumb to brake a baitcasting reel when casting.

Lost the fish when the tippet knot pulled (that'll teach me dodgy looking knots are NOT gonna be ok)

Thanks again and tight lines

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Old 04-20-2007, 08:44 AM
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jero jero is offline
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in case youīre not sure about the knots for fly flishing, the general recommendation for tippet to leader is the double surgeons knot, and from tippet to fly the improved clinch knot. Plenty of drawings and instructions on the internet.

My local fly fishing shop dealer recommended me, for making the leader last longer, to tie a perfection knot (loop knot) at the end of it, then attach the tippet also with a perfection knot. Then, as you work your way up the tippet (due to lost flies or swichting them) you donīt eat up your leader. Once the tippet gets too short, you cut another piece and loop-connect to the leader once again.

Personally, when I snag with this system I alwasy break the tippet at the loop connection, while with the surgeons knot never. Makes me think the surgeon knot is better. In regards to the clinch knot, whenever I snag and break the tippet, the times I can recover my flies have always showed a neat clinch knot still tied to the fly, and the "break" a few inches up the tippet from the fly.

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Old 04-20-2007, 09:51 AM
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juro juro is offline
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To add...

The double surgeons is one of the strongest fishing knots. The clinch is a weak knot but good for beginners because it's easy.

With fine tippets I prefer the palomar and with the same day, same fly, same tippet I broke fish on a clinch that I landed with the palomar.

With larger tippets, like 10#-20# (saltwater etc) a blood knot is a good choice to join to leader because it is straight in-line.

At the fly, and with larger tippets the non-slip loop is a great choice as well but is not as strong or durable as a palomar because it uses only one strand thru the eye for one thing where the palomar uses two.

The only loop I like to use is the one joining the butt to the fly line but we all have preferences.
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