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Old 05-05-2002, 04:34 PM
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River FF Variables - Trout and Salmon

Picked out of my book case an old book on andromous trout and salmon fishing, which I never thought much of except for one section of it which breaks down all of the variables that can impact river fishing for trout and salmon at any given time you are fly fishing. These apply to non andramous fish also for the most part.

I will give you a few hints, there are at least ten general variables and within the ten, there are at lest 55 other variables that can impact your fishing.

This should be a good technical fishing discussion for every one of river fishing variables etc to be aware of that can impact your fishing. Some are controllable and others are non controllable.

Had to do something to get us off that Jet Sled discussion at least for a while !

Hint # 1 - Water is one of the ten general variables. Within water there are at least 5 sub variables.

Look forward to the experts thoughts.

I will give the answers next weekend, actually the authors list could use a few more things.
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Old 05-07-2002, 09:35 AM
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Hint # 2: Fish Attitude (General subject)
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Old 05-07-2002, 09:59 AM
John Desjardins John Desjardins is offline
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I've been thinking about this one Hal, I just haven't had the time to type out an adequate list. Maybe tonight I'll get it done.
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Old 05-07-2002, 12:39 PM
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Water, by the hand of nature:
temperature
clarity (turbidity)
speed (current)
depth
oxygen level

Introduced by man:
acid rain
nutrient saturation (sewage)
parasitic epidemics (WD)
exotic species
exotic plant growth explosions
lead
nitrogen super-saturation
habitat conversion (dams, defoliation, etc)

...
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Old 05-07-2002, 12:59 PM
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Thats more for Water than the author of the book has. I could just give all the details and let every one comment but that would not be fun would it ?
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Old 05-07-2002, 07:44 PM
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Here they are

OK I give in here are the ten general variables the author proposed fill in the sub variables within each one. There are at least 55 sub variables within 1-10.

I added # 11 and # 12.

(Juro added more sub-variables for water, thanks I have enough to worry about on the river already ).

1. Water

2. Weather

3. Fish Attitude

4. Technique - (Line type, etc.)

5. Fly

6. Leader

7. Emotional state of Fish

8. Stage of Migration

9. Aquatic Insects

10. Current Flow

11. River Knowledge (added)

12. Legal restrictions (added)

Comment on all, or one as you like.

Be back on the weekend to this one.
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Old 05-07-2002, 10:53 PM
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Something tells me "genetics" have a place in there, maybe in fish attitude?.
More to follow, Holy Peat water still flowing from last night!
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Old 05-08-2002, 12:10 PM
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???

After reading about all the variables in fly fishing. I've decided to quit reading how it is to go fly fishing and just go out and do it. After reading about what to look for befuddled my mind. It doesn't take much reading to do that.

The only hints that I need are. Are they hitting and what are they hitting on. All that other stuff is way to deep for me. Jim
:eyecrazy:
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Old 05-08-2002, 03:14 PM
John Desjardins John Desjardins is offline
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Hal, that's a lot of variables. To find fish I tend to break it down into behavioral traits rather than the variables. I break it down in three basic ways the "Easy Chair", "Greasy Spoon" and the "Hormone Crazed Teen".

The "Easy Chair" approach is to find a spot where the fish is protected from predators, food is brought to them and little energy is expended to get the food. Sort of like sitting on a recliner watching a football game.

The "Greasy Spoon" is that spot where there is not a lot of food around and safety is debatable but hunger causes fish to eat. A lot like some greasy spoons just off interstate.

The "Hormone Crazed Teen" exhibits itself in several manners. Gluttonous feeding with little regard to where they are, sulking for no apparent reason, and doing almost anything possible to attract the attention of the opposite sex are prime examples of this trait.

From what I've seen those behaviors cover ~ 90% of trout fishing.
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Old 05-09-2002, 02:35 PM
John Desjardins John Desjardins is offline
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I'm working on this one a little bit at a time. Values of the variables I'd expect for the given behaviors are below.

For "Easy Chair" behavior I'd expect the time of year to be late spring into early summer. The fishing pressure is down because almost everyone is out chasing stripers (thats what it seems like in MA ). Water temps, levels and flows are at moderate levels. Hatches are ocurring at a reasonable rate throughout the day.

The "Greasy Spoon" occurs with less water flowing, in streams with fewer if any hatches ocurring. It can also occur when a lot of fish competing for a finite amount of food. Water temperature is higher, oxygen content is lower, and coolspots in the stream may be attracting trout.

The "Hormone Crazed Teen" is the toughest one to get a handle on the variables. That will be the next installment.
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Old 05-10-2002, 07:59 AM
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Yes lots of variables its no wonder we catch any fish at all after looking at these.

Maybe I should stick to golf ? The only major variable there is ME.

I should have time this weekend to complete the outline from the author and add a few more of mine.

Majority of variables are uncontrollable, but it is could to know what they are since you can sometimes adapt the where, when, and how you are fishing to possibly be more successful.

Yes it must be nice with all those MASS anglers chasing stripers and you have those nice trout streams to your self. Always wanted to FF the MASS rivers but could never get out of NYS and PA when I lived in Northern NY. Grew up there first 30 years of my life.

Hal
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Old 05-11-2002, 10:01 PM
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Here are the subject area variables and sub variables within each for fly fishing andramous great lakes steelhead and salmon:

1. Water

Temperature - increasing, decreasing, stable
Clarity - clear, clouded, dark

Tributary locations and impacts

Ground spring locations

2. Weather

Wind

Rain -down pour, sprinkling, steady

Clouds -Overcast, scattered

Snowing

Sunny

Barometric pressure

Air temperature direction

Sunlunar Indicators

Photo Period - length of daylight hours

3. Fish Attitude

Happy

Feeding

Stale

Personality of fish strain - steelhead types - Little Manistee strain, skamania, Kalkaska, etc.. salmon - kings, coho, kokonee, etc, brown and lake trout, etc

Wild or hatchery fish

4. Technique

Drift fishing

Shooting Head

Indicator fishing

Sink Tip

Floating

Spey Rod

Single Handed Rod

5. Fly

Size - many

Color - many combinations

Type - 1000s of types, dry wet, spey, nymph, streamer, egg, etc..

Weighted/Unweighted

6. Leader

Tippet - color, diameter, length

Knots - leader to fly, dropper flies, leader sections, leader to fly line, fly line splices etc..

Monofiliament

Fluor Carbon

7. Emotional State of Fish

Harassed

Spawning

Aggressive

Dormant

8. Stage of Migration

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Dropbacks, kelts, etc..

9. Aquatic Insects

Free drifting eggs

Free drifting nymphs

Hatching flies

10. Curent Flow

Fast Run

Slow Run

Confluence

Cluttered pool

Long slow pool

Under cut bank

Shallow run

Shallow pool

Deep Run

Deep Pool

Structure - log jams, sweepers, rock gardens, rapids, pocket water, etc...

Speed

Depth

Dam control impacts

Headwater/tributary impacts

11. River Knowledge

Angler knowledge of river, none, low, high, etc..

Availability of river information - none, some, a lot

12. Legal Regulations

Fly types - weighted/unweighted

Hooks - Barbs or barbless, hook gap size

Fishing hours

Fly fishing only or all methods etc..

13. Miscellaneous

Lake or ocean forage fish, insects, etc

Boat pressure - Drift boats, canoes, etc

Public and private land access points and issues

Well I think thats enough variables to challenge us and no wonder why every one has fishless days. Even the supposed experts will fail at times. Thats what makes this sport so interesting you never have it conqured there is always something to learn and a new challenge for you.

This information was taken from the following book which I added some more to it based on my 42 years of FF experience which has been primarily for river trout and salmon, although I have done some salt water, bass, musky, and pike.

"Fly Fishing for Salmon and Steelhead of the Great Lakes" Kenn Filkins, Wilderness Adventure Books, 1998, Page 9.

For the price of $ 20 in paperback this book would be a good addition to any one fishing the great lakes tributaries.

There are not many books about the great lakes fly fishing for salmon and steelhead. I can think of no more than 4-5.

Last edited by pmflyfisher; 05-12-2002 at 11:42 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2003, 03:25 PM
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Any body have any new variables to add to the list ?

I am preparing to update my steelhead trip control check list so that I can attempt to mange the controllable items on this complex list and have a contingency plan or two for the uncontrollable ones.

MJYP

I need your input on this. BTW, going to Eddie's Log Cabin bar for drinks and warmth is not a solution to any of these variables. I call that giving up.

PM Out
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Old 01-29-2003, 04:38 PM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Well, probably shouldn't be on the list but a very 'important'

variable (no kidding) is "your mood" when you left the house. Everything 'else' could be 'perfect,' but if your mind is elsewhere you probably won't hook fish.

I've had several trips over the years where, within a half hours fishing, I knew my mind was "long gone, and elsewhere." Short of a fish ripping the rod out of my hands (never happened) I was wasting my time. Zero Focus; reeled in and went home to Joan.
fae

After hitting the 'send key,' remembered something a golf instructor once told me. The ball is laying perfectly still on the ground (assume flat ground) and all you have to do is 'coordinate' 13 physical functions 'perfectly' to properly hit the ball down the fairway.

Last edited by fredaevans; 01-29-2003 at 04:42 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2003, 04:42 PM
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Thats right you have to be into the steelhead hunting mind set zone. How does one prepare them selves for that or is it just inbred in us ?

I think that is the case, it is the basic hunting instincts of man.

Do we have steelhead psychologist amongst us?

PM OUt
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