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Old 06-18-2017, 07:59 PM
andyk andyk is offline
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 11
New Member Intro... and Maybe a Question or Two

Hi Everyone,

Been lurking the forum for a while and figured I'd say hello. I'm new to fly fishing (and fishing in general) within the last couple of months and previously spent most of my free time since a youngster in the Tucson pool halls and playing pool, so it's been nice to get outside and do some fishing! It's been a lot of fun so far... even managed to get a couple trout on an AZ stream. Also watched a lot of fish refuse my fly, follow it and turn around, and sometimes seem to splash at it. So far, it's been interesting just to watch the fish; I've spooked trout from 12 feet away and then hooked one five feet in front of me in low, clear water. Last time I went to one of my favorite new spots, two little ones were chasing each other in a circle right next to my feet like I wasn't even there!

Anyhow, I've been reading a couple books but still have a question or two. Do fish ever splash at a fly even if they don't want to take it? Or do I just need A LOT of practice setting a hook? Also, I've seen plenty of fish look at my fly and ignore it. Is there a way to entice them into biting? twitching the fly or something? If so, is it necessary to get really specific and learn how certain insects act on/in the water to better imitate them?

My dad and I are heading up to the White Mountains for a quick trip this coming weekend and we'll probably fish some of the more well known and accessible spots such as Silver Creek on Friday, and then we're going to come back through Greer I think and will maybe check out a spot or two over there. If we happen to get lucky and catch a couple, I'll share the results!

Looking forward to learning from the forum!

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Old 06-18-2017, 09:16 PM
MadDuo MadDuo is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Welome to the forum Andy.

I just recently joined, but have been a lurker for awhile on this site. I'm no expert so here is my .02 cents. I have seen trout splash near a dry. From what I have seen it looked like they were so close to the surface and the fly that whatever spooked them made the trout make the fastest escape possible. Usually when fishing dries, I see them come up towards the fly and take a look, then usually turn their nose and return to the depths which they came or they hit it. Sometimes the take is quick, other times its slow and you can watch the whole thing unfold. If you're fishing streams, all kinds of factors spook a fish. Fly selection, drift, tippet selection, leader length, upstream cast, downstream cast, weather, your position, and sometimes the Fish Gods just say, NOOOOO. It takes practice and just getting out there and wetting a fly and learning to read water. Some flies you can twitch or skate across the water, as long as the actual insect that you are imitating with a fly does that in nature. That being said sometimes it doesn't matter. Just triggering the trout aggressive behavior with a twitch or skate can work. I've experimented both ways and sometimes win and sometimes lose. Usually dry fly fishing is all about the drift. I have more success landing trout with a great drift. As far as setting a hook, I was taught "Sets are free" so if you think you have a fish striking the fly, set the fly. In the beginning you have lost nothing, maybe it messes with your drift or position, but if you did set and land a fish, then you have won. Either way, IMHO, you win. You land a fish or you learn about trout behavior and how strikes feel rather than how it feels when your ticking the bottom of the stream.

Have fun in the White Mtns. Great fishing at the lakes, river and streams. Silver Creek is awesome during the C&R season, I'm not a fan during the hot summer season and the crowds out there this time of year. Post some pics of the trip!
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:49 PM
PaysonLazerLiner PaysonLazerLiner is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 124
What you are describing is known as a refusal and books have been written in attempts to explain why a fish comes up to a fly and rejects it at the last moment. There's no way to really know what a creature with a brain the size of a small pea really thinks but your splashes and your close looks are both the same thing-refusals. Only difference is how close did the fish get before saying "no" to your offering. With the splashes the fish just got real close then rejected your bug at the last second. However, I do believe that occasionally the fish simply misses but I also don't believe that happens very often. Fish have a type of binocular vision. They see distances well, especially movement above them. That's why you can spook a fish from any direction, even behind if you're above them. That's why I almost always fish upstream and I'm always wading in the stream whenever possible. This creates a much lower profile that allows for a closer approach without spooking the fish. Getting closer to the fish without spooking it, allows for a shorter, more controllable cast, and increases your chances of fooling him. Fish also see up close very well and they see literally thousands of potential specs of food passing by everyday so your bug faces some pretty close scrutiny. So last second refusals are quite common. Some common reasons are simply size of your fly (going smaller often helps), how it floats (above the surface film, deeper in it, or even slightly below it like an emerger), it's just the wrong fly, possibly tippet size. Regarding tippets, I always use mono for my leaders but fluorocarbon for my tippets, even fishing dries. I usually fish 4X tippets on most of the rim streams with about 6-7ft leaders. This setup gives a little more tippet strength and the shorter leader will help you keep your bug out of the brush and onto the water (I can't remember catching any fish with my bug snapped of in a low hanging bush). Low clear water might require going to 5X but I always start with 4X and always fluoro tippets.
There's a lot of great experience and talent on this site and I'm sure you'll get other good suggestions but I hope this helps.
Tight lines.
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:36 AM
herefishy herefishy is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 373
You're real lucky to be able to see the fish - I have fished for 60 years and have never got the knack of seeing them, polarized lenses and all. Use that skill to get acquainted with the actions of your targets as you have started out doing and you will be ahead of the curve. You might try taking along a more experienced fisherman - maybe correspond with some of the folks on this board. There are folks who would be glad to interpret some of the things you are seeing. You're on the right track.
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:40 PM
andyk andyk is offline
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 11
Thank you all for the tips! I picked up some fluorocarbon tippet, though in 6x (I'll get some 4 or 5x too), and have been working on trying to approach areas quietly to fish upstream. Silver Creek was pretty neat, though it was very hot up there. We got skunked the first day and then my dad caught two the second day on a wooly bugger and I almost had one but it wiggled off. Unfortunately, we weren't coordinated enough yet to get any pics of his fish... but I did manage a fish and a photo at the East Verde River today... I'll try to post it later.

East Verde River was really nice... fished mostly at the third crossing area, but it like to explore the catch and release section more. I think I found it but it was a little isolated and it felt sketchy to get lost over there by myself, so bringing along an experienced fishing partner is definitely a good idea. The water also looked kind of thin up there, and I didn't see any fish, but I'm guessing it doesn't take too much water to house some trout...

Anyhow, thanks again for the advice... much appreciated!
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:00 PM
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almostlost almostlost is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 541
Welcome Andy, since your newer to the sport, this is a good website to check out. It has a lot of good tips on fish handling. (if you haven't already)
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:20 PM
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SAT SAT is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,557
That's some good advice posted above. And the ability to see fish has nothing to do with their presence or lack thereof. Spotting them is an acquired skill over time, and even then there many you will never spot. The unseen ones are usually the best ones. Learn to read the water and fish every spot that has a chance at holding a fish. Don't trust your eyes..
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