So I finally got some free time from school and other obligations to spend alot of time on the water.

Turned out to be one of those days where you really have to tease the panfish up. All the fish were sluggish, kinda floating around near the surface of the water, from 10am til dusk. I was getting an occasional fish on a sparkle nymph, then decided to go to a small deer hair diver, fished VERY VERY slowly.

I suddenly had fish rolling on my fly constantly. Problem was, though, I could not for the life of me get a decent hookset. I do fish barbless, I checked all my points, sharp as hell, couldnt hook em. I tried setting as soon as I saw anything, I tried waiting for them to pressure me, I tried counting to 3, I tried everything. Could. Not. Get. A. Hook set.

Every single time I found an aggressive fish he'd roll on the fly but I just couldnt hook them. I changed fly sizes several times, getting down to a #16 dry, and it was always the same thing.

Now, there were more lethargic fish out there, and I'd see them come up, investigate, then just mouth the fly, and I'd hook them fine.

What the hell was I doing wrong! Lol, it was just extremely frustrating to see many large bass/panfish roll on the fly, only to escape. I normally catch and release, so its not like I went hungry from losing so many, but I do like to see what I've managed to atract from the depths.

Anyone got any tips for setting the hook when using popper/diver style flies?