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Thread: Missing takes on a streamer?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    South-Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5

    Default Missing takes on a streamer?

    I had my introduction to warm water fishing this past week. We were on Grand Isle in Vermont on Lake Champlain for family vacation and I built my first rod on Monday - a nice little two weight - which I fished on and off between thunderstorms the rest of the week. Overall I had a great time catching innumerous yellow perch, rock bass and smallmouth. What they lacked in size they made up for in sheer numbers.

    Anyway, some of my fishing was on the surface with mayflies (incredible numbers of naturals by the way) and small panfish poppers, but most was subsurface with streamers. Most of the time I used clouser minnows and dark wooly buggers. As I fished the streamers I would strip them in short quick strips with about a one second pause between strips. I would note a take when I felt resistance during the strip, but often as the streamer would get close and visible I noticed that fish would take the fly during the "rest" between strips when the fly was sinking. However, since the line was slack at that point I couldn't feel anything and didn't notice a particular movement of the fly line. Many of the takes were very very quick with the fish spitting the fly almost immediately after taking it.

    Sooooooo....

    I'm left wondering if I possibly missed more fish than I actually caught. Has anyone else noticed this? If so, how do you compensate for it if at all? As a warm water (lake/pond) newbie I'm still learning. I've used streamers in moving water for years, but the movement of the water usually keeps me in contact with the fly at all times. I'm sure I'm missing something on still water.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Gracias.

    Ed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Conyers, Georgia USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Default

    Ed,

    I suspect that we all miss many more fish than we realize, especially when fishing subsurface. I fish a lot or warm water. When the conditions are right, I can often see the bass take the streamer. Just like you mentioned, when the fly stops forward movement and starts to slowly sink, they slide up to the fly and inhale it. Unfortunately, all to often they exhale it again just as quickly. It would take amazing reflexes to catch these fish as it's usually over before you've actually registered what happened. I use an un-weighted chartreuse over white pattern that I can see fairly well in the water. I can't count the number of times I've seen the fly simply disappear almost like a light that has been switched off. I can't see the fish, but I know that it's there and that it has inhaled the fly. I've trained myself to immediately strip strike when the fly suddenly disappears. The number of fish I catch has dramatically increased. If I were to hazard a guess, I'll bet we are unaware of at least 50% of the takes when we fish subsurface.

    Jim Smith

  3. #3

    Default

    I agree with Jim there. Just ain't nothing you can do about sometimes. Best bet is to move the fly with extremely slow and long strips. As slow as you can stand it without hanging up on the bottom. Slow and steady. You will either feel heaviness or pecking on the line and there they are, but you'll still miss a lot. Depending on how deep the place is you can even count to about 5-10 then as you retrieve it it will rise slowly as you pull it. Bass like to chase but gills love to hit it on the pause. Hope that helps.
    HOSS

  4. #4

    Default

    Sharpen your hook, shorten your pause, and sharpen your hook.
    Just another HappyHooker

    Catching and Releasing Fisher-folk for 40+years

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Shallotte, NC - USA
    Posts
    602

    Default

    Amen to the hook sharpening.

    Sometimes, in the course of trying to outwit the fisheys, those scoundrelly critters will come along and just "bump" your streamer ... kind of just testing your patience; and maybe extracting a little revenge for some of their friends that you've caught in the past.

  6. #6

    Default

    Tis true tis true. Well said sir.

  7. #7

    Default

    Has anybody mentioned sharpening the hook? Can't overemphasize having a sharp hook. Sharp.
    All men are equal before fish.

    -Herbert Hoover

    Spare Time for Fish

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    1,645

    Default

    Seems like I read somewhere to sharpen your hook - is that even for a new hook? Are they not as sharp as they could be right out of the package? Or just every now and then after you've been fishing?

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