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  #11  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:10 AM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim Casada View Post
However, there will be times when a trout just follows, almost takes, or comes and goes only to come again. Holding back in such situations comes with experience.
Jim, I've noticed that there seem to be certain times of year when the fish don't slam flies as much as usual. They sip them very purposefully, and this is the time that the ability to hold back on the hook set is really crucial. In the spring when the "big" hatches are on, fish (other than the multitude of dinks) will rise leisurely to the buffet above. Same thing happens in the fall, especially when the olives are on the water. Low clear water seems to be a recipe for the much better inspection on a rise you described so well above. The key in those situations is to wait until the fish has taken the fly and started to turn its head before setting. If you set too fast it will pull the fly straight out of the fishes mouth...
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2010, 10:01 AM
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Post My Method of Setting The Hook!

To clarify; most of my fishing experience is in tail-waters and not freestone streams. I need to get up to some of the smaller streams more often. The method I described in my previous post works for me because I like to agitate or give my dry fly a simple action if the fish are picking at them. Also, when I midge fish with small midges; I find it useful that a 6-16" pull of line with my left hand sets the hook without pulling it out by a combination of line/rod pull. However; you must manage your line slack. I don't mend my line; I just set up my cast so that I do not have drop in to and cross currents.

To reiterate my style:
1. I keep my line fairly taunt in the drift.
2. Also, I point the rod tip towards the fly and follow the fly with my rod tip. - I find this extremely important!
3. My left arm is extended completely and is past my right hand on the rod. Grabbing the line as far forward as the allowable before getting to the first eye-lit. I usually have some slack line in the water behind this that I let out to extend my drift in some cases.
4. Once the fish hit; I pull straight back on my left hand to set the hook. (usually at about a 45Deg angle initially and then bring higher once the fish gets closer)
5. Then, I raise my rod accordingly to maintain tension. I do not muscle the fish with my rod; I just let it work the line; my rod use is usually only as a tension maintainer in the retrieve; I bring it up and down as it were a drag control. (This method would most likely be different for me if I were fishing for salmon or larger fish).

*It works great for me and it feel natural!
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2010, 10:26 AM
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This is all good advice! thanks a ton guys now i need to get out there and try it!
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:13 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Shawn--I suspected your method might be one focused on tailwaters, and it makes perfectly good sense in such settings. There's also another advantage, although I don't know whether you have thought of it or not. Your method makes a "paritng of the ways" (popping off a fly in a fish) much less likely than an abrupt lift of the rod tip. The latter type of set is fine if done with the right amount of force, but it is all too easy to set the hook too hard (that's the voice of sad experience and many a departed fish, fly in its mouth, speaking).
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim Casada View Post
Shawn--I suspected your method might be one focused on tailwaters, and it makes perfectly good sense in such settings. There's also another advantage, although I don't know whether you have thought of it or not. Your method makes a "paritng of the ways" (popping off a fly in a fish) much less likely than an abrupt lift of the rod tip. The latter type of set is fine if done with the right amount of force, but it is all too easy to set the hook too hard (that's the voice of sad experience and many a departed fish, fly in its mouth, speaking).
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
Jim, Like I mentioned; I am inexperienced with smaller streams - so, my method has developed around fishing tail-waters.

*The biggest advantage for me is to always have my rod action in reserve. Once you engage your rod; you essentially have spent both methods of setting the hook or utilizing drag. Many times I miss a fish and still get him on the same drift with my short tug method. Plus, a hard-set with the rod is trout-spooky at times.

**Another advantage is the line length involved with setting the hook. I like a short-controlled-tug; not a knee-jerk pull. Kind of like casting a fly in grass. You can pull it free easily if you use your rod; but, if you tug; it will usually get caught in the grass. May be that is not the correct description; but, that is how it feels to me. I like to keep my movements on the water simple and stealthy. I rarely false cast and I shoot cast most of the time. I find I have most control of my setup with good line management and reserving my rod for drag (after; I confirm a strike).
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