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> > Saucon Creek

Report at a Glance

General RegionBethlehem, PA
Specific LocationArtificial Lures - Trophy Trout Program
Time of Day7am - 9am
Fish Caught4 Big Bad Brownies
Conditions & HatchesCOLD and CLEAR (Water&Sky).

Details and Discussion

KeystonerNovember 1st, 2010, 4:53 pm
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Took 4 beautiful browns on a Quasimodo Flashback Pheasant Tail 16. Should have been 7, but three of them shook me. I've found it's a little harder to land a trout, or, more importantly set a hook when you're shivering uncontrolably! We're getting into the phase where sunrise no longer takes the sting off. Still a great morning, all in all. Fall fishing is 100% where it's at.
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
PaulRobertsNovember 2nd, 2010, 8:20 am
Colorado

Posts: 1401
Great! Trout is a year round game, where it's legal. Trout don't hibernate. Yeah, and dropping a few is part of the game.

Curious: Did they pop off right away, or on a short line?

Few things I'll do if this becomes too frequent:

-Look at your hooks: quality, wire, bend, shank length/eye orientation as some combos don't hold so well, doubly so when weighted. Two bad combos I've found are heavily front weighted (lead eyes)long shank round bends. When I first devised my UltHellgrammite pattern I used these and dropped fish after fish. I began bending the shank to close the line of pull and solved it. I eventually switched hooks altogether. Another was up-eye short shanks for egg flies -LOSER! I went to a longer shank and down eye and the problem disappeared. I use other styles too, but line of pull plays a major role in all. Another near LOSER has been light wire short points. They flex and open the gap and pop! Ooooooooo I hated that.

-I may go up in hook gap, which simply grabs more fish. There's a safety limit here too. For large flies I may limit gap to #6 or #4 bc larger gaps can impale small trout in the eye. A #2 gap is a danger to 14 inch trout.

-Keep the point sharp -it should stick instantly, not slide, on your thumbnail. I don't know anyone else who does this on a regular basis with trout flies. It REALLY helps. I use an Eze-Lap diamond sharpener for trout sized hooks -the one with the groove down the center. Works really well.
KeystonerNovember 3rd, 2010, 6:11 am
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Hey Paul, all the ones I missed where near immediate. Like I was not paying attention (too busy shivering), and caught the tale end of a strike, and therefore didn't set the hook at the appropriate time. Or, raised the rod to re-cast, and, SUPRISE, there's a fish on there! In both instances I scrambled to catch up, only to see it flash at me a couple times and then it was gone. This used to happen to me ALL THE TIME when I first started, and it used to drive me absolutley BONKERS!!! Especially when I'd been skunked for a week, and then got 3 or 4 misses. It took every ounce of my self-control not to snap the rod in half and throw it in the bushes (which I never did).

That said, I read about the "fingernail trick" in Lefty Kreh's "Presenting the Fly", and do it religously before I tie anything on.

I have actually just returned from the same stretch of water. This time I managed to land 7, with only 2 misses. Both of which where situations I described above. There are some really great fish there!! 2 of 'em were over 14in, and the little ones are so cool looking, I don't mind that there only 5 or 6in. Of course, I am pregidous towards Brownies. Thanks for the interest and the tips!!!
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
Shawnny3November 3rd, 2010, 2:06 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
In cold water, the fish are more sluggish and the takes more subtle. While the fights in cold water aren't as dramatic, it's still rewarding to sense a subtle take and set the hook on a nice fish. The best is when you aren't even sure afterward what about the drift made you set the hook, but you set it at just the right time anyway. I like to call this "voodoo."

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
PaulRobertsNovember 3rd, 2010, 8:53 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1401
I hear you Keystoner; I know that type of miss well. Detection is the main issue and precise control the only remedy. That's tougher when you're cold or just not at 100%. It helps to have exuberant fish, but we can't rely on that.

Another issue can be jaded fish. I've watched steelhead take yarn flies by the very tips of the fuzz, mouth barely open, like a kiss -then let it go after that VERY subtle taste. There's no hooking those, nor detecting such a delicate, nearly instantaneous, refusal.
KeystonerNovember 4th, 2010, 6:33 am
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Shawnny3- To the contary, these fish are fighting much harder than they have been in a while. Maybe the water isn't THAT cold yet. That said I have actually had fish set the hook on themselves. I guess they took it, tried to spit out but ended up hooking up. Next thing you know you're off to the races wondering what happened. Like all things, I'm sure "voodoo" plays a hand as well!!

Paul- Your last statement reminds me off a trout grabbing the tail of a bugger. Nearly rips the rod out of your hands, then bails, again leaving to wonder, what happened.

"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
WbranchNovember 4th, 2010, 7:15 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 1289
Shawnny wrote:

"In cold water, the fish are more sluggish and the takes more subtle. While the fights in cold water aren't as dramatic"

While this is true I don't think the water is Saucon Creek has gotten cold enough yet to make a difference in the fighting aspects of the trout. Just last week we had a couple of days in the high 60's and low 70's in the York area.

After prolonged periods of frost and day and night temperatures below 40 degrees is when I believe you will experience lethargy in the fighting abilities of trout and other salmonids.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty years.
PaulRobertsNovember 4th, 2010, 8:01 am
Colorado

Posts: 1401
The cold water lethargy is true, but interestingly not a complete picture. It seems they are stingy with energy stores, but may have it if sufficiently rested, and/or simply acclimated and experiencing a temperature rise. I've had trout leap clear in water temps down to 33F though! That's not common, but it has happened to me. Interestingly, yesterday I had it happen with two browns that took egg flies and made attempts at leaping clear. Water temp was 39 at 4pm under bright sun, the daily high. The low would have been no more than 35F. But, all fish yesterday tired quickly. That's pretty consistent in cold water. It was the reasoning I grabbed onto when contemplating why yesterdays trout on feeding stations in foot of water would not rise to a small dry; The surface is shut out of the equation. But I'm not writing it off and wished I'd experimented more. I've seen a major bluegill rise to winter midges on ponds shortly before ice-up -40F water! Easy food has a way of bending the "rules".

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