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Jjlyon01July 19th, 2008, 6:53 pm
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
After watching the classic "A River Runs Through It" for the billionth time I began to wonder to myself "would this actually work?" Now I have tried it for for bass down in Texas and it seems to work although they will take just about any fly as soon as it hits the water anyway, but the real question is does any man have the skill to rise a put-down fish by "creating" a hatch?
"I now walk into the wild"
Jjlyon01July 19th, 2008, 6:54 pm
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
By the way 13 days until my return to the north-east and 20 days until my St. Regis trip. (I just need trout!!!)
"I now walk into the wild"
SmallstreamJuly 20th, 2008, 8:16 am
State College, PA

Posts: 103
I always wondered that too, maybe if the person fished like 10 fly tandem or something haha. Whats the most flies you guys have ever fished at once?
CaseyPJuly 20th, 2008, 8:29 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
lots of times it seems like the fish finally gets around to paying attention after i cast 20 times, and someone told me of an uncle a couple generations back who would fish one fly until a fish bit it. yesterday a fellow said of course, you'd eventually succeed, but only if you don't spook the fish while you're at it. makes sense, doesn't it!

the "most" flies fished at once? three, either tandem (tri-dem?), each tied to the bend of the fly in front, or with each fly on its own tippet end. the last method requires you to tie a couple more pieces of tippet to the end of the leader to make enough ends to tie flies on. so far, they are three different flies to appeal to different appetites, but you're giving me ideas...

N.B.: states have their own ideas how many flies at once is legal. my classic rig of three lovely Yorkshire wets on their clever three-ended tippet was not allowed by Montana law, for instance.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
MartinlfJuly 20th, 2008, 9:20 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3125
Casey, on your three-ended tippet, about how far apart is each fly? Do you set your leader up with tags, as Joe Humphreys suggests in his books, or use some other configuration?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZOJuly 20th, 2008, 11:41 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
The notion of "creating a hatch" was introduced (in print) by George LaBranche in 1914 (The Dry Fly and Fast Water). The method was sometimes mocked by angling writers across the pond as an example of the unsophisticated techniques and unsophisticated trout found in America. LaBranche, however, was anything but an unsophisticated fly fisher. He was one of the finest fly casters of his time (or of any time), and his section on reading the water in the same book is still one of the finest ever written (my opinion).

Despite the "unsophisticated" accusation, variations of this technique can be used to entice trout even in extremely pressured situations. It helps if the trout is visible so that its reactions can be used as a way of gauging the effectiveness of the presentations. Trout will wiggle their fins or bodies in an increasingly excited manner when the method appeals to them. It also helps to present the fly near, but not over the fish until its excitement seems about to peak. The method can work in "blind-fishing" situations, but it is always hard to know if one is just wasting time or even putting fish down when the fish can't be seen.

Jjlyon01July 20th, 2008, 12:49 pm
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
The most I've rigged up was 3. They were all weighted nymphs fishing for steelhead in the Salmon River. I was told to use this to appeal to more appetites, but I feel like many use this as a way of snagging th fish when they are in the stream and only taking flies sporadically.

I am thinking about putting a loop at the end of a leader and tying multiple tippets of the same lengths and using the same flies during a rusty spinner fall on the Battenkill. I wonder if I'd be able to pull in three Browns at once? haha
"I now walk into the wild"
CaseyPJuly 20th, 2008, 2:27 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
Martin, the flies are on tags, a la Joe Humphreys, which result when you tie on a new length of tippet, and only trim one tag. you have to adjust the knot to allow the two tag ends to be about 18 inches apart at the least when they both hang down from the know, and each long enough to tie a fly on. then you add one more length of tippet to make a total of three tags, or ends to tie flies on.

the guide in Yorkshire who taught me to do this set me up with an ungodly long rig. the flies were more than two feet apart, and the whole thing was easily 14 feet long. the long drifts typical of this technique were a form of self-defense: i really didn't want to take that thing out of the water and attempt to cast it upstream and across again. well, of course i did, with more success than you might expect, which once again proved to me that there is a God and He lives next to rivers.

Jamie, don't make the tippet lengths all the same--they will tangle. stagger them a bit. perhaps some physics major will tell us why if the tippets are different lengths they don't tangle nearly as much.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
GONZOJuly 20th, 2008, 2:41 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Jamie, I agree that multiple fly rigs are sometimes just another of the many creative ways that "anglers" use to snag fish on the Salmon River. However, I believe that multiple flies are illegal in the special reg. sections of that river. (At least, that's the way I read the regulation.)

PS--I just checked, and the use of more than one hook (except in the case of floating "lures") would seem to be illegal throughout the Salmon River. (But then, so is snagging, and that still doesn't deter some from doing it deliberately.)
TrtklrJuly 21st, 2008, 8:35 am

Posts: 115
I don't see how you can 'create' a hatch when hatches originate from under the surface. A trout seeing many mayflies on top but none coming to the surface I believe would be skeptical. I have fished dry flies in late november here in michigan and they work. So the idea of creating a hatch, I don't know. If you find yourself on the au sauble or a branch thereof you arent going to create the excitement of a real hatch.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
GONZOJuly 21st, 2008, 10:29 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Scott, I understand what you are saying, but the expression "creating a hatch" is simply a traditional way of referring to the teasing technique described by LaBranche and shouldn't be taken too literally. In much the same way, the term "hatch" itself has a different meaning to fly fishers than the more literal definition would normally convey. In everyday non-fly-fishing parlance, "hatch" usually implies emergence from an egg rather than emergence from a nymph/pupa. Even the fly-fishing use of the word hatch has changed over time. In LaBranche's day, fly fishers often referred to a spinner fall as a "brush hatch." Heck, some people criticize our fly-fishing use of the terms "nymph" and "pupa." Because "shadow casting," "creating a hatch," and mutiple-fly casts are all blended into the discussion here, I probably should also add that LaBranche's technique involved a single dry fly. Whatever you choose to call it, the technique does work very well at times. :)
SofthackleJuly 21st, 2008, 7:22 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi all,
This is a great discussion, and fun, too. I don't know if what I have to say is relevant or not, but years ago, I taught a good friend from Mississippi how to fly fish for trout. We were stationed overseas, and we had access to a nice trout stream near us. My friend had never fished with a fly rod nor for trout so he was learning from scratch. I impressed upon him that patience and perseverance was the key to catching these fish. He took these words to heart and would repeatedly cast to fish he would spot. He was patient and persistent. His repeated casting must have, in some way, created the illusion of a "hatch" or insect activity, and more often than not, once he spotted a trout, he would end up catching it. We often forget that it can be, at times, about persistence and patience that wins the prize.


"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
FalsiflyJuly 22nd, 2008, 12:40 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
A lesson well taught and obviously well learned. Patience and perseverance is the key to a higher level of understanding and success that many overlook. Too often we become placated with the easy and the many, bypassing the difficult and the few. It reminds me of an experience on the Frying Pan many years ago. It was the first week of April, my last week of a seven week fishing trip that included New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The midge fishing was absolutely fantastic from day one. I was beginning to think that I had reached Nirvana. I could do nothing wrong, all I had to do was think of a midge hatch and the prolific emergence occurred in biblical proportion. This was always followed by a feeding frenzy in which I could have walked on water supported solely by trout. I was literally catching fish at my feet. The numbers and size of fish caught was absolutely phenomenal. It was at this point that I had my revelation. I began to concentrate on only those fish twenty-four inches and longer. It had been revealed to me through Pisces that with Patience and Perseverance I would indeed confront the fish of a life time. And so my journey began. Every riffle, every run, every pool, every bend, every rock, even every pebble never escaped my wandering eye in search of the elusive monster. Many times I was tempted to cast to the numerous offerings which I now knew were only offerings of sin. My legs became wary, my mind began to wander but Patience and Perseverance remained at my side and I was able to overcome temptation. It was at the last pool; my only hope of salvation that Gods offering revealed itself. The fish, an Oncorhynchus mykiss appeared as if out of nowhere. As it ascended in the gin clear water from a depth in which light could not penetrate, its length impressed upon my mind as X-rays to a photographic plate, I watched it slowly and so delicately sip a single midge, turn and disappear into the abyss. My mind, being in the state it was, left open the possibility of a hallucination. Considering the waters refractive element I estimated the fish to be at least twenty-six inches long. Patience tapped me on the shoulder and suggested that I wait and watch this miracle unfold, to which I did not argue. Once again out of nowhere the cycle repeated itself. It was then that I assessed the difficult task of my presentation. Long cast, light tippet, number twenty-six dry over a serpentine current only Satan himself could design. I figured I had about one foot of drift before my fly was swiftly snatched by Satan. The fishing began, Patience and Perseverance my cadence. Cast after cast after cast. Finely the fish appeared, approached my fly and refused. I figured I had at last put him down for good. But again he appeared approached and refused. This went on for an hour and then as if by magic the bell tolled. Once again the fish appeared out nowhere, approached my fly, opened his mouth, sipped it in, turned and disappeared. And I never saw him again.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Shawnny3July 22nd, 2008, 8:35 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Great story, Falsifly, especially the ending.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
TrtklrJuly 22nd, 2008, 2:57 pm

Posts: 115
I do apologize as I would consider myself still new in terms of fly fishing(funny though, if I were working a job I wouldn't). the definition that I've held in my mind is multiple flies coming from the water. I can understand how this might get manipulated. Last year in the spring I wade into my local water real slow, step slowly away from the bank enough so I can cast. I tie on one of my first personally tied royal coachmans. I usually work slowly in the water as my feeling is the fish will still be there, where they gonna go, I'm in their home. Anyways, I don't have much room for a backcast and there, close to the other bank, about 20ft away I see a little rise. There are a good number of chubs in this water and it's so close to the bank I figure that's what it is. I cast anyway because I'm so new and catching anything with my own handcrafted fly would be gratifying. Making sure that the fly hits nice and soft and before everything else comes down and far enough ahead of the fish and bam! chub. I cast again, chub. chub. then a small rainbow, chub,small rainbow,small brown, I'm just about to move on and pull my fly from the water when I see a decent size swirl right ahead of my fly I put it back just like I had before and finally a 16 1/2 brown! I left that area so satisfied, I felt like I had created the excitement, like I had created a hatch, but I knew that wasn't accurate.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
GONZOJuly 22nd, 2008, 7:31 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Geez, Scott, nothing to apologize about. Language is always subject to interpretation, and the damn internet certainly doesn't make that job any easier! :)

Your tale of fishing with your "first personally tied royal coachmans" took me right back to the first trout I ever caught on a dry fly. The similarities are uncanny: As a youngster and complete novice, I somehow managed to pluck three little parr-marked wild browns from under a bankside bush on Manada Creek. The fly? My own first personally tied Royal Coachman! (I still think it's one of the most elegant flies ever devised.)

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