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DryflySeptember 5th, 2010, 3:26 pm
rochester mn

Posts: 133
I've heard that a sunken leader helps reduce its shadow and I've also heard that you should look for the fish's shadow because that is easier to spot than the fish itself. So fish casts a shadow but a sunken leader does not?
GONZOSeptember 5th, 2010, 3:38 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
To us, the sunken portion of a leader casts a more subtle shadow on the bottom in brightly backlit shallow water because its apparent size is not magnified by indentation of the water's surface. The converse argument is that a sunken leader creates a double image by reflecting in the mirrored underside of the surface. I suppose it depends on whether one is looking up or down, but I can't say it's something I worry about.
SlateDrake9September 5th, 2010, 4:49 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
I've never worried about leader shadow and don't know anyone who has.

As for using shadows to find the fish, I can probably count on one hand how many times that's worked for me. I look for parts of the fish, rather than the shadow. Most times in stoney stream beds I can't pick the shadow out of the rocks, but I can find a moving tail, opening mouth, red stripe on a rainbow, white edges of fins, etc.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
DryflySeptember 5th, 2010, 6:14 pm
rochester mn

Posts: 133
I don't worry about leader shadow much either. I just thought it was too conflicting ideas.

AfishinadoSeptember 9th, 2010, 6:17 am

Posts: 75
I never thought that much about leader shadow, but a few weeks ago, I was fishing a trico hatch on a PA Limestone stream. The sky was mixed clouds and sun and noticed when I cast to a riser when the sun was obscured by clouds, I would get a hit. Identical casts to the same rising fish, the only difference was no sun. Not just once in a while, nearly every riser I covered. Has anyone ever experienced this?
SofthackleSeptember 9th, 2010, 6:50 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi all,
My friend Roy Christie would argue that under certain circumstances the leader shadow/appearance does matter. This is why he began developing this reversed fly patterns to help sink the leader and make it less visible. Do an online search for Roy. He's working on a new web site that should prove interesting and informative.

"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:
OldredbarnSeptember 9th, 2010, 8:00 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Tom (Afishinado),

I think during Trico time it's a bit difficult to actually pin down what may be "putting-off" your fish. The water level is usually at the seasons low mark and it's hard to say really if it's the leader shadow or something else...If we were in a good scientific mood we would somehow try to control extraneous variables and it may be impossible here to prove anything to a level of certainty. Until we can teach trout to speak to us.

1) The sun may just be illuminating in HD, from the fishes viewpoint, you... "Hey! What is that out there swinging that 8.5 foot stick around in the air?" Light maybe skipping off something on your rod, vest, sun-glasses etc. Spooking them a bit.

2) Once the little guy rises to your fly and the sun is shining on it he may say to himself, "Damn! Not Hi-Viz wings again...I'm so over those...That's so last year...If I had a pair of sunglasses I'd take a peek out there...I bet it's Gonzo...Hey guys! Try a little twinkle organza or something!...That Borger guy was on to something there..." That's the trout talking there not Spence, we all know he's still using wrapped hackle spent wings when he's not tossing his "secret" Datus Proper spinner...:)

3) "Bright lights, big city...Gone to my baby's head..." Any Jimmy Reed fans out there? Maybe the bright light is revealing your over-sized knot, the shine from your leader (not necessarily the shadow), or making it just a tad harder for the fish to see...Gray/dull background without glare may be better than a bright light in your face...Do you guys have "clay marl" patches in your rivers over there in PA? Rusty Gates use to tell me that his father would reach down and pinch a piece when he spotted one and rub it along the leader near the fly...Dull down its sheen.

I'm making jest here, but on the serious side I'm just saying it would be hard to say for certain that the shadow from the leader was the culprit and not something else...Maybe the bright light is just making them a bit more cautious.

I have heard anglers, as they were standing in the river trying to wish a hatch in to being, say, "When the clouds cover the sun the caddis will pick up"...I think what I'm saying or hinting at is we are observer's and our obsevations are limited by our sense's which are hopelessly flawed...When we are unable to put two & two together in to something that works in our heads...we just fill-in-the-blanks...If this delusion happens by accident to replicate itself we carve it in stone, very heavy stone and dangle it around our necks weighting ourselves down with what amounts to superstition and old-fart fishing lore.

Wow! What the hell was that?!

It's Spencer's "personal little box theory" creeping in to a fishing blog. The behavioral science boys call it "affirmation bias"...Image, for a brief moment, you are carrying a little box and in it are all your fantasies about how the world works...Everytime you bump in to something that sets well with your box of fantasies you cram it in to your box...If it doesn't you will probably ignore it...

The little fishy is doing something similar, in a very repetitious way, but if he screws up he will find himself in a lightly buttered pan with some seasonings...You and I, on the other hand, can walk around believing whatever wacky theory we can come up with and for the most part survive, and if we are lucky, not hurt anyone else with it...Bore them to tears with it, no doubt, but probably not hurt them...

Example: 1) Guy's bowling with some friends and he's had a few beers...
He tosses the ball down the ally and with a slight movement of the hip gets a strike...Next time up he's bound to move the hip...Harmless superstitious behavior...2) Guy wakes up one morning and thinks it's a good idea to torch a few Korans...Not so harmless and probably time to remove a few of those fantasies from your box!

Maybe we/Spence especially :) are over thinking this trout/angler equation and Spence is just reaching out just a little bit too far to make a point/joke!

Good luck out there!


"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
SlateDrake9September 9th, 2010, 10:42 am
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
Do you think the smoke produced from torching some korans would act similar to clouds and get the trout to take tricos better?

Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
OldredbarnSeptember 9th, 2010, 11:38 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Now B.J. that's trying to find a silver lining in every cloud, eh!? :) You must be a glass-half-full kind of guy...I call that wishful thinking and you would be better served to walk out in to the backyard this evening and practise your casting...:)

My delusional experiences with salmonids has revealed to me that they can be somewhat touchy when something as small as a Trico imitation is presented to them in a so-so manner. On the other hand, even I have been lucky enough to hook the occassional trout...Even while sipping my favorite Molson's...So who knows...

BTW, are there any trout in Florida?

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
SlateDrake9September 9th, 2010, 12:32 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
I guess I'll just have to try it next summer and see. I'll throw in some other books considered holy by other cultures (different versions of the bible, vedas, torah, satanic bible, Trout Bum and a check book should cover it) so I don't offend everyone or offend everyone the same.

As for Trico fishing, that is an interesting thing. It has to be more than the size of the mayfly though. I've fished over BWO hatches with smaller insects numerous times, skinny water too, and the trout just gulp them down like they've never seen an artificial fly before. My BWO patterns can't be that good.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
MT319September 9th, 2010, 3:38 pm

Posts: 24
Speaking of Quran (ie; "Koran") burning I really hope that fucking jackass loon does not follow through with father is a carpenter who works at the world trade center site constructing the new buildings and the last thing anyone needs is some delusional nutbag like that potentially inciting anymore religious violence (or as they call it "martyrism") over nonsense like that in some bullshit publicity stunt
MartinlfSeptember 9th, 2010, 5:08 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3125
Looks like the world dodged that bullet, at least for the time being. I know none of this is trout related, but check out this link.

As a former Tennessean I'm so proud to see someone from my home state showing a wise and truly Christian response to all the hate being generated.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TaxonSeptember 10th, 2010, 12:44 am
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1323

Nice indeed. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
AdirmanSeptember 10th, 2010, 3:08 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 493

According to the news last night, looks like he won't. good thing.
I'm of the opinion that they(i.e., the muslim terrorists), seem to be able to do whatever they want w/o international codemnation whereas an act on our side(American, christian, etc.)is immediately criticized to the nth degree. I do believe that was what the pastor was talking about that motivated him to schedule the burning in the first place but, I agree w/ you, 2 wrongs certainly don't make a right so I'm glad as well that he's not goin through w/ it.
MT319September 10th, 2010, 6:19 am

Posts: 24
Yea dude I’m pissed about it cause my father works on the WTC site…however it’s not a large scale globally orchestrated retaliation I worry about or a response from terrorist groups themselves (as if they had the current capacity and resources they would attack us or anyone else for that matter merely if it aligned with their agenda/interests regardless of the rationalization for it), what I speak of is the random nut case here or there across the country that just acts out on their own similar to the car bombing incident at time square, the DC sniper situation, etc.. as those are the real concern as they are a much more feasible response, much easier to carry out, and there is very little that can be done to preemptively prevent something like that from occurring in comparison to some larger scale terrorist organized event. Furthermore, no offense to anyone that’s very religious on the site, but if we’re speaking within the realm of reality..then reality simply dictates that nobody has the current capacity to prove or disprove the existence of god regardless of what they want to believe...accordingly this means since nobody has the capacity to disprove the existence of god it affords everyone else the ability to believe whatever they want to believe and those beliefs are not even necessarily invalid (since again nobody has the capacity to disprove the existence of god)…on that same token however since nobody has the capacity to prove the existence of god it also prevents those same beliefs from being interpreted as “objective fact” since they are not objective fact and cannot be validated as such (making them little more than, at best, specious subjective opinion..particularly when also coupled with the fact the vast majority of traditional religions were created before people even knew what the hell an atom was, why the sun moves laterally across the sky everyday, etc..)…that being said long story short people can personally believe whatever they want to believe as long as those beliefs remain within the subjective personal realm, however reality dictates religion (regardless of what that specific religion is) is not objective fact and cannot be validated as such and therefore is a completely bogus premise to use for rationalization for anything that takes place within the objective realm (ie; wars, public policy, terrorism etc..) so the mass media even taking the initiative to give attention on a bunch of major public platforms what some obscure, delusional, backwoods Tennessee pastor has to say, particularly when they already know damn well beforehand doing so isn’t going to benefit anyone other than themselves from a purely financial standpoint and could even potentially incite a myriad of different national and domestic security issues in the coming weeks upon everyone else (yet still choose to exploit this shit anyway) is just as sad as the nonsense perpetuated by extremists on either end of the religious spectrum or the idiots who eat all this stuff up rather than dismissing it for what it is and where it's comming as you can probably imagine it pisses me off especially considering my father is working at the primary area where such a retaliation would most likely occur.
AdirmanSeptember 10th, 2010, 6:57 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 493
To the radical muslims though, their belief system is objective fact and anyone who doesn't believe is basically a heretic.
SlateDrake9September 10th, 2010, 7:01 am
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
I think you put the real source out there when you mentioned the money factor for the networks. I pretty much stopped reading flyfishing magazines a while back because I thought they were more advertisements than information. I read the "major" news websites daily, as opposed to the weekly newspaper here in Potter County, and have been feeling the same way for a while now. Most of the "news" stories seem to have an agenda behind their publication beyond informing the masses of the information for information’s sake.

I had a professor a sociology professor and a criminal justice professor at Pitt that I found to be a bit "out there" with what I thought were conspiracy theories, especially the sociology guy. He always went on and on about knowing who was really behind every news story, TV show, song, ect because they were pushing or supporting an agenda. The agenda was usually distracting the American public from “what was really happening.” The older I get, the professor’s theory seems to hold more and more water. When major national headlines almost always include what celebrities are doing what during the same time our young men (and some women) are being killed in one of two wars we are fighting, the biggest environmental disaster our nation has faced is going on, a national recession, etc, there is something definitely wrong with the picture. It is even worse that I feel I need to go different new sources to get at least a somewhat politically balanced view of the same story as one “network” is leftish and one is rightish and none seem to be in the middle, where they should be (journalism classes always stress the importance of non-biased reporting). I won’t even get into “reality TV” and some of the other shows that seem to be there only to dumb down the general public. Kinda reminds me of that movie Idiocracy

Enough ranting, I’m off to build my compound so I can officially become a trout fishing separatist. Maybe if I can get enough people together, we’ll do something like in the movie The Village, but with our village built around a blue ribbon trout stream/river.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
SlateDrake9September 10th, 2010, 7:05 am
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
I think they prefer the word infedel instead of heteric. Be careful. We don't want to anger any of them so they come after this site.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
AdirmanSeptember 10th, 2010, 7:27 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 493
Slate Drake;

Yes, it is more correct to say "infidel" instead of "heretic"; I just looked it up.

MT319September 10th, 2010, 8:14 am

Posts: 24
Heh absolutely…in regard to what your sociology professor said…I’m 25 and still in grad school not to mention have done quite a bit of work independently on such matters myself (as well as just through general coursework as a political science major undergrad) but none-the-less that’s actually commonly accepted presently within my generation of people as the mass media outlets are, keep in mind, big businesses themselves and accordingly, above all else, operate according to a big business agenda sadly often at the sake of objectivity. They are also funded entirely by corporate advertising and in turn cannot publish anything which would alienate the interests/agenda of their advertisers without losing that same means of financial support in which they operate on. On top of that this same type of thing is also why you see corporations like Disney for instance who are heavily “image based” go out and take the initiative to buy something like ABC television for instance…as they do it in a means to help further control and if necessary augment their public image and ABC believe it or not is literally not permitted to run stories which depict the Disney corporation in any type of negative light. But yea if you go buy a magazine and there is a Revlon advertisement on the front, bet your ass when you open it up you will not see anything depicting Revlon in a negative light and any quality assessment/comparison of that product to others will always show them at the top or close to it regardless of whether or not that has any validity to (this is probably the same type of thing you noticed in your fly fshing magazines). Even outside of the advertisers directly this is also why when you turn on the local news station or instance you will notice they will always run a few stories of some murder, rapist, or seemingly aimless act of aggression as they purposely attempt to perpetuate a “climate of fear” as they know this is the easiest way for them to consistently attain viewership by having people tune in everyday to see what the next “new threat of the day” is…and obviously the higher the viewership the more profit they can render from corporations to advertise there. What's sad is they also have absolutely no interest on how the stuff they run manifests itself or whether or not it effects the rest of the general populace negatively, just as long as people tune in so they can render a profit..“who cares if the show 16 and Pregnant glorifies teen pregnancy and turns these people into role models for impressionable young girls can relate to and aspire to emulate” just as long as we can make a profit off it…pretty sad to put it mildly, but yea what your sociology professor was saying a while back may have been seen as pretty ridiculous at the time, but is actually pretty widely accepted by people my age now as it is in fact the reality of the situation and the core premise/interest in which these same institutions function upon...there's nothing inherently wrong with having a capitalistic society, but any society/economic structure that places the value of "rendering a profit", even at the expense of the own well being of its people is obviously severely flawed

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