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StokesOctober 4th, 2013, 10:56 pm
Columbia county,NY

Posts: 76
So although I got my first fly rod back in '95,I really only used it on my home lake,Sylvan Lake near Fishkill,NY.I retired in May and decided this year I would concentrate on stream fishing.Springtime had too many projects so I missed the best part of the season.In mid august I started hitting the streams in the catskills 2-3 times a week.A few trips to the Esopus around Shandaken and a few above that in the smaller section above Big Indian.A couple in some of the tributaries.I had a few trips to the Batavia Kill,West Kill,East Kill.I did a lot of fishing,I really fine tuned my casting ability with a 2wt Clearwater outfit on the small streams and my 5wt Clearwater on the bigger waters.Problem is I only caught 4 small fish in all that time on the water.I cant blame the fish,I missed a lot of hits,I know a lot of guys call some of these "refusals",but I really think I just didnt connect with the hook set.Think I put so much attention into casting,I dont know how to actually catch.Kinda frustrating,but I still had a great time and I plan to do a couple trips next week,hopefully things will pick up a bit.Well,thats all I got,thought I'd share my first real season on the streams.Cant wait till next year,I will not miss the prime spring season.
TaxonOctober 5th, 2013
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1326
Hi Stokes-

A "refusal" is what happens when a trout turns away at the last moment, but its momentum still succeeds in disturbing the water by your fly, perhaps even causing it to sink. Most often than not, this is either caused by either drag on your fly, or by a fly that too large for the situation. The remedies are mending your fly line get a longer drag-free drift, and using a smaller sized fly. Hope this helps.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
StokesOctober 5th, 2013, 12:57 am
Columbia county,NY

Posts: 76
Thanks,Roger,I had a few of those,I'm sure.But quite often it was my own fault.Once,at the end of a drift,I pulled the fly right out of a fairly nice fishes mouth picking up the line for the next cast.He tried to grab it just as it stopped downstream of me.I'll get the hang of it.
OldredbarnOctober 5th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600

Fella...It happens to the best of us. This summer I was too slow for the Browns & Bows on the Madison, and to fast for the Cutts on the Yellowstone.

A little practice and some drift extending techniques, like Roger mentioned, and you'll be hooking up next opening day.

Tight lines!

"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
WbranchOctober 6th, 2013, 10:35 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2704

I'm retired to and have a cabin on the WB of the Delaware. I've been fly fishing for over fifty years and if you want to get together in late April and eatly May in 2014 to meet I'd be glad to spend some time with you on the river to maybe hone your hooksetting skills and put more trout in the net,

One thing I would say that probably hindered your success was you missed the best part of the season on the Catskill waters. From mid April to the end of June is when you are going to have the most and coldest water in the streams and you will also be fishing during the prime mayfly and caddis fly emergence periods.

PM me anytime if you have any questions relative to fly fishing or fly tying and I'll do my best to give you an informative answer. Contact me next spring and we can do a float in my Hyde and maybe hook up some wild trout.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123October 6th, 2013, 1:57 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2518
Stokes, I'll throw my 2 cents in here for what it's worth...

This year I've come to realize that we don't always "miss fish" when we lift on a strike and hook nothing. I firmly believe that many of the fish we "miss" may have actually missed our flies instead! Some of these fish are bumping the fly with their noses or nipping at it, and good luck with ever hooking that when it happens. Around here, I have lots of small to medium sized rainbows that quite often leap clear of the water when hitting a fly, and at least half the time they miss it entirely. Of course, at other times we just sting them and feel a bit of weight before they're gone. But I have come to stop blaming myself for every time a fish rises and I come up with nothing on my line.

Just look at where in the mouth you hook various fish. Most are gonna be in the lips or jaws, sometimes just barely so, with occasional fish losing the hook once they are safely in the net and others just popping free before we can get the net under them. These are fish that didn't get a good purchase on the fly and there's not much we can do but hope we play them carefully enough to land them. Others are hooked more deeply or solidly, squarely in the corner of the jaws or even down in the throat. These are fish that took the fly hard and generally hook themselves almost as soon as they dive after the strike, and aren't gonna get away until you unhook them and let them go. Generally I find the larger fish end up being hooked more solidly, but even small fish like little brookies will take a relatively large (#10) hopper pattern deeply enough to get hooked without issue.

Don't know if this helps, but it just really depends on how the fish hits the fly and, in some cases, whether or not it actually hits the fly or missed it entirely due to "excess enthusiasm" - we've all had fish just blast a fly and then nothing...and some of these fish end up foul-hooked, like they really did miss the fly with their mouths but then upon diving caught it in the fin or flank, had a 13-inch brookie last summer hook itself in the anal fin! (Fought like hell because of it too!) Anyway I hope this makes you feel better, and this is not meant to counter other advice on here about timing the lift when hooking a fish, that does take practice. Best of luck, and remember to sometimes holler out, "Dang it fish, you missed my fly"!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
StokesOctober 6th, 2013, 1:57 pm
Columbia county,NY

Posts: 76
Wbranch,thanks for the offer,really nice of you.I will definately contact you as spring nears.I have actually meant to get up near the WB and EB,but I did get a late start this year,next season,any projects will take a backseat.I have a cabin on Sylvan Lake in Dutchess,and if you like,there is some very good bass fishing.They have started stocking here again a couple years back,but the trout are pretty evasive.I have managed to catch a few on spinning gear.There have always been native browns and some lakers here,but seems hard to catch.I believe there was a record brown taken in the early 80's,thirty some od pounds,but they are elusive.One season I spent deepwater trolling and got a couple of short lake trout,but it wasnt worth the effort.There are also some kokannee salmon,I see them on the fishfinder down 100 ft or more,but have never heard of anybody catching them.Hope to meet up with you in the spring.

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