Is it all about the numbers???

Mr Notherone

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This thread reminds me of the fable of an old man who dies and wakes up next to a river. Being an angler he gets up and notices a fish rising in the pool just upstream. 'Lovely' he says to himself, 'if only I had a rod and line!'. Lo and behold he finds a rod next to him already strung up with a dry. Picking it up he walks stealthily upstream and then casts to the fish which has just risen again. The dry drifts downstream and is taken. After a short fight a 3lb wild brown is landed. 'Beautiful!' the old man says, 'I must be in heaven!'. He then notices another fish rising in the same spot, again the fish takes first time and an identical 3lb is landed. This process of spotting a fish rising in the same spot and it taking first time is repeated over and over, only then does the old man realise he's not in heaven......
I don't get it........was he on a stocked beat of the Test? :)
 

smallmouth

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I don't get it........was he on a stocked beat of the Test? :)
I think I first read a version of that tale in BB’s compilation, “The Fisherman’s Bedside Book”. That version’s more detailed in that the deceased angler is met by some kind of keeper or manservant, (so maybe it is the Test). When the angler gets fed up of repeatedly catching identical trout and wants to move on upstream, the manservant explains that he’s not allowed to move on while there’s still a rising fish to cast to in front of him. “But this is hell!” exclaims the angler. “Precisely”, is the response.........
 

codyarrow

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Happy man... Any luck?

R
Far in the north of Scotland it was genuinely warm today. No need for gloves or excessive clothing. Water down a bit so went with the intermediate on a short rod. Had two casts and then there was an almighty swirl, followed by a bow wave, it can't be this easy, this is him, the springer working his way up river, he is sure to take, another 20 yds and I'll be on him! And I was as up popped a head, then a white neck and then the body of the fattest cormorant I have ever seen. :giggle:
Apart from that nothing to report other than an enjoyable couple of hours in the sun.
 

eddleston123

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I am happy just catching the one -- But I like to make it count!!



Douglas
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D

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Far in the north of Scotland it was genuinely warm today. No need for gloves or excessive clothing. Water down a bit so went with the intermediate on a short rod. Had two casts and then there was an almighty swirl, followed by a bow wave, it can't be this easy, this is him, the springer working his way up river, he is sure to take, another 20 yds and I'll be on him! And I was as up popped a head, then a white neck and then the body of the fattest cormorant I have ever seen. :giggle:
Apart from that nothing to report other than an enjoyable couple of hours in the sun.
And that is what it's about fella whether you caught whether you saw another angler whether you bagged 10 fish or blanked you had a feckin good day..
That's what it is..
No telling one angler he is wrong.. Or her apologies.
What a great day for you..
I hope to have the same Monday..
G..
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Here's a tale of numbers... just to put some light on the whole numbers thing. It involves numbers of anglers, number of days fished, numbers of hours fished, numbers of chances, statistics on luck, probabilities, and other numbers...

In 2015, a group of 10 of us, of pretty even ability, fishing-wise (we all know each other quite well), put together a week-long trip to try and deliberately catch a ferox on wet fly. We decided our goal was for one of us to catch one at some point during the week. So, the target was one fish for 10 of us for a week's fishing.

The ten of us went out on the first day, full of anticipation. The boat I was in headed up the loch, turned and we started our first drift. As we came down, I had my first offer of the trip. I hooked it, and it turned out to be a ferox of 7 lb 9 oz. Size 10 Kate McLaren muddler on an intermediate. The group target for the week had been met with my first offer. And that was the only contact I made with a ferox the entire week. What were the chances?

That was the only ferox caught on the first day, but we were all happy to have met our target for the week. However, by the end of the week, the 8 largest fish caught weighed 80 lb. Who would have seen that coming? As for distribution... 4 guys did not catch a big fish. 5 of us had one big fish (between 6 lb and 12 lb; biggest 16 lb 12 oz), but Dennis had fish at 11 lb 6 oz, 10 lb 12 oz and 6 lb 4 oz. Not only that, but he had 3 or 4 fish in a size group that none of the rest of us made any contact with during the week. We were all catching plenty regular brownies in the half pound to one pound class, but nothing larger. But Dennis had 3 or 4 fish in the 2-3 lb class that could really only have been ferox in the making. And not only that... I was in the boat with him when a monster took his fly and veered sideways through the gin-clear water, towing his fly line and cleaving the cast off. We both got a good view of it. This fish was 20 lb if it was an ounce!

Dennis was doing nothing different to the rest of us. Pulling wets on a slow sinker.

What's it down to? If we all went back and started it again, what would the statistics be at the end of the week? :unsure:

And I'm not meaning to take anything away from Dennis - he's proved himself on many occasions to be able to pick out a specimen when the rest of us are catching regular fish... but as I say, when you analyse what we are doing, it is very hard to identify any differences.

Col
 

redietz

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I had a day on a Cotswold river with a friend a few years ago when it was literally fish a cast. The fish were so hard on the feed that the only restriction on how many you could catch was how quickly you could get them to the net and release them.
It was a bizarre and strangely unrewarding fishing trip... just too easy and with the sense of surprise and joy when a fish took your fly removed almost completely after the first few fish came in in short order. It just didn't really feel like 'fishing'.
One of the most disappointing days of fishing that I ever had was similar. I hiked five miles into to a stream in a wilderness area the Sierra Nevada mountains. I started catching fish on every cast. After about 15 minutes of that, I stopped setting the hook and tried to get as many fish as I could to take the before one would hook itself. After about 10 minutes of that, I just quit and hiked back out. Ten miles of hiking above 10,000 feet for the most boring 25 minutes of fishing that I've ever experienced.

My current idea of a successful day is one where I learned something new.
 

codyarrow

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And I'm not meaning to take anything away from Dennis - he's proved himself on many occasions to be able to pick out a specimen when the rest of us are catching regular fish... but as I say, when you analyse what we are doing, it is very hard to identify any differences.

Col
After years of thinking about this and no science I've come to the conclusion it is something imperceptible in the retrieve. I base my scientific paper on myself and my old boat partner.
I have a brown trout retrieve, he did not. On all brown trout and sea trout fishing I would cane him every time. At one point after a 16:1 sea trout fishing session he proclaimed he would never bother with the slippery silver bastards again. :) However when it came to rainbow trout and salmon I could not touch him. He was just totally in tune with them.
We had the same tackle, flies, same day arrived in the same car and cast about the same. The only thing I can logically think of is an every so slight (talking minimal) difference in retrieve that was a trigger point that only the fish know about.
Your man Dennis has a 'brown trout retrieve'!;)
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Your man Dennis has a 'brown trout retrieve'!;)

Aye, but Dennis is vey good with sea trout and salmon as well! 😜 And we were all catching brownies - just that Dennis was picking out the big ones. And the following year, 12 of us only had 2 big fish for the week, and Dennis didn't get either of them.

But- yes, I agree about the retrieve being a key factor. Mark Hirst, who guides on these ferox lochs, was taking us out and first thing he was telling just about everyone in our party was to slow down. Long... slow... steady... sweep, with the retrieving arm going well back behind the body. And I have found the same cadence is often the one to use on salmon lochs.

I can't remember if we analysed the fluoro v nylon thing at the time. :unsure:

Col
 

shropshire_lad

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It's not about "numbers" in my book, never has been, but catching is important to me. I had two days out last year, out of practice, and blanked both days. Folk around me were catching. I'll be honest, I did not enjoy it. Fishing is a sport and I performed poorly - not much pleasure in that.

What I struggle to understand more than a fixation on numbers is a fixation on stocking size.
 
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What I struggle to understand more than a fixation on numbers is a fixation on stocking size.
While salmon anglers pay huge sums to go casting on a river in the hope of a fish,trout anglers(stocked waters) feel they are owed fish and must be given lots of caught fish and BIG ones to feel satisfied.Nothing to do with "sport".Were is the sport in hauling a big fish out 2 seconds after its been stocked,banged on the head and then ditched in a bin!Same applies to the numbers game.No skill involved whatsoever.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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It's not about "numbers" in my book, never has been, but catching is important to me. I had two days out last year, out of practice, and blanked both days. Folk around me were catching. I'll be honest, I did not enjoy it. Fishing is a sport and I performed poorly - not much pleasure in that.

What I struggle to understand more than a fixation on numbers is a fixation on stocking size.

I agree about the size thing. A lot of waters stock with fish that are far too big for the amount of feeding available for them to do well. So, they need to be caught and removed and replaced with more. But the water will tell you that is the size that anglers now demand. I think that has to do with the change that happened in the late 80s/early 90s when cormorant numbers increased and they turned their attention to stocked fisheries. So, the idea was to stock with fish that were too big for cormorants to tackle, and the size of stocked fish jumped up to 2 and 3 pounders. But there was film on TV the other week showing a cormorant swallowing a salmon!

So, if one water is stocking with 3 pounders, then if the water down the road is stocking with one pounders, he's not going to attract the punters. I remember fishing the Lake of Menteith in the 1980s and the average size of the rainbows was under 1 lb - and we were all perfectly happy catching them. Now you hear complaints if the average size of stocked fish is under 2 lb.

Col
 

sewinbasher

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So, the idea was to stock with fish that were too big for cormorants to tackle, and the size of stocked fish jumped up to 2 and 3 pounders. But there was film on TV the other week showing a cormorant swallowing a salmon!

.

Col
We stock our club lake with 1kg+ fish for this very reason but the cormorants manage them, the only thing is that having swallowed one they can have trouble taking off making them easy targets for our licenced cull.
 

codyarrow

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But- yes, I agree about the retrieve being a key factor. Mark Hirst, who guides on these ferox lochs, was taking us out and first thing he was telling just about everyone in our party was to slow down. Long... slow... steady... sweep, with the retrieving arm going well back behind the body.

Col
Have you seen the ferox fly guy on Garry? He has a completely different approach. Fishing as big flies (4") as he can cast on a single hander.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Have you seen the ferox fly guy on Garry? He has a completely different approach. Fishing as big flies (4") as he can cast on a single hander.

Don't know him. It's fair to say that in addition to fishing mostly size 10 trads, some of us were not averse to putting a shuggy on the tail, and I had my best fish on a 2 inch minkie - though that was a stickleback-feeder on Shiel, rather than the char-feeding ferox on Arkaig and Lochy. Would make total sense to fish pike fly gear for those fish, but that's not what our guys are about... and to be honest, my casting arm would not allow me to try it, tempting though it is...

Col
 

Wee Jimmy

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But- yes, I agree about the retrieve being a key factor. Mark Hirst, who guides on these ferox lochs, was taking us out and first thing he was telling just about everyone in our party was to slow down. Long... slow... steady... sweep, with the retrieving arm going well back behind the body. And I have found the same cadence is often the one to use on salmon lochs.

Col
I would never argue against someone of Marks experience especially when it comes to catching ferox but I’m always naturally wary when someone declares one way of retrieving is always the best way.I prefer to stay open minded and be ready to keep changing things until I get tuned in.Its not in my make up to be that dogmatic.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I would never argue against someone of Marks experience especially when it comes to catching ferox but I’m always naturally wary when someone declares one way of retrieving is always the best way.I prefer to stay open minded and be ready to keep changing things until I get tuned in.Its not in my make up to be that dogmatic.

Sure, I know what you mean, and I try to be open-minded too. What I'm getting at is just that there are certain situations where working out the cadence of the retrieve makes all the difference between success and failure. One time it might be the long steady sweeps and another time it might be short fast twitches, etc, etc...

What was quite marked on that trip was Mark analysing the guys and keeping telling them they were retrieving too fast. He had a day where the pair he was out with were catching nothing, and they were getting a bit narked at being told they needed to change their retrieve. In the end, one of them offered his rod to Mark and said, "Here, you show us how to do it then." So, Mark took the guy's rod and had a couple of casts and hooked a trout! Without missing a beat, he handed the rod back and said, "There, that's how it's done!"

The other trip that springs to mind was that one to Loch Brora. The retrieve wanted to be very particular that time. Sometimes the nuances of the retrieve matter way more than what flies you've got on, but you still run into the "magic fly men" who think all you need is the correct fly and you will fill your boots.

I think rainbow fishing has changed with the advent of triploids. Everything has slowed down in recent years, has it not? Many fewer fiddlers' elbows on display these days, methinks?

Col
 

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