Is it all about the numbers???

Cap'n Fishy

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Brown trout do not become fixated on taking at levels.

Well, maybe on some waters, or at some times, but not always. I have seen it many times that you need to have your flies coming back at exactly the right level. Two anglers, one on a slow intermediate and one on an intermediate intermediate and one is catching and the other is not, until he changes to the same line. I can cite lots of variations on that, encountered over the years. Back in the late 1980s, the Loch Leven fish were incredibly demanding about fishing depth, and all the regular rods were carrying about 12 different brands of intermediate line with them! I remember one early morning session, fishing 3 in the boat, as we often did back then, and as light broke, the fish started to come on the feed. One rod was on a fast intermediate, one a slow intermediate and one a floater. First, the guy fishing the fast intermediate caught 3 fish, one after the other with no reply from the other two. Then the guy on the slow intermediate caught 3 fish with no reply from the other 2. Finally, the guy on the floater caught 3 fish with no reply from the other 2. We finished with 9 to the boat, and 3 fish each, fishing 3 different lines, but it was very clear what had happened with the fish moving up as the light came.

Col
 

tierradelfuego

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I always find it hard to say it's not about numbers in some respects, in that if I go to a river one day and catch say 10 fish and then go back the next day and catch two, I think about why that is. Not saying I beat myself up about it, but if I really didn't care about numbers I wouldn't think about it. I fish mainly rivers, with only a couple days a year on stocked lakes, mostly because my old man can't manage wading anymore, which the rivers I fish generally require. In general I find the days on the rivers way more enjoyable. The countryside is much more picturesque, it's quieter, I see more wildlife and less people, and I catch more fish...

Not meaning to be too controversial or rude to the good folk of this forum but I do find it ironic when people say they don't care if they catch anything, but then come onto a fishing forum and ask questions to help them become a better fisherman and catch fish. Not sure I can quite buy that to be honest, sorry.

Will get my tin hat now...
 
D

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Yes, I'd agree whole-heartedly with that. I fished a Scottish loch years ago and went down to one fly because I was fed up with catching 8" wild browns 3 at a time. Same in an Irish lough up in the bog country west of Galway. Really smart wild browns 3 at a time. Real challenging fishing that. 50 fish an hour.
Which bog loch.. Sounds like there could be a chance of me catching at least 1..😜😜
 
D

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I always find it hard to say it's not about numbers in some respects, in that if I go to a river one day and catch say 10 fish and then go back the next day and catch two, I think about why that is. Not saying I beat myself up about it, but if I really didn't care about numbers I wouldn't think about it. I fish mainly rivers, with only a couple days a year on stocked lakes, mostly because my old man can't manage wading anymore, which the rivers I fish generally require. In general I find the days on the rivers way more enjoyable. The countryside is much more picturesque, it's quieter, I see more wildlife and less people, and I catch more fish...

Not meaning to be too controversial or rude to the good folk of this forum but I do find it ironic when people say they don't care if they catch anything, but then come onto a fishing forum and ask questions to help them become a better fisherman and catch fish. Not sure I can quite buy that to be honest, sorry.

Will get my tin hat now...
I'd rather have a chance of catching than none hence some of my posts and questions.. But as I've had so many blank days it's just a bonus if and when I do catch..
As I mentioned the fact that I'm allowed out of the 4 walls I've been staring at since lockdown.. Makes me very happy.. And forget the Chaos for a few hours..
Gary
 

easker1

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every one wants some improvement, I enjoy catching fish (don't we all) but because I go out and catch nowt doesn't make the day any less enjoyable, of course we all need to gather more information, this is why we post on a fishing forum, If I can help some body I will do all I can that's what it's all about, easker1
 

BobP

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You probably have a bit of a point there but not from me. Several times I have pointed out rainbows on a large water are actually a like for like harder target. Brown trout do not become fixated on taking at levels.

The second point about big brown trout not being stupid I am not sure about. Apart from the fish eaters good large fish waters may be rich with less than perfect breeding conditions. Adding IQ to fish is anthropomorphic.
I think you will accept the fact that trout learn. Certainly it is easy to catch numbers of introduced fish soon after their introduction. One of the reasons is plain simple - they are bl*ody hungry! They have been starved for 24 hours or more before travelling so it is not too surprising that they will snap at anything that looks like food. After the initial frenzy the fish disperse and they can travel quite a long way very quickly and they become more difficult to catch.

I am not sure about the brown trout not taking at levels. In large stillwaters they tend to disappear downwards and are more likely to be caught deep and close to structures than rainbows. Also they tend to be territorial which mean that the angler needs to keep on the move.

I guess by not being stupid I really mean that big browns are more aware of their environment and anything that invades their territory that looks "off" can be avoided. Apart from anything else there will be a lot less of them, their cohort having been cropped by disease, predators, injury through spawning, old age and anglers of course. I'm pretty sure that in waters that are fished reasonably often they will have learned that not all that glitters is food.
 

Paul_B

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Another good days fishing even though I caught nowt :)

1614605190569.png
 

micka

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I didn't do any trail-blazing Mick. I just learned from those around me. I was 'brought up' on Loch Leven in the 1960s and 70s by my dad's uncle. I first dapped on Loch Shiel, where I spent my summers as a student in the 1970s, working at Loch Shiel hotel. Shiel was a top sea trout and salmon loch back then and the regulars who came to fish every year were all dapping people. I was a wet fly fisher, but I learned the dap from them. More recently I have been taken out on Loch Lomond by some of the guys who have their own boats on the loch, and they are dapping men too, so I learned some new tricks from them. A big group of us fished the South Uist lochs for 8 years running for the salmon and sea trout, so the dapping rods were brought back into service there as well. When you get into dapping regularly, as I then did, it becomes easy to employ it on the waters that get a mayfly hatch, and there are a couple of lochs where it is the best method in a mayfly hatch, beating wets and dries. Also used it for the rainbows on Menteith at mayfly time.

The ferox thing came out of another group expedition. I first went with Stan Headley and Mark Hirst to get photographs for a T&S article on Arkaig and Lochy. We didn't catch anything bigger than a pound that short trip, but Stan had already been a few times and had some ferox under his belt. Word was out and the Lomond guys fancied a new challenge. None of us are looking for places where you can catch three 6 oz fish every cast. So, they put together a 10-man trip for a week, employing Mark and his boat. They trailered 4 boats up (having got all the necessary permissions from estates, etc), and we hired Mark as a ghillie/guide/whatever you want to call getting the local expert on your team, and he supplied the 5th boat. So, in the course of the week, we all got a day or so of going out in Mark's boat. Again, I was learning from Mark rather than doing any trail-blazing. It stands as testament to how much difference his knowledge made that, at the end of the week, we had caught 8 large trout (total weight 80 lb) between 10 of us, and 5 of the 8 fish had come to Mark's boat.

As for wild fishing being a 'premier love', I certainly enjoy fishing the big wild waters, but I enjoy fishing dry fly on the Lake of Menteith as much, if not more than any of it. Variety is the spice of life... and fishing. 😜

Col
Col, thank you so much for that which I found quite fascinating. The lovely thing about the Forum is that selfless guys like yourself are so generous with their advice on new methods we would like to try ourselves. Or, indeed, in honing ones we may have tried but perhaps haven't been too successful at - a great substitute if we don't have anyone nearby with the experience.

Mick
 
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Craig808

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but I do find it ironic when people say they don't care if they catch anything, but then come onto a fishing forum and ask questions to help them become a better fisherman and catch fish.

Will get my tin hat now...

That's a fair point and I see where you are coming from.

Now don't get me wrong. I would rather not blank and I am also interested in learning techniques that will aid me in becoming a better fisherman.

But then there are the people who are only interested in numbers and nothing else. Generally, these people fish things like pellet patterns under a bung and scoff at anyone who doesn't. I've had it said many times to me "Craig I don't understand why you want to put on a dry. You've paid £25, why not just use a bung and pellet and get your money's worth".

However, by reading the comments on here, I think that I have just chosen three waters where this seems to be more prevalent and in actual fact, it is not that widespread.

And again, I must point out that I am not knocking people who think like this. I was just trying to gauge if this is the general consensus among fly fishers. Each to their own and all that 👍
 

Cap'n Fishy

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That's a fair point and I see where you are coming from.

Now don't get me wrong. I would rather not blank and I am also interested in learning techniques that will aid me in becoming a better fisherman.

But then there are the people who are only interested in numbers and nothing else. Generally, these people fish things like pellet patterns under a bung and scoff at anyone who doesn't. I've had it said many times to me "Craig I don't understand why you want to put on a dry. You've paid £25, why not just use a bung and pellet and get your money's worth".

However, by reading the comments on here, I think that I have just chosen three waters where this seems to be more prevalent and in actual fact, it is not that widespread.

And again, I must point out that I am not knocking people who think like this. I was just trying to gauge if this is the general consensus among fly fishers. Each to their own and all that 👍

The attitude is going to depend very much on where you live, the waters you frequent, and the monies involved. You won't find anyone thinking that way who lives and/or fishes in the wilds on vast lochs and loughs...

Achnacarry15_56641.jpg


And I doubt you will find many river fishers with that kind of attitude either. It's really a stocked water thing, particularly where the stock are big fish and charges are high because of that. So, when asking the question on here, it comes down in part to how many of us fish stocked waters with high charges. You might find that turns out to be quite a minority???

It's not a black and white thing, though. The Lake of Menteith is a stocked water, and the stock are mostly 2 lb plus these days. And you do come across numbers merchants there - guys who go out specifically to target stockies and catch as many as they possibly can in a day. And these are fish they are returning in the most part, so it's not to do with carrying bags of fish away with them - it's just about racking up a cricket score every time they go out. They are who they are - it's one approach, but not the only one. Me and my mates love to fish Menteith and we'll always be looking to fish it with dry fly, even on tricky days, when a big catch is not going to be the end result, but we are not looking for or needing to catch lots of fish. We've caught fish before, we know what a fish on the line feels like. We have no need for it to be a numbers game. We are just fishing for our own pleasure and we fish the way that gives us the most pleasure - the pleasure comes from looking for rising fish in quiet corners, away from the stockie hunters. Again, it's very much a case of each to his own - there is room for all of us.

Col
 

tierradelfuego

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That's a fair point and I see where you are coming from.

Now don't get me wrong. I would rather not blank and I am also interested in learning techniques that will aid me in becoming a better fisherman.

But then there are the people who are only interested in numbers and nothing else. Generally, these people fish things like pellet patterns under a bung and scoff at anyone who doesn't. I've had it said many times to me "Craig I don't understand why you want to put on a dry. You've paid £25, why not just use a bung and pellet and get your money's worth".

However, by reading the comments on here, I think that I have just chosen three waters where this seems to be more prevalent and in actual fact, it is not that widespread.

And again, I must point out that I am not knocking people who think like this. I was just trying to gauge if this is the general consensus among fly fishers. Each to their own and all that 👍

Just in case you are saying that I was saying you were one of the people asking said questions - I wasn't at all by the way - yeah I bet that's clearer now isn't it :)

I certainly don't think there is a general consensus in fly fishing (or probably any pastime), and as you say each to their own. Obviously this probably changes when fishing becomes a sport as I can't imagine many enter competitions not wanting to win, but who knows, it's their right to if they want to.

I am definitely in the each to their own camp, that's not to say I want to try every way of fly fishing, and I'll happily admit some methods I really don't see the enjoyment out of using, but I wouldn't knock them per se. Similarly some days I do go out to catch fish, others I go out to enjoy and hope I catch fish. However I think if someone does knock your methods or reason for fishing, it's pretty hard not to get your back up even if you try to be each to their own, it's a pretty natural response. Hope you continue to enjoy your methods and reason for fishing, that's all that should matter really.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I've had it said many times to me "Craig I don't understand why you want to put on a dry. You've paid £25, why not just use a bung and pellet and get your money's worth".

That could be getting said to you out of jealousy - due to being unable to bring themselves to give up on the numbers game and do what you are doing... or even because they can't fish dry fly to save themselves. 😜
 

tierradelfuego

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every one wants some improvement, I enjoy catching fish (don't we all) but because I go out and catch nowt doesn't make the day any less enjoyable, of course we all need to gather more information, this is why we post on a fishing forum, If I can help some body I will do all I can that's what it's all about, easker1

I do get where you're coming from easker1, and I wish I could agree on all of it. It's a shame to me that I don't tbh at least in totality.

I do agree that most want to improve (especially on this forum of course), maybe all in some respects, but you certainly do get the people who have their way in fishing and that's all they're interested in. That doesn't mean they don't want to improve how they fish that way, they perhaps to me seem to think they can't learn things from other methods to benefit from. Personally as I said in my post, I fish mostly rivers, rarely lakes, but I know for sure I have become a better fisherman by doing both. I have learnt things from fishing a stockie pond that has helped my river fishing for sure.

Certainly on my rare days at Lechlade you get all spectrums, those who see you (on the odd day) catching more fish and want to learn about your method, flies used etc, and those who just think stalking (one of the most important aspects to me of river fishing) is not fly fishing and is just cheating. Last time I was there, I was sat under a tree for a while, tried my lures (nothing) tried a daddy and caught a couple. A guy came over (happened to be Polish) to ask what I was using etc. I offered him a daddy as he didn't have any, I thought he had refused to take it, but he came back over with a cold beer and said he would only accept the fly if I took the beer. So I did, it's still in the fridge, and he caught 1st cast using the daddy. It was a good day!!

Out of interest a couple of questions if I may... and seriously I'm just interested in your thoughts.

Do you think you'd feel the same way in terms of an enjoyable day, if you hadn't caught any fish after say 50 days, given you said you do enjoy catching?

Do you ever/often go down to the river, or lake and not fish at all, just go for the enjoyment but have no need to pick up a rod and cast?
 

Gdog

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I'm not sure anyone has ever tried to sell the idea that 3 to the pound wild brown trout on lochs or loughs is challenging fishing. I'm not at all sure the fact that it is easy is a bad thing either. I quite like a day of easy fishing now and then, especially after days of struggling on the lochs that don't produce dozens of 3 to the pound trout.


Andy
It is a necessary tonic sometimes after lots of difficult days.

I could give you the name of my fishing club in Ireland where most members struggle to catch anything, most fish are 2 or 3 to the pound with the odd pounder or bigger. But I won't as I'm sure that will bring criticism from other members on this forum.

Hopefully I'm joining another club this year, and if the lockdown ends I can travel around the country more than last year.
 

BobP

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Which bog loch.. Sounds like there could be a chance of me catching at least 1..😜😜

I never knew the name of it but it was over the hills to the back of Moycullen. There was a small stream feeding into it and I hooked and lost a salmon in there. Apart from that it was one 8" brown after another. Pretty little fish. Any bushy fly worked.
 

Gdog

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Yes, I'd agree whole-heartedly with that. I fished a Scottish loch years ago and went down to one fly because I was fed up with catching 8" wild browns 3 at a time. Same in an Irish lough up in the bog country west of Galway. Really smart wild browns 3 at a time. Real challenging fishing that. 50 fish an hour.
There are fewer of those type of lakes with every passing year. Either pollution, drainage, agriculture or poaching / netting has killed lakes with big populations of small wild trout and reduced numbers in the better known lakes.

A couple of lakes I fished near Clifden 20 years ago had some nice trout mixed in with the pinkeens, they are not worth the effort now.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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It is a necessary tonic sometimes after lots of difficult days.

I could give you the name of my fishing club in Ireland where most members struggle to catch anything, most fish are 2 or 3 to the pound with the odd pounder or bigger.

Aye, exactly. That scenario is scoffed at, and looked down on by some folk who just want to try and impress you with how good they are at catching fish...

I fished a Scottish loch years ago and went down to one fly because I was fed up with catching 8" wild browns 3 at a time. Same in an Irish lough up in the bog country west of Galway. Really smart wild browns 3 at a time. Real challenging fishing that. 50 fish an hour.

See you next Tuesday, Bob.
 
D

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There are fewer of those type of lakes with every passing year. Either pollution, drainage, agriculture or poaching / netting has killed lakes with big populations of small wild trout and reduced numbers in the better known lakes.

A couple of lakes I fished near Clifden 20 years ago had some nice trout mixed in with the pinkeens, they are not worth the effort now.
Some of the cavan lochs took hiding with nets. Fabulous county for fly fishing or was..
 

Gdog

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Aye, exactly. That scenario is scoffed at, and looked down on by some folk who just want to try and impress you with how good they are at catching fish...



See you next Tuesday, Bob.
Col, You're welcome to come over and fish on this water when all the Covid restrictions are lifted. Somehow I don't think you will be arsed. 😁
 
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