Is this cheating?

kingf000

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I noticed at my local lake that the fish had been fed with floating pellets and a few were still around in the margins. I therefore tried a floating 'pellet' fly that I had used in the summer for carp. Wow! the fish went mad for it and I caught over 10 rainbow and tiger trout in about 1.5 hours, this in February! Every time I caught a fish, the disturbance seemed to bring up pellets from the bottom and provoked a feeding frenzy. So is this cheating? It is no different from an advised method for catching summer carp, feeding with pellets to get the carp confident, then going in with your pellet fly. Also it is simply using the accepted principle of identifying what the fish are feeding on and using the appropriate fly. I've also read about similar methods being used to catch newly stocked trout. I was using a washing line rig with the pellet fly on point and buzzers on the droppers. The fish showed no interest at all in the droppers apart from when I was fighting a fish, when the rapidly moving buzzers seemed to attract some fish. I've only tried this fly once on the lake and I suspect that in future the fish will rapidly get wise to the fly and be much more cautious.
 

parrot

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I noticed at my local lake that the fish had been fed with floating pellets and a few were still around in the margins. I therefore tried a floating 'pellet' fly that I had used in the summer for carp. Wow! the fish went mad for it and I caught over 10 rainbow and tiger trout in about 1.5 hours, this in February! Every time I caught a fish, the disturbance seemed to bring up pellets from the bottom and provoked a feeding frenzy. So is this cheating? It is no different from an advised method for catching summer carp, feeding with pellets to get the carp confident, then going in with your pellet fly. Also it is simply using the accepted principle of identifying what the fish are feeding on and using the appropriate fly. I've also read about similar methods being used to catch newly stocked trout. I was using a washing line rig with the pellet fly on point and buzzers on the droppers. The fish showed no interest at all in the droppers apart from when I was fighting a fish, when the rapidly moving buzzers seemed to attract some fish. I've only tried this fly once on the lake and I suspect that in future the fish will rapidly get wise to the fly and be much more cautious.
I think that only you can answer whether this is cheating or not. The fact that you are asking the question leads me to suspect that you think it is.
 

kingf000

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I'm undecided, but I've discussed it with the club secretary and he certainly does, so there may be some rule changes!
 
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guest54

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It would not be my choice for catching fish, some lakes/ ponds do feed in winter in the belief it helps the fish keep in condition till spring but as the majority of late stocked fish are already grossly overweight when stocked there is little danger of them dying of starvation as fish can go for many months without food with no ill affects.
Your choice as to whether or not it is cheating.
Would it make it more acceptable if you caught a bucket load of stocky's on traditional wets, nymphs or dries?.
 
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dgp

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It's an easy way to catch freshly stocked rainbows on small still waters as they have been reared on pellets and have not had to fend for themselves. For that reason many fisheries ban 'pellet' flies and often blobs too.
 

kingf000

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Interesting, these aren't freshly stocked fish. The smaller rainbows were put in September, so fairly fresh, but the larger rainbows and tigers have been in there for at least a year. It is almost exclusively C&R so most of the fish will already have been caught at some time. I've noticed before that any new fly often catches well on the first use, but catches rapidly decline afterwards. It's almost as though the fish can communicate with each other!
 
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guest54

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It's almost as though the fish can communicate with each other!
They can, years of keeping fish have led me to believe that's true. And fish don't forget a food source, many insects only hatch for a short defined period once a year but the fish are onto them very quickly, and fish will often move to where the insects are likely to be before they even start showing, think ant's, I don't know of a single species of fresh water fish that doesn't love them.
 

wobbly face

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Where did the floating pellets come from and who fed the fish?
I don't know of any clubs that feed their fish. I've known a few fishery owners/managers that have fed their fish on commercial venues.
If a venue feed pellets to the fish, then they can have no complaints on use of artificial tied pellet patterns. The fish will always be looking for pellet feed as well, more so if fed at a set time. I have seen this happen. Excuses: just a supplement feed to keep fish in condition, just showing anglers that there are fish in the place (for those that complain over lack of fish, no wonder they don't catch if fish are being fed :rolleyes:). Some venues do bring fish on in cages or nets and obviously pellets will drift out from them. Fishing near the nets /cages are hot spots and you may find restrictions in place as to how close to them you can fish.
As for non pellet artificial's :whistle: : Gold Ribbed hares Ear (unweighted, foam back or such), Shipman's Buzzer in tan/brown (again can use foam), small G&H sedge type in brown or tan. ;)
 

dgp

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'I've noticed before that any new fly often catches well on the first use, but catches rapidly decline afterwards. It's almost as though the fish can communicate with each other!'

Yes my experience too and they all soon learn !!
 

sewinbasher

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Unless using a pellet imitation is against the rules it's not cheating. However, whether it's ethical is down to what you want to get out of fly fishing. If you just want to catch fish on fly tackle then go for it, if however you want to deceive fish into taking an insect imitation then clearly this is not it and you're probably also fishing in the wrong type of fishery - horses for courses!
 

mrnotherone

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There are rules and then there's your conscience!

You may not be breaking a rule and imitating a pellet may be fishing.....but it ain't fly fishing. I'm no upstream dry fly only purist, but that's my opinion.
 

focyall

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People will always have their own opinion. If it isn't banned by the fishery it's really up to you to decide if you feel comfortable doing it. Personally, i don't like it, but if you aren't the one throwing in the pellets then you aren't baiting them.
 

kingf000

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Interesting. I use a pellet fly made from a tan coloured artificial wine cork, cut to size and stuck on the hook with superglue. I also use a bread fly made from elk hair and dyed tan. For some reason, I feel more comfortable with the elk hair than the cork! Both work as well as each other, though the artificial cork is much more robust. There are so few insects on the lake at this time of year that only lures catch, and they don't really imitate anything natural either, but seem to be more acceptable! Also I love catching fish off the surface. If the catch rate had been much lower, I probably wouldn't have given it a thought.
 

wobbly face

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Don't dis lures as not representing anything natural. Depending on the lure they can be a match (though loosely) for fish fry/small fish, damsel nymphs.
I still can't see the argument of banning pellet artificial's if pellets are going into a water legitimately. After all, you are imitating what the fish are feeding on.
 

Overmiwadrers

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All depends on you.. personally I would prefer not to fish than catch a trout on a pellet fly . but there again I dont like using a squirmy worm for grayling , but would happily fish a bloodworm or buzzer pattern . A friend fishes a small foam beetle pattern with devastating results , I prefer to tie flies with natural material. truth is if its not breaking the rules then do it . But you could ask yourself are only going fishing to catch fish?

O M W
 
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guest54

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Don't dis lures as not representing anything natural. Depending on the lure they can be a match (though loosely) for fish fry/small fish, damsel nymphs.

Quite so, watch a dragonfly nymph crawling slowly along the bottom and you can see why such flies as Wormfly or Caddis work.
If mud is ever exposed but not dried out at your local fishery take a close look at the mud trails left by insects as they head towards the new water level.
Admittedly no natural insect will travel at 30 MPH which seems to be the "natural" speed that most local lure fishers prefer.
 

BobP

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You "matched the hatch" as it were so have nothing to reproach yourself with. Dick Walker always said, "observation plus thought equals fish". You observed, you thought and you caught fish.
 

pentlandflyman

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The fish were feeding on the pellets so you tied on an imitation pellet fly and you caught, is it really any different than watching fish going mad for mayfly then tying on an imitation mayfly and catching ? imo there is no difference, you go fishing and hope to catch fish and if you are happy catching that way then who cares. Yes they were more than likely fresh stockies but again so what, you got the sport you paid for and as long as you enjoyed it that is all that matters. Is catching a fresh fish on a damsel any more skilful than catching it on a pellet fly ? i dare say if you put a bare hook in the water you would catch them.
 

pedros

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I remember fishing a well known Cheshire still water, mentioning no names but its initials are Westlow Mere, early one January morning. A guy caught a couple on a bushy caddis, and I thought wow - good effort. My first fish from well down wind of him was taken on a small hares ear nymph, a fish I kept. Upon cleaning the fish later in the day I found it had a fair few undigested pellets inside.
At the time and in certain conditions I suspect that this fishery was feeding its fish prior to anglers arriving...

So, bushy brown caddis in January, matching the hatch or cheating?
 
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guest54

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I remember fishing a well known Cheshire still water, mentioning no names but its initials are Westlow Mere, early one January morning. A guy caught a couple on a bushy caddis, and I thought wow - good effort. My first fish from well down wind of him was taken on a small hares ear nymph, a fish I kept. Upon cleaning the fish later in the day I found it had a fair few undigested pellets inside.
At the time and in certain conditions I suspect that this fishery was feeding its fish prior to anglers arriving...

So, bushy brown caddis in January, matching the hatch or cheating?
There are fly fishers and there are Trout fishers, I leave it to you to decide which is which.:whistle:
 
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