Tough day on drys

aenoon

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And from a prior statement by George.

"A couple pulled away at the last second but most took the fly well or at least appeared to, i was going to drop a size but the wind would have made seeing flys any smaller impossible for me "

Anyhow, enough.
I think it was one reason, you think it was another.
George can try all the suggestions as he likes.

regards
Bert
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Just to throw some light on this whole "trying to drown it" thing...

I fish stillwater dry fly more than any other method. Have done for more than 30 years or more. And I have encountered as many devils and demons of missed takes than I would wish on my worst enemies over those years. But if there is one thing I am sure of... the incidence of fish trying to drown the fly before circling round to take it on the second attempt relates to occasional happenings. I'm not saying they are not a factor. Some do that, yes. However, when someone reports a whole session with a load of missed takes, I seriously doubt the drowning thing is the reason behind it. There are far more likely candidates in the shape of leader visibility, leader flash, leader contact, drag, fly size, fly colour, poor imitation... loads more...
 
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Cap'n Fishy

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And from a prior statement by George.

"A couple pulled away at the last second but most took the fly well or at least appeared to, i was going to drop a size but the wind would have made seeing flys any smaller impossible for me "

Anyhow, enough.
I think it was one reason, you think it was another.
George can try all the suggestions as he likes.

regards
Bert
So, the phrase was actually:

"most took the fly well or at least appeared to"

Not: "appeared to take the fly"

Just sayin'...
 

Cap'n Fishy

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... and another thing about trying to drown it...

I'm thinking it is usually a different rise form if they are trying to drown it? Is it not the case that when they are trying to drown an insect, they usually splash at it? If they are sliding through with a head and tail, surely they are trying to eat it?

We were seeing a few fish going at mayfly duns yesterday and some just missed the fly. Others missed it at the first attempt and came back and got it at the second attempt. They do miss. Their eyes are on the sides of their head and I'm thinking they are unlikely to have well-focused vision on an insect when it is an inch in front of their nose? If you see a fish go at your dry and miss it and you can avoid the temptation to lift, then it will often have another go. Sometimes you see a rise to your dry and you lift and get a fresh-air shot, but you are able to put the fly back in the same spot and the fish will have a 2nd and even a 3rd go at it... and you eventually hook it.

The sixty-four dollar question to all this is whether the fish in the OP closed their mouths on the fly and took it down... or not...

Col
 

Wee Jimmy

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Yep.
And George was involved in the drown it game. The tail in air gives the game away!
This time of year, for about 4 or 5 weeks, daddies, great red sedges et al get the "drown it first" treatment.
Dont know why, but it happens!
regards
Bert
No daddies or great reds at the Lake at the moment Bert.A large percentage of fish seen and encountered are rising delicately and leisurely in the extreme.They are very easy to miss but they are certainly not trying to drown anything.The most popular item on the menu by far this past while ,is empty mayfly shucks.Yesterday showed up the same again in addition to smaller buzzer shucks and chaoboris( phantom larvae) the latter is a proven bugger to crack with dries if they get focussed on those.
 

aenoon

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No daddies or great reds at the Lake at the moment Bert.A large percentage of fish seen and encountered are rising delicately and leisurely in the extreme.They are very easy to miss but they are certainly not trying to drown anything.The most popular item on the menu by far this past while ,is empty mayfly shucks.Yesterday showed up the same again in addition to smaller buzzer shucks and chaoboris( phantom larvae) the latter is a proven bugger to crack with dries if they get focussed on those.
Dont think George was on the lake when this happened.
Think he was bank fishing somewhere else.
regards
Bert
 

Wee Jimmy

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If the fish were taking the fly as the OP has said, they weren't leader shy.
Well yes and no....they may not have been concerned enough by the leader up to the very instant that they take the fly.
However if the leader close to the fly is floating , at some point during the process of them attempting to take it or on their approach,the leader may move across the surface film ( herringbone I call it) and it’s this which puts the heeby-jeebies up them.Even just the tiniest amount of movement is enough to put the Kai-bosh on a proper hook up.

In other words ,they certainly will be shy of the leader when something alerts them to it.
 
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thetrouttickler

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Well yes and no....they may not have been concerned enough by the leader up to the very instant that they take the fly.
However if the leader close to the fly is floating , at some point during the process of them attempting to take it or on their approach,the leader may move across the surface film ( herringbone I call it) and it’s this which puts the heeby-jeebies up them.Even just the tiniest amount of movement is enough to put the Kai-bosh on a proper hook up.

In other words ,they certainly will be shy of the leader when something alerts them to it.
It's certainly a possibility.

We all have our own hunches. I don't think anything can be ruled out because the brief is so limited and vague. And we'll never know the answer!

It has been an interesting thread
 

Wee Jimmy

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It's certainly a possibility.

We all have our own hunches. I don't think anything can be ruled out because the brief is so limited and vague. And we'll never know the answer!

It has been an interesting thread
I agree and I think there could be many reasons and combinations of factors involved. We might not even be doing anything wrong at all....If they can miss natural flies they will certainly miss our artificials on occasion.
 

tangled

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I'm sure fish can see the leader whether it's sunk or floating. Just like they can see the bloody great hook in the fly. For sure, it's less obvious sunk and thin, than floating and fat, but I'm convinced they see it.

They obviously have excellent vision for their foodstuff - a few million years of evolution sees to that. If you stand in a river and watch the amount of stuff that comes down it - literally thousands of items per second and the amount of time they have to make a decision whether to go for it, you'd think that they'd make enormous quantities of mistakes, but they don't. They do make some mistakes - thank god - but not many.

It seems more likely to me that they see it and ignore it. A perception thing. In their view the fly itself resembles something edible, the strange stuff around it is no threat and no relevance.

But there does seem to be evidence that fish can be leader shy. In C&R waters, it's likely that there is a learnt behaviour to avoid anything with 'attachments' but more generally is there? I do quite a bit of 'destination' fishing these days in wild, pristine places and the guides there never bother degreasing lines. I've asked a few of them about it and they say it just doesn't matter. They're dealing with fish that have never seen human, line or hook and I suppose the fishing I do there is mainly fairly fast running, rippled waters.

Despite all that, it does seem sensible to do everything we can to make both line and hook less obvious, particularly in calm waters of our small stillwaters where there really is no hiding it. You can almost hear the fish saying 'you must be joking mate, I'd never live it down if I took that'.
 

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