Unreachable fish

pvthubbard

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Aug 26, 2013
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136
Been going to a favourite river for a good few years now, about 3 or 4 weeks every year, I love the river, wildlife galore although most of it consists of fish predators, otter, mink, goosander, comorants. Fishing is not easy but there are some fantastic Grayling and the odd trout, Grayling to about 50cm, trout are all smallish and harder to locate.

There has always been one unreachable spot where there are at least 3 big brownies, this spot is a deep pool under a huge oak overhanging the river, canopy extends about half way across river. I have clambered up this oak tree a few times and just watched them, i have tried to fish for them on numerous occasions and have only ever once hooked one, on a dry with a stupid length of light tippet that miraculously managed to turn over the fly and hook what was probably a 2lber. I was up to my chest in water and couldn't keep him on as he launched out of the water and shook the hook. I have fished from the opposite side but can't present a fly from there, can't fish it downstream as too much canopy. The only way i could possibly present a fly would be to dap from the bough of the oak hanging over the river, the other methods i could try are probably best left unspoken, havent resorted to any of them, any thoughts on trying to dap for them?

Any ideas? Anyone have a similar thing with some nice fish tucked away, where you can still see them but can't get them?
 

skinner

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Jul 23, 2020
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193
Been going to a favourite river for a good few years now, about 3 or 4 weeks every year, I love the river, wildlife galore although most of it consists of fish predators, otter, mink, goosander, comorants. Fishing is not easy but there are some fantastic Grayling and the odd trout, Grayling to about 50cm, trout are all smallish and harder to locate.

There has always been one unreachable spot where there are at least 3 big brownies, this spot is a deep pool under a huge oak overhanging the river, canopy extends about half way across river. I have clambered up this oak tree a few times and just watched them, i have tried to fish for them on numerous occasions and have only ever once hooked one, on a dry with a stupid length of light tippet that miraculously managed to turn over the fly and hook what was probably a 2lber. I was up to my chest in water and couldn't keep him on as he launched out of the water and shook the hook. I have fished from the opposite side but can't present a fly from there, can't fish it downstream as too much canopy. The only way i could possibly present a fly would be to dap from the bough of the oak hanging over the river, the other methods i could try are probably best left unspoken, havent resorted to any of them, any thoughts on trying to dap for them?

Any ideas? Anyone have a similar thing with some nice fish tucked away, where you can still see them but can't get them?
streamer!
 

catzrob

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Oct 29, 2017
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[T]he other methods i could try are probably best left unspoken, havent resorted to any of them, any thoughts on trying to dap for them?
What could you mean? Dynamite? Tenkara??!!??

[A]ny thoughts on trying to dap for them? [...] Anyone have a similar thing with some nice fish tucked away, where you can still see them but can't get them?
I'd have a dap for sure. Cn you not try from the bank by the tree's trunk as well?
 

wobbly face

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I'm in same mind as Scotty M on this. Cast dry down stream just short of over hanging branches, peel line of the reel so the dry drifts down with flow and under the branches, keep your rod low. If a fish takes, strike sideways still keeping the rod low, also play the fish with a low rod and even push rod tip under the water. Only problem would be if the fish leaps. :eek: 🎣
 

skinner

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Jul 23, 2020
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Just re read this post and it’s simple.. double haul your cast to get the fish .. practice it , then do it
 

skinner

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I'm in same mind as Scotty M on this. Cast dry down stream just short of over hanging branches, peel line of the reel so the dry drifts down with flow and under the branches, keep your rod low. If a fish takes, strike sideways still keeping the rod low, also play the fish with a low rod and even push rod tip under the water. Only problem would be if the fish leaps. :eek: 🎣
That’s so wrong as the fly will eventually gain drag !
 

ohanzee

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May 7, 2010
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37,817
Just keep feeding the line out and wiggle the tip, and it will slip downstream like a tiny drag free time bomb waiting to explode.

Then when it doesn't you have to drag it back up right over the fish spooking everything for two days :D lets try that again.....remember to plan your exit swing out to get the line back without dragging it over the fish;)
 

ed_t

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Bit of rope and a tractor tyre inner tube, or float tube if you're posh. Drift and anchor where you can get a cast in.
 

rabmax

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I was thinking the same as others have suggested. Dry fly from upstream.I use a long tippet 6ft or longer sometimes.Land it with lots of coils & slack tippet.Then start to wiggle more line as it drifts downstream.I would normally always use an emerger.If you get no interest try skating a dry fly below you.Skating works best in the evenings i find.I quite often fish downstream dry fly when targeting grayling anyway though.
 

LDO

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Scotland
As I mostly fish dry fly on a large deep river I often have to resort to the the downstream tactics described described above. It helps if you use a pattern that is 'skate friendly' ie without a traditional wound hackle, so that the inevitable drag may appear more sedge-like and natrural. The advantage you have is that these fish will not be used to having flies presented to them, which can make a huge difference in their willingness to take. I have hooked many big trout this way, though landing them is another matter!
 

pvthubbard

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Aug 26, 2013
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Thanks for the replies, as I read each one I'm thinking i have tried that, but there again I might give it another go. I have pics of the river but not that spot, will be up there in a few weeks so will take a pic. I know I cant get a dry downstream as I would be stood on the edge of a deep gully and casting cack handed. I have lost count of the hours spent trying to present an enticing fly to them. Streamer sounds good, wrap of lead around shank to aid casting but surely would spook them? As for inner tube/float tube, I should have confiscated the ones 2 girls decided to float down the river on, I imagine they must have walked a fair bit as its mainly shallows and deep gullys, not ideal.

Going to try dapping next visit, thinking my 4weights might be undergunned though? Now to put a plan together in case I hook one, how do I land it from a tree about 8ft above the water🐟, will have a look for a pic later.
 

rabmax

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LDO. Interesting as i like using a poly wing with hackle either side of the poly wing.I do like to clip the underside of the hackle though.I think i hook & land more fish than with say a deer hair fly.My.thinking is the poly fly is soft .Where the deer hair is more jaggy & bulky.I find it's the movement they go for mostly anyway.But we all have different ideas of why things work.
As I mostly fish dry fly on a large deep river I often have to resort to the the downstream tactics described described above. It helps if you use a pattern that is 'skate friendly' ie without a traditional wound hackle, so that the inevitable drag may appear more sedge-like and natrural. The advantage you have is that these fish will not be used to having flies presented to them, which can make a huge difference in their willingness to take. I have hooked many big trout this way, though landing them is another matter!
 
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