What constitutes a "blank"

icejohn

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Spider it's a blank. No fish landed is a blank!

But reckon you need a new word for the definition of your situation. Ie fish hooked numerous times they get off etc or 5 takes on the dry none landed.

How about a "nearly" or" nearly days" Your nearly landed a fish lol.

My best ever "nearly" was 13 bloody good day out too. So I know where you coming from.

A few bites or fish on temporarily in the couse of the days fishing means you had some interest from the fish verus day fishing with no bites proper blank.
 
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running bear

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A blank is clearly where fish weren't hooked and released by the angler, wether that's netting, on the bank, in the water using a hand or a release tool etc.

What next? We will be giving out medals for artistic talent, eg 'Dave didn't land a fish from his 15 hook ups, but we will give him three points coz he did a lovely snake roll (tarrif 3.6) under the tree, and his hat is rather natty, so he beats Pete who thrashed the water to a foam in landing his 4" minnow, yet he fished downstream with a quite vulgar fly'.

Anyone thinking otherwise should go off and take up competitive horse dancing (dressage i think they call it), and they can get involved in all the subjective intrepretaion they like.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Anyone thinking otherwise should go off and take up competitive horse dancing (dressage i think they call it), and they can get involved in all the subjective intrepretaion they like.

Fair play though - I watched a bit of yer Charlotte Dujardin woman at the Olympics, and it is blummin' impressive what they manage to teach a horse to do. It also looks like the rider is just sitting on its back doing nothing while the horse does all the work without instructions.
 

Spider

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Just to clarify, I did catch last night! :)

But... Because I consider the deception to be more skillful than the landing, I don't consider it a blank if I have fooled fish but lose him. If I fool a fish with a well cast olive, in an olives hatch, and he takes my drag free imitation, that's the art and sport encapsulated for me.

Just my opinion anyway.
 

Mr Notherone

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Thankfully, for wild fish on our rivers, catch and release has largely replaced catch and kill. I'm not sure that release without the catch will prove as popular :D ...but each their own.
 

Whinging pom

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I know a very Old NZ guide on the matuara . In his own fly box he snaps the hooks off . He says . I love stalking them and fooling them to take, but I really don’t enjoy fighting them any more and I ve no intention of killing them. I’m sure he wouldn’t care either way what constitutes a blank.

I’ve had one blank this year I was put off by someone on the bank wanting to chat during a sedge hatch that felt rubbish and another blank where I lost a fish too big for my net after fumbling to get it in. I’d risen it under a bank side blackberry bush while flicking the back cast In a cute little gap between a Hawthorn and Elder then steered it clear of willows and weed beds. . I then caught the biggest Daces I’ve seen . Had a barn owl fly a few feet over my head oblivious to me and then came face to face with an Otter about 10 feet away . That evening I went home with a grin on my face .. it didn’t feel like a blank it felt like an evening I’d remember for ever.
Really who cares and whose counting it’s the quality of the experience gained that counts.
 

codyarrow

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Once hooked 16 sea trout and landed one. If I had not caught that one it would have been a blank. As it has been since the beginning of time.
FFS let's have some continuity IMO so we all know where we are.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I know a very Old NZ guide on the matuara . In his own fly box he snaps the hooks off . He says . I love stalking them and fooling them to take, but I really don’t enjoy fighting them any more and I ve no intention of killing them. I’m sure he wouldn’t care either way what constitutes a blank.

I’ve had one blank this year I was put off by someone on the bank wanting to chat during a sedge hatch that felt rubbish and another blank where I lost a fish too big for my net after fumbling to get it in. I’d risen it under a bank side blackberry bush while flicking the back cast In a cute little gap between a Hawthorn and Elder then steered it clear of willows and weed beds. . I then caught the biggest Daces I’ve seen . Had a barn owl fly a few feet over my head oblivious to me and then came face to face with an Otter about 10 feet away . That evening I went home with a grin on my face .. it didn’t feel like a blank it felt like an evening I’d remember for ever.
Really who cares and whose counting it’s the quality of the experience gained that counts.

For sure - anyone who loves their fishing and communing with nature can relate to that.

The problem I have with yer NZ man is that fooling the fish into the first half of the take is less than half the contest. We all know that it is one thing to get a fish to show at a fly and a completely different matter to hook it. I have had days where I am hooking almost everything and I have had days where I am missing or jagging almost everything. In the latter case, I am doing something not quite right, or the fish are just 'on point' or something. Something is letting them abort in the nick of time, or do just enough not to be hooked. It's my job to rectify it. It might even be a fault in the tackle set-up... using a non-stretch line instead of a stretchy line. Who knows? Whatever it is, there is something that is making a difference, and something to make you ponder and think again. In my case the scores are me 1, fish 0 in the first case and me 0, fish 1 in the second case. Yer man in NZ would be scoring 1-0 to himself in both cases, but kidding himself that he had won in the second case, I reckon.

Just my way of looking at it.

Plus, I challenge anyone not to get a bit excited when the Menteith fish strip 50 yards of fly line and backing off you on their first run, after taking your dry mayfly. 😜

And I still like to look my quarry in the eye at the end... 😉

Brora-2019_0349.jpg
 

Whinging pom

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Once hooked 16 sea trout and landed one. If I had not caught that one it would have been a blank. As it has been since the beginning of time.
FFS let's have some continuity IMO so we all know where we are.
Not sure what IMO is but sure. I guess what your saying is that by subjugating the fish to an extent that you have total and ultimate control over whether it lives or dies. Then that constitutes a successful outcomes, and unless you get it too that ultimate stage then it doesn’t count as success! Easy I can understand and except that !
For some of us stalking, finding and inducing the trout to take our imitation and the challenge involved in doing that is really what counts most. If that makes us a bunch of Blanker’s I can live with that !
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Not sure what IMO is but sure. I guess what your saying is that by subjugating the fish to an extent that you have total and ultimate control over whether it lives or dies. Then that constitutes a successful outcomes, and unless you get it too that ultimate stage then it doesn’t count as success! Easy I can understand and except that !
For some of us stalking, finding and inducing the trout to take our imitation and the challenge involved in doing that is really what counts most. If that makes us a bunch of Blanker’s I can live with that !

From being happy to watch a fish having a look at your fly, it is but a short step to being happy to watch a fish having a look at, or even taking, a natural fly. In the latter case, you may as well dispense with your fishing tackle and just enjoy watching. 😜
 

Whinging pom

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For sure - anyone who loves their fishing and communing with nature can relate to that.

The problem I have with yer NZ man is that fooling the fish into the first half of the take is less than half the contest. We all know that it is one thing to get a fish to show at a fly and a completely different matter to hook it. I have had days where I am hooking almost everything and I have had days where I am missing or jagging almost everything. In the latter case, I am doing something not quite right, or the fish are just 'on point' or something. Something is letting them abort in the nick of time, or do just enough not to be hooked. It's my job to rectify it. It might even be a fault in the tackle set-up... using a non-stretch line instead of a stretchy line. Who knows? Whatever it is, there is something that is making a difference, and something to make you ponder and think again. In my case the scores are me 1, fish 0 in the first case and me 0, fish 1 in the second case. Yer man in NZ would be scoring 1-0 to himself in both cases, but kidding himself that he had won in the second case, I reckon.

Just my way of looking at it.

Plus, I challenge anyone not to get a bit excited when the Menteith fish strip 50 yards of fly line and backing off you on their first run, after taking your dry mayfly. 😜

And I still like to look my quarry in the eye at the end... 😉

Brora-2019_0349.jpg
Col with all respect trying to find a feeding fish on the Matuara or Oretti or green river and getting within casting distance and then not spooking it is the skilled part , it’s a rare luxury to see a rising trout. I never lost a hooked fish on the matuara but my god it was a steep learning curve to spot them and not spook the hellout of them. The slightest drag or over shoot and they’re gone. Despite many hours trying I never even saw an Oretti trout let alone cast to one.
David Murray Orr, the guide, has landed enough in his life to know he’s perfectly capable of landing most of them it’s inducing them to take that for him , is the challenge , his great skill is finding for what to most of us are invisible trout, and finding a way of presenting the right fly in the right way without screwing it up.
 

Whinging pom

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From being happy to watch a fish having a look at your fly, it is but a short step to being happy to watch a fish having a look at, or even taking, a natural fly. In the latter case, you may as well dispense with your fishing tackle and just enjoy watching. 😜
Oh come on !!! One thing looking then turning their noses up is never good enough, quite another to have stalked it , presented it, managed the drift, to see it confidently take your imatation as a natural. Don’t forget I’m stalking up streams rivers and drifting upstream dries and nymphs . I think your in a boat doing loch dries which is a completely different skill set.
I must admit I still love the sound of a screaming reel but for most of the things I catch its a case of getting them in the net, getting a scale sample, measuring them and putting them back as unscathed as possible, the fun for me usually stops after the ‘Take’. Then it’s just about welfare
 

wrongfoot

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We'll be counting shots on target as goals next... :rolleyes: Might avoid penalties at the next Euro's.

For me in the net or to hand count. Fish deliberately allowed to spit the hook don't... but then if I did that I wouldn't be bothered by blanking as that would be by choice. If you choose that tactic, why not just say you were fishing for takes?
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Oh come on !!! One thing looking then turning their noses up is never good enough, quite another to have stalked it , presented it, managed the drift, to see it confidently take your imatation as a natural. Don’t forget I’m stalking up streams rivers and drifting upstream dries and nymphs . I think your in a boat doing loch dries which is a completely different skill set.
I must admit I still love the sound of a screaming reel but for most of the things I catch its a case of getting them in the net, getting a scale sample, measuring them and putting them back as unscathed as possible, the fun for me usually stops after the ‘Take’. Then it’s just about welfare

Just running it up the flagpole... 😜

Horses for courses...

A lot depends on how you are fishing. If you are fishing a stillwater and the fish are lying 10 feet down, and you are swinging buzzers at depth for them, how do you measure your day's sport in terms of what constitutes a success and what is regarded as a fail?

Col
 

sagecirca

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A blank means no fish landed , If you were fishing a comp you couldn't weigh in rises or lost fish.

Not everything in fishing has to be compared or related to competition fishing and I say that as a multi-capped, ex-comp angler.
 

Whinging pom

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Just running it up the flagpole... 😜

Horses for courses...

A lot depends on how you are fishing. If you are fishing a stillwater and the fish are lying 10 feet down, and you are swinging buzzers at depth for them, how do you measure your day's sport in terms of what constitutes a success and what is regarded as a fail?

Col
Exactly! It’s what we forget often on this forum. It’s all under the banner of fly fishing but it’s a mighty wide and diverse banner from Bone fishing on the flats through wild browns on the Lathkill to catching stocked rainbows on Rutland and everything in between. To be successful at any of them needs quite differing skill sets.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Exactly! It’s what we forget often on this forum. It’s all under the banner of fly fishing but it’s a mighty wide and diverse banner from Bone fishing on the flats through wild browns on the Lathkill to catching stocked rainbows on Rutland and everything in between. To be successful at any of them needs quite differing skill sets.

Well, I do a few of them. I fish stillwaters with wets and dries and nymphs and lures, with floating lines and sinking lines. I dap**. I also fish rivers, Czech nymphing, downstream and across wets, and dries. I even occasionally fly fish in the sea for mackerel. In all of them, the easiest way to assess success is by what I catch*.

* For definition of catch, see the cricket analogy upthread.

** I challenge you to find someone who daps who reckons that an offer equates to a fish caught. I have umpteen offers for every fish caught on the dap. Offers are ten-a-penny and count for nothing! A fish landed on the dap is a precious thing...

Hope24-26Aug20_1260.jpg


Good luck finding a dapper who knocks the point off his hook. It used to be common practice to add a 'flying treble' to your dapping fly to increase your chances. Even tried it myself on a couple of occasions. Caught a 5 lb sea trout on Loch Roag, hooked by a single point on the flying treble...

3296.jpg


But I gave up on it after a short experimental period... partly because of the added weight and partly because of me jagging myself handling the f*ckrs all the while... 🤪
 

Spider

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Tend to agree re competition etc. Ive never fished a competition and only fish rivers. A fish will often get off a hook due to no fault of the angler. For me, blanking means not being able to get a fish to take due to bad casting, poor presentation, wrong size of fly etc . That said, I've only ever blanked ( by the definitions above) once in the last 10 years or so ( ie not had fish in hand or released in the water by taking the hook out by hand when the fish is in the water ) , and that was due to a fast rising river which killed any rise and was getting a bit dangerous. I hate blanks! :)
 

Whinging pom

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how do you measure your day's sport in terms of what constitutes a success and what is regarded as a fail?
I can’t really talk for David but I would guess managing stalking an actively feeding trout and then watching it refuse all offers or even worse turn away and head for cover.
With me i feel failure when I have an evening of wading with the grace of a water buffalo, finding a rising trout and clumsily driving it to cover, discovering the hooks down the gullet of some poor fish. By Catching the same tree twice, rising into a decent fish and feeling a break off, generally having a night of being a clumsy clot that no number of trout caught makes up for the feeling I could have been so much better.
If I’m casting ok and and hit some tricky spots, react quick enough to bag some consolation Dace and experience some beautiful nature then when walking back to the car in the failing light, all is well with the world, and the lack of trout really doesn’t matter a jot!

Blanking is failing to land the trout in the manner you do it whether net, hand, beach or like I sometimes manage, reaching down and grabbing the hook and release them in the water! I get that ! . What I was trying to say was for some it just doesn’t matter, and it’s just not important and playing the fish is not really an enjoyment any more. It’s all the rest of the experience that comes with the hunt that counts.
 

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