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My first few trout caught with a fly rod | Category: Fishing Talk

Mark Totzke 3 years ago

Today is my lucky day. I finally managed to catch some trout fly fishing with wooly buggers.
Against all odds I spotted and stalked the trout, casted the fly to them without spooking them away and then set the hook at the right moment.

I hooked 4 trout. Two of them were so big that they busted the 6 pound leader. The other two I could land but it was a pretty hard fight on both occasions. The big ones that busted my line were real monsters and I was really frustrated that they broke the line after a long fight. I almost had them close to the net but then they did one hell of a power - stroke and were gone.

The two that I landed were pretty big. I guess they are now my personal best trouts.
Really need to get some scales to measure them. I'm still very excited about my first fly fishing success.
It's a lot of fun to sight fish and then watch them taking the fly. I think I need some heavier line to land the real big ones.
Might have to try a 10 pound leader next time.

The bite was on during the predicted times. The trout were very active. Love fishing at New Moon.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 3 years ago

Looks like you have got that fly fishing sorted.

I have never fly fished. But I would have thought using a heavier leader would be a disadvantage.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 3 years ago

yeah, trout might be able to see the heavier leader, but then on the other hand I'm not sure if it's possible to land a 20+ pound trout on a 6 pound line. I have talked to people catching over 30 pound trout here in this area.
I guess I need at least 8 to 10 pound leader. Maybe with a fluorocarbon leader the visibility is a bit less of an issue.
With the 6 pound leader the line just snaps where the fly is tied on.

Hopefully they are still cruising around today. I'll have another go at them today.
Unfortunately I lost two of my best flies and I can't buy new ones. No fishing shop close by.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 3 years ago

You will have to learn to tie your own flies

Snapping right at the knot?

No knot gives 100% breaking strain. But some knots are better than others. Later today I will take some pics and show the knot that I use for almost everything. I don't know what it is called but it gives 95%

Do you slide the knot or pull the knot tight? Pulling the knot will weaken it. Pulling causes heat which weakens the line. Do you wet the knot? If the knot is dry when you tighten it again heat will result.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 3 years ago

I use either a uni knot or an improved clinch knot.
Yeah I wet it and then pull the ends together slowly to avoid heat.
Then I give it a quick tuck in the end to check. But man - this 6 pound line is so thin, it's like hair.
Almost need a microscope to tie the knots
I can take two ends in my hands and pull hard enough to make it break.

One thing I should have done yesterday is to let the fish run with the line instead of trying to stop it.
I did well and played him for a good 15 minutes but when he made his final run I had my hand to tight on the line.
I didn't think he'd still have enough power to make a run like this and probably was getting too keen on netting him. But I guess the net in the water gave him a big rush of adrenaline.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 3 years ago

I am about to go out for a few hours.

Yeah, very similar to a clinch knot is what I use. But go through the eye twice to form a loop. Then pass the tag through the loop. Wet the knot and slide the knot tight while gently pulling the tag. If you do it right it will give 95%.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
itsaboat 3 years ago

I just found this video -

This is the knot I use (for mono of course). I will still take a photo later. I seem to remember calling it something else, anyway a rose is a rose...double clinch knot. This is my standard all purpose knot that I have been using for at least 30 maybe 35 years. When done correctly it will give 95% breaking strain....and you will not find any knot that gives better than 95%

This video shows what happens when you do it wrong . At the end of the video after he tightens the knot take note of the main line. You will see it is sort of twisted or riggly shaped. Note how new and straight it was before he pulled the knot tight. Well, that twisting is heat damage from PULLING the knot tight. Just looking at it I would say the way he has done it, he might have 65% maybe 70%.

I know it sounds a bit pedantic, but think about it. There is not a lot of line for sudden heat to disburse. It is not a lot of heat but as seen in the video it is enough to start melting the line, hence the deformed twisting. By the time the air cools the line it is too late the damage is done.

If you are using 6lb line there is even less area for the heat to disburse but about the same amount of heat is generated. Using very light line like 6lb and pulling the knot tight could take it down to 50% or even as low as 40%.

So your 6lb line might have a weakest point of 3lb or even as low as 2lb, if you are pulling the knot tight.

Pushing the knot tight is easy and almost eliminates heat damage. You simply push the coils towards the hook or swivel. Then gently pull the tag end to tighten the knot. You might have to push and then pull the tag 2 or 3 times. When done correctly you will actually see the difference. You will see the line is still straight and not damaged.

Oh...and of course always wet the knot before pushing tight. The best thing to use to wet the line is your saliva. It is quite a good lubricant, just feel how smooth your tongue feels on your teeth or how easy you can swallow food. It is a good lubricant and you carry a ready supply where ever you go

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
itsaboat 3 years ago

Oh...of's a trilene knot

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 3 years ago

well I went out last night and caught another beauty - this time from my SUP on a 10 pound leader with my spinning gear.
Had a couple of takes before then so the trout weren't bothered by the heavier line.
I guess 10 lbs fluorocarbon leader isn't that much more visible then 6 lbs.

It fought really hard and I'm sure I would have lost it on a 6 pound line no matter how good my knots are.
In fact I joined a 6 pound line and a 10 pound line yesterday with a surgeons knot. Then a gave it a good pull and the 6 pound line snapped - but not at the knot, more like a foot away.
It shows that you really have to match the line weight to the fish. I'm sure the 6 pound line works great in small clear rivers with pan sized trout. But it just doesn't cut it when targeting big lake trout or sea run trout. They are just too powerful.

Also with a fly rod - you don't have any drag on the reel. You have to run the line through your hand to produce drag.
And if you hold tight just a little bit too much while trying to net the fish it'll just break off on those tiny hair leaders.
Makes me really wonder how some people can even fish with 4 pound lines... The fish targeted on those lines must be rather small.

Anyway I'll be sticking with my 10 pound leader for now while I'm in big trout territory.
Hopefully no more break offs and no trout swimming around with flies in their mouths.
Not worth it, especially if the trout don't seem to be bothered by the heavier leader.
If I get to smaller trouts I might try an 8 pound line.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
Mark Totzke 3 years ago

well darn it. The line snapped again. This time the 10 pound line.
I don't have problems with my knots or line snapping when using my spinning or softbaiting gear, even when landing huge fish on light gear. Also tried to be extra careful with my knot this time and kinda pushing it together rather than pulling.

This time the 10 pound line snapped clean after fighting another big rainbow for a few minutes.
When I had him close to my paddleboard he went off like crazy and the line snapped.

I think I must be doing something wrong with this fly rod.
My spinning rod's drag would give way and prevent line breaking while still maintaining pressure on the fish, but the fly reel has no drag. Maybe I'm holding the line to tight after a moment of slack.
Everything went so fast but I must have had my hands on the reel and locked it. The fish had a moment of slack then made a runner and that was the end of it. Perhaps it's better to not use the reel at all and just strip in line with one hand and maintain drag by running the line through the other hand. This fly rod is driving me nuts Lost 3 really good monster trout now.

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 3 years ago

Sorry mate...I have been trying to take pics. I really need someone to do the camera thing...selfie is just knot going to work

Maybe some before and after pics...

That is one nice trout !!

Finesse...I have never fly fished. I understand the method. When using an Alvey (which I use often) we "palm" the spool for drag. It comes down to feel. I imagine fly fishing would be similar in that you have to feel when to let go and when to put on the pressure.

It does not sound to me like you are doing anything wrong...sure, you can work on your knots...but finesse will win...

You know what they say -- Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill --

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !
Mark Totzke 3 years ago

yeah I've heard about this whole palming thing. That's how you're supposed to do it.
Couldn't exactly work out how though. You got one hand on the rod, the other on the reel handle or fly line.
So where does the 3rd come from for palming? I suppose I could use one foot. It would be quite an act though to keep balance on a paddle board one footed while fighting a fish with two hands and one foot. I guess it would be worth a video

a snapper a day keeps the doctor away
itsaboat 3 years ago

That sounds do-able...In fact you could use both feet Sit down and you free up your other foot

Think about it. Fly fishing, you pull the line in with one hand, but you don't wind it on the reel until after you land the fish.

However, there is no reason why you cannot wind directly on to the reel. In fact, salt water fly fishing does exactly that. As long as the reel is not one of those cheap ones that is only intended to hold the line, then there is no reason why you cannot retrieve in the exact same way as an Alvey.

Actually, retrieving in an Alvey fashion and palming the reel would be easier than a "fly" retrieve. When fly retrieving the hand holding the rod is also used to hold the line while you bring the other hand up to retrieve more line. So for a split second your rod hand has the line "locked" until you pass the line to the other hand. If palming the reel you don't need to take the line in the other hand, you just have to let go of the reel.

The how bit is easy...It is palming, literally You use the palm of your hand to cup the reel spool. This gives better drag control than any in built drag system. Have you ever tried to adjust drag when fighting a fish? Well when palming you have total control without having to turn a knob. You can apply more or less drag instantly because your palm is the drag.

itsaboat mate...Life is just a boat and then ya marry one !