May 15th, 2006

Rigid Posts
By James Castwell

I hope I can get this right, again all I have are questions, never the answers. Who knows, maybe there aren't any answers to some things. But, this is the first time this has happened to me and it seemed a bit odd that I would not hook that many fish. Big fish.

It is not a normal thing to be able to sight cast to big rainbows, most over twenty inches, the average probably two-feet long. At least not for me it isn't. Not when I am fishing little flies and for me an eighteen is little, a twenty is tiny. But it happened to me at the 'Fish-In' I just attended at Rocky Ford Creek in central Washington state. Plenty of fish. Clear water. Ponds and connecting streams. Blue-winged Olives were the fly of the day; nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners. As these things were on the water nearly all day, you know my choice. Upstream and dry.

Now I have been playing at this game for quite a number of years and some things I have a handle on. Hooking is one thing I seem able to control fairly well. I don't panic, zip the fly away from fish, set the hook or very often ever miss a hit or rise. But this last trip was different somehow. I would get a drift that pleased me and the fish enough that he would tip up, open his mouth, and drop straight back down (no turn). I would gently lift my rod to just 'pick him up' and... nothing. Nada. Nobody home. Never felt a thing. And the fly would simply come back to me as if nothing happened.

Remember, these were big fish for little flies. But, I have not had this problem before on fish this size and flies this size. And I have never used a fly like this, quite. I have used parachutes for years. Tied a few myself and bought some. In past years usually the fish were smaller and would hit differently. Most often a vigorous rise. At least rise and turn back down thereby setting the fly in the corner of the mouth. Some of these did turn, but most did not.

Here is what I am wondering about this fly. Here it is. Take a good look at it. To me it did not seem any different than most of the others I have fished successfully over the years, usually though for smaller fish.

But these are different and were offered to different fish. They were bigger, had bigger mouths, most did not turn back down and these flies have a stiff post the parachute is wound on. Now I know it has to be somewhat rigid but, these are very rigid. I am wondering if that is what was keeping them from hooking.

When I put this fly in the scanner here and closed the cover, similar to what would happen when a big fish chomped down on it, the hook lined up with the post. This would allow the hook to slip out of the mouth without grabbing. If the fish had turned this may not have been a problem. Also, by the time the fish took they were not always directly upstream. There is less to hook in a big mouth than a smaller one too.

My solution to this is to use a different fly. Parachute perhaps but with a much softer post. A regular hackled fly with wings. Or no wings at all to cause the same problem. Maybe a thorax tied Blue Winged Olive which would have no such problems. Anyway, I wanted to bring this to you. No idea if it makes any sense or not. Doesn't have to. It is what happened. I did connect to some which seemed to take the same as the ones which didn't get hooked at all. Maybe I'm just getting old. ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

All Previous Castwell Articles
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice