Changing patterns

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Allan H, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. Allan H

    Allan H Member

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    Hi everyone,

    How long do you usually fish before changing to a different pattern or fly?

    I was fishing the Narrows last weekend, I wasn't getting any hits, so after about 20-30 casts with a particular fly, I'd get bored with it and start digging through my box looking for something else to try.

    On my way home, I started the hindsight thought process, "maybe I should have used the pink sculpin longer? or maybe I should have thrown the blue sparkley pattern more?"

    So I was wondering...how long do you usually fish before switching to another pattern? :confused:

    Allan
     
  2. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

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    Allan, when I start feeling the urge to change flies I try to change locations. Coastal Cutthroats are nomadic so if you haven't drawn a hit after covering the water well, I start hiking to find some new water. It has been repeated to me over and over that if there are Cutthroat near, they are such aggressive feeders that they will hit almost any fly.

    That being said, I continue to tie all kinds of different patterns, colors sizes and never seem to have exactly the "right" fly.

    Best regards, Steve:confused:
     
  3. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    When I lose confidence in the pattern I'm using, get desparate, or become bored (like you had mentioned).

    In the Sound, a person could do really well 90% of the time with just a couple of patterns. Many of the different patterns are to satisfy fisherman interest, and though will catch fish, may not be any more or less successful than some other patterns that might be used at that time.

    I fished the Narrows on 7/9, and it was just slow. My buddy and I have been doing this a while, the game wardens who checked us said the same of the others they had checked, and the fish checker at the dock said it has been slow.

    I like to blame the full moon. :thumb:
     
  4. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

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    I'll have to agree with Steve, if there are no sign of fish showing, following or takes within 20 to 30 minutes I too will look for other locations, at that point changing flies would probably give the same results.
    One point of observation I have made over the years chasing searuns in the salt and rivers is that they are what I would call fly wise; they will usually chase or strike a particular pattern 2 or 3 times after that they are wary until you radically change the retrieve or the actual fly pattern.

    I would like to know if anyone else has made this observation or is it just my imagination.
     
  5. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Over a number of years I have found that the best searching fly seems to be Leland's beach popper. The fish may be in a mood to hit or not, but if they are there at all, you'll at least get some kind of response. I think that Leland would agree that, even though the fish may not be willing to hook up solidly on the popper that they will, at least, show themselves. I have often taken fish who have risen to, and missed, the popper by changing to some other fly. In the case of cutthroat it has often been a reversed spider.
     
  6. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

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    Sometimes I'll change patterns after a bunch of casts if it doesn't draw at least a bump when I know there are fish present, and sometimes like you I'll change just out of boredom or thinking that just maybe it'll make a difference, but usually I'll stick with something I know is dependable, a fly I have confidence in and I'll just fish it, maybe changing color but staying with the basic pattern.
    tony
     
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Double-D, yes I have found this to be true. This is only my 5th year of chasing them with flies, but I'll change up to a smaller, less bright pattern and cast to a fish again after it won't hit again, or else I'll move on. In my experience, often they'll hit at a fly two or three times, other times only once before they get wary.
    If I'm going upstream in the tidewater section of one of the local streams I fish, I'll switch to another pattern on the way back down and cast to where I had missed a strike earlier, and this often fools 'em into hitting again.

    I had one day when I found a good school of fresh fish in a pool near the head of tidewater and they kept hitting the same orange reversed spider until I was sure I had soremouthed everyone of 'em at least once...a dozen or so fish to hand in about an hour...made me wonder how many were in that pool. That was a rare occurance that I haven't experienced since, though.
     
  8. Dizane

    Dizane Coast to Coast

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    I agree with Preston that if you want to find out if there are fish in the area, go to the surface. If you work the surface and cover water, you'll find whatever there is to be found in the area. Once you've done that you can always refine your approach later, if need be.

    As far as when I change fly patterns, it's usually only due to an on the water observation. I'd much rather "dig" through the day's variables and conditions looking for something I can key into than dig through my fly box looking for a random fly to try. If I can't determine what the fish are keying in on, I usually go to the surface and cover water until I run into fish.

    Dane
     
  9. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

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    Thanks Jim,
    Your experience paralells mine. I have found this as well particularly when they are traveling in pods, it's like they go back and warn the others.
     
  10. Egg Sucker

    Egg Sucker Certified Trout Ninja

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    I'll fish the hell out of the first fly I put on (it's first for a reason), but after I lose confidence in that fly it is game on. I will change flies every 20 min or so.
     
  11. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    There's a real gem in there: confidence. A fly can be the best bug and the appropriate pattern for the species and conditions, but if the fly fisher doesn't have confidence in it and doesn't fish it properly or for very long, the pattern won't be nearly as effective.

    Learn the time of year and water to fish certain patterns for certain species, and be confident in yourself and your patterns.
     

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