Huge Mistake

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Todd Burt, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Steelie Mike

    Steelie Mike Active Member

    We often fixate on what we have done wrong or should have done because of the sometimes vast amount of time between encounters with steelhead. Even with more years experience I think we all still do it. I do it all the time and still do not learn from the lessons I go over year after year. Sharpen hooks, tie a new knot, less mending, more mending, more pressure on the fish, less pressure on the fish, etc. You have to look at each experience as a learning lesson. Remember you were doing a lot of things right that got you with that brief hookup. The experience of bringing it all together is the fun part. Three days on the Hoh, awesome!

    Take Chromeseeker's words lightly, he drives many miles for skunks too :)!
  2. bconrad

    bconrad Member

    The tug can be the best and the worst feeling in steelheading, it just depends on which side you come out on :) I've spent plenty of time obsessing about what I did wrong when I miss a fish, but the more I fish the more I think it's all just blind luck sometimes. Assuming, of course, that your hook is sharp.
  3. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member

    Thanks for the word bconrad. Yes indeed, I sharpened my hook and it was tacky on my thumbnail a few swings prior. I had my fly swimming nicely and didn't have any rock ticks, and or bumbs prior to my Pull/Tug swing.
  4. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member

    Thanks for the words Steelie Mike. I agree, striving to put it all together.
  5. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member

    Totally worth it> Thanks.
  6. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member

    No doubt in my head that it was Steel. My good buddy just told me:

    "Sometimes a rock feels like a Steelhead, but a Steelhead never feels like a rock".

  7. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Sometimes the fish wins. If they didn't, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun when you do.
  8. attack

    attack Member

    you want to feel better? i just returned from 7 days on the hoh from michigan...fished sunup to sundown every day...hour 55 of my 60 on the river, i get rocked set hard and to the shore, couple head shakes and then the fish rolls and turns and the hook pulls...giant buck at least 20lbs...what i came all that way for....only hookup all week...oh ive been playing this game for quite a while too so my confidence in my abilities is normally pretty high...although it is not at the moment...
  9. ThnkMcfly

    ThnkMcfly Member

    This is always a painful event. But you still found a fish and that is the goal. The OP seems to always produce between 1-3 fish during a 3 day trip like you describe, that has always been my experience so don't sweat it. Sometimes you land them all, sometimes not. If there is one thing I have learned about keeping steelhead on the end of my line is to make sure I always use the sharpest hooks, already pointed out many, many times, and I also find myself never setting the hook hard like described above. I have had fish take off and never look back, and fish that seemed to be nothing more than a rock. In both instances I wait out the hook set as long as possible and then just raise the rod and create tension. It was hard to do this coming from a trout fishing background, but waiting and waiting even sometimes longer than you feel comfortable with has always given me a reliable hook set and kept me in connection with the metalhead longer and more confidently than when I used to set the hook hard.
  10. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    my trout reflexes have screwed the pooch more than once for me.
    And before that, gear drifting reflexes... now we're going back 20 years.
    I always try to have a relaxed grip on the rod, with my downstream shoulder more towards shore, and whether holding the rod high or low, I'll usually know it's a steelhead.
    When a swinging line stops in an unobstructed run, what else could it be, right? So now I let the line come tight and unhurriedly lift the rod against tension, toward shore. A sharp hook does the rest.

    The hookup isn't that hard, once you get used to the 50%'s keeping them hooked afterwards that can get tricky!:rofl:
    I rarely change angle, etc with steelhead. I just keep the rod at 45 degrees, let them fight the butt, and look for solid places to stand and land.
  11. Sign me up for the hospital as well; I've been on the Trinity, which is 7 hrs from home since mid October with nothing landed (save an LDR'd monster brown) until Jan. 17th. At least 4 days a month (2x in November). I wasn't going to prostitute myself to the indicator, just kept swinging. On the 17th I finally found the grabby pod I was looking for and it was on. The 18th it washed out and is just coming back into shape; more rain in the forecast.
  12. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member

    Good attacking your Steel passion!
  13. floatinghat

    floatinghat Member

    Just so my simple mind is clear. How were you holding the running line and where in the swing did the grab occur? Like others have said some just don't stick, why? Sometimes its a real strong "pluck", dull hook, angle of a attack.... The list goes on but, better to have had the grab than no grab at all.

    One comment, IMO steelhead hook themselves and we only tighten the line to keep the the hook planted.
  14. doublespey

    doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

    Dude . . . . you hooked a steelhead! No mistake there, right?

    MISTAKES are things like leaving your waders at home, not bringing your rain jacket because it was sunny when you started fishing, tying a lousy knot and having it break when the steelie shakes his head, freezing up on the reel after the strike, not checking your fly periodically and finding out that the 20lb monster that just took you for a ride downriver before coming off amazingly held on to a fly with no hookpoint the whole time. Etc etc etc etc.

    And the llonger you fish for steelhead, the more you'll add to this list. ;)

    EVENTS are things that happen while steelheading that may or may not be preventable - they just happen. Sometimes for the good . .. like when you don't realize a steelhead just took your waking fly so you don't strike too quickly. Just stand there with your rod pointing downstream staring stupidly at the Redtail dive-bombing a rabbit in a field downstream until you hear the reel screaming. Others not so good - like lifting on a 'stump' until your spey rod is pointed somewhere behind you only to realize that the stump is swimming toward you and you need to set the hook. Pretty funny actually - there's nowhere for the rod to go.

    You get the idea. Steelheading is filled with tragi-comic events. A steelhead take on a fly with an intact hook is one of the cooler things we get to experience. No reason to beat yourself up.


  15. chromeseeker

    chromeseeker Where's the Bucket?

    Maybe in the past but not anymore, Mike. I learned my lesson! If I'm going to get skunked it won't be too far from home these days. Other species more than make up for the "down time" chasing chrome... ;)

  16. NomDeTrout

    NomDeTrout Fly Guy Eat Pie

    A mistake is when you're planning to fish with papafish up on the sauk and meet up at 9 AM and driving from seattle to lynnwood to realize that I FORGOT MY ROD AT HOME.
    felt like an idiot...going fishing but forgetting the rod.
  17. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member


    Thanks for the tip!

    When I'm fishing in cool weather I wear some fleece gloves that I cut the tips off the thumbs and first and second fingers. When I'm making the swing, I hold my line between my thumb and first two fingers - a very sensitive and infinitely adjustable drag.

  18. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member

    Yep, hearing my Riptide scream for 1 second was worth every effort.
  19. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member

    Lost but never forgotten. Thanks
  20. Todd Burt

    Todd Burt New Member


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