The striking or focal point of a fly for SRC and Salmon

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Alexander, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    I've often wondered what in general determines whether an SRC OR SALMON will strike a fly or take a fly by the head or by the tail? I'm pretty sure we can't outstrip a SRC or Salmon when it comes to speed. So, what triggers them to short strike or take out the head?

    I ask because sometime we go strictly trailer/stinger hook, and other times we fish "regular". I ask because I want to tie some flies "Tarpon style" but don't know if that will be a waste of time or if there's a way of knowing when fishing that way is more advantageous.

    A tying style like this images/Tarpon Flies/Ballyhoo Fly.jpg is is what I want to tie up for say sand lance. But it has me wondering if my hook up rate will drop significantly or not. Is it a water temp thing, a current speed thing? Is this even knowable why fish hit head first or tail first?
  2. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Btw, that kind of tie but for a 2" fly
  3. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Fish unsure as to the authenticity of your offering will often nip at the rear of the fly. Defensive fish often do this too.

    Aggressive eaters, hardcore predators etc will either grab by the head, or grab the midsection before turning it around to eat it, or purely inhale it from the back.

    In all these scenarios, a circle hook trailer can be your best ally. Because a fish that grabs your fly by the head will get that stinger hook will end up in the side/corner of the mouth where it belongs.
  4. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    A realistic stick on eye is helpful to induce head strikes from aggressively feeding cutts and salmon. I would use them when tying up baitfish patterns on standard hooks like your tarpon style pattern. Even if you have a lot of material trailing behind the hook, they will strike the eye. Often the head strike is not intended to be an eat, but a stunning hit. When the first big hit doesn't connect, keep your fly in the zone and wait for the salmon to circle back and finish it off. Play dead or wounded.
    Coho are notorious for "playing" with their food, and often nip the fly as they trail it (probably wondering why the fly isn't fleeing in terror). Changing up your stripping can help: full stop to let the fly sink followed by quick strips to lift it off the bottom. Stinger hooks work best when salmon are not aggressively striking.
  5. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

    It's easy to over think this.

    I switched from standard flies tied on a hook to tubes due to short strikes from rezzies years ago. I get so few takes without a hook up that I stopped even considering the issue.

    use a sharp hook like Gamakatsu SC15 and go fishing.
    Jeff Dodd and jwg like this.
  6. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    In my experience the better fishing for salmon and Cutthroat has most often been in current, moving tide water. So many of the presentations are going to use that current. Wet fly swing is a big part of that fishing. I have fewer problems with missed hook-ups in current, as long as it is not too fast. Fishing directly down stream can be tricky. Many of those fish get off of the hook. And much of this problem is due to people reacting too quickly, and with too much zeal. Sometimes it is better to slow down on the hook set a little. And no matter what you do, here and there you are going to miss a few. Even if you do it right. There is a lot that can go wrong for a hook in a fish's mouth. Much of this you can not control. Sea run Cutthroat are being chased after by fly fishermen to the extent that many of them can become leader and hook shy, in the sense that they can be conditioned to avoid flies, leaders, lines, drag etc., simply due to being caught and released repeatedly. That's when you are going to see more short strikes, or ridiculously long following of a fly, with cutthroat. Some of those fish can be very difficult to catch. When they're getting picky that way, I will just go somewhere else. Migrating ocean run Salmon are an entirely different story here. There are some great YouTube videos of underwater filming of salmon eating bait and taking lures and jigs and bait etc. Well worth the study. The best wild salmon fishing I have had was in Alaska and Kamchatka Russia. We rarely saw a wild Silver or King that wouldn't smash a fly. In any case though, trout or salmon, if that fish really wants to eat the fly, it will do so in a big way, with no hesitation.
    kelvin, Bagman and Jeff Dodd like this.