Anchovy

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jack Devlin, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. Mark Mercer

    Mark Mercer Member

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    Dave, if Jack doesn't mind me jumping in here, when I first started tying flat wings a few years ago I was worried about short strikes but they have such great movement I figured it was worth the try. I think it comes down to where the fish is coming from, if it's following the fly you sometimes will get short strikes, but a lot (if not most) of time they're coming from the sides and they seem to know right where to hit them. I also think coho will miss more than cutts for that reason but I've caught a number of both using them. A trailer would take away some of it's action
    and I'd think you would also have a tangling problem as well.

    It amazed me how many hook ups I'd get with even smaller cutts on quite large flat wings, they really are a great fly for the sound and I wouldn't hit the beach with out a few in my box. They also look really cool!!!!

    Mark
     
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  2. Jack Devlin

    Jack Devlin Active Member

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    Ditto Mark.
    Also:
    All fish, even trout, do not bite down on their food to capture it. If they did the food would squirt out of their mouth along with the water that was in the mouth before they closed it. They draw the water that the prey is within into their mouths through flaring their gills. Like a vacuum pump. They then close the mouth and empty the water through their gills holding the food inside their mouths. Sometimes we are too quick to set the hook and claim short strike. The secret to a good hook set is allowing the fly to enter the fish's mouth and then coming tight.
    Sometimes they do "short strike" for whatever reason. They goof sometimes too. Mis-judge. Change their mind at the last minute???? We strip too fast sometimes too. Whatever. I know silvers sometime just sort of bump the bait/fly. I have watched them do that. Why??? I don't know. It's all fun stuff.
    Nite all.
    Jack
     
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  3. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Paul Schullery's The Strike does a great job of explaining the way a trout takes a fly. Filling that pleated structure under the throat then expelling it rapidly while flaring its gill plates and opening its mouth, the fish creates a powerful suction which draws a certain quantity of water (as well as whatever it contains) into its mouth. How successful this operation is depends on the reaction of the fly. In the case of a trolled fly, for instance, if the tension of the line is too great it might not not be drawn into the mouth, or not deeply enough to hook. Even in the case of a dry fly, Schullery feels that many, if not most, missed strikes, including many of those described as "refusals", are the result of the fly not behaving in the same way as a natural would. The fish does everything right but the imitation, because of its greater bouyancy, or inertia, tension on the tippet, or some other factor, doesnt respond to the suction pump effect in the same way that a natural insect would and remains outside the mouth.
     
  4. Jack Devlin

    Jack Devlin Active Member

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    When we have it all figured out it won't be fun anymore.:)
    Jack
     
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  5. Mark Mercer

    Mark Mercer Member

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    Great info Jack and Preston, also as most of us have seen, predatory fish will sometimes hit and stun baitfish and then come back for it, I think we might take this as a short strike as well? Maybe if we just let it sit, instead of stripping it in to recast, we might be surprised when it returned. It probably wouldn't work for me.......I'm too impatient.:D
     
  6. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Aha! Yes, this is good info. I've been hearing rumors of these kind of dynamics. So, these days when I'm trolling a streamer and get a strike that doesn't hook itself, I quit paddling and pick up my rod and strip lightly, and then release the slack as my boat continues to glide slowly, and then repeat this a few times. If the fish comes back, I try to give it a little slack so the fly can get sucked in. Not too much slack though. Just enough to stop the forward movement of the fly, yet still feel a little tension on the line.
     
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Here's a shot of a huge school that surrounded me up in the estuarine backwaters. This was IMGP1230.jpg actually up in the tidal flux of a small river, just above where t he head of tidewater would be at mean low tide. There were huge patches of red tide back there that day, too. I think it was late July or early Aug, 2010.

    We still see lots of anchovies around Grays Harbor. I actually snagged one with a fly. It looked just like one of Anil's Shock 'n Awe tube flies. I had one along, and compared it, said "Yep!" and tied it on. Couldn't buy a strike on it, though. I worked it in the area for nearly an hour.
    I had to switch to a pattern that stood out from the herd before I could draw a strike. I think I tied on a #6 white Knudsen Spider with a red beard, and then caught a few cutts that day. Only one near the Anchovies. I never did notice any cutthroat slashing through the bait fish or even swirling on the surface. They must have been underneath the bait, or not many around.
     
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  8. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    Nice photo
     
  9. Jack Devlin

    Jack Devlin Active Member

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    Jim, thanks for the great photo. Makes me want to order a pizza.
    About how long would you say they are?
    Jack
     
  10. Jack Devlin

    Jack Devlin Active Member

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    After looking at the photo again and enlarging it a bit, I can see a good resemblance to the anchovy pattern I posted earlier in the thread. In fact, Joe's fly is excellent. Colors and "illusion" of head etc are good.

    Jack
     
  11. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Awesome photo!

    A good way to I.D. a school of anchovies is to look for their gill plates to have a silvery flash as they flare them. In the photo, it is possible to see the silvery flash of gill plates of numerous fish.

    Roger
     
  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Jack, I think those were about 3" or so. Photo date was 7/26/10.

    Roger, They sure do flare their gills. I wonder if they were feeding on something. Some of the old locals around here refer to them as "shiners."
     
  13. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks. I should carry a dip net with me when I paddle back there. I don't usually see 'em that thick. I was surrounded by a large school that day, the biggest one I've ever encountered in the backwaters.
     
  14. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Nice photo; Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon II (Johnson and Ferguson) gives an apt description, "... a school of anchovy's gillcovers flash and twinkle like a huge handful of new dimes that has been thrown into the water."
     
  15. rotato

    rotato Active Member

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    Jim
    I tried to dip net some of those shiny dimes from the kayak
    It is quite difficult
    After two hours I caught three
    It felt like I did two thousand sit ups the next day
    Thery are illusive