What to do on a missed take from a steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by rodeo11, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. Dec Hogan

    Dec Hogan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    salt lake city,Utah
    Gotta chime in here. First, if ya'll don't mind, I'm going to give myself a little plug and say that I covered this subject in depth in my book A Passion for Steelhead. With that in mind however, Smalma and Salmo G pretty much said the same thing I say in my book. Experience is the best teacher and is, I'm certain, the reason that the 3 of us have found similar approaches to a missed steelhead. Two things I might add: 1. If the angler missed the fish (pulled the fly away) the chances of getting that one back dramatically decreases. (Yes, there are those wonderful kamakazis that give the trigger-happy angler multiple chances at redemption.) Conversley I have found that if the steelhead makes an aggresive attempt at the fly and misses on its own, the oppurtunity to get that fish back on subsequent casts and possible fly changes is very good. I loosley tell my clients that if THEY miss the fish they have a 20% chance of getting it to come back; if the STEELHEAD misses, they have an 80% chance of of having their fly pummeled again. This has been my experience anyway. 2. I have found that by going right back at them with a slower swing and the same fly is often the ticket. I don't slow my fly by mending more, I just move closer to the suspected lie by wading out a little, and/or holding my rod out over the river. The closer the rod-tip is to the fly the slower it swings.

    Panhadle's advice is right on as well!
     
  2. Diehard

    Diehard aka Justin

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington, USA.
    I would 2nd reading Dec's book. I never really have much luck getting them to come back though. Do you really get 80% to take again? That gives me somethign to shoot for. I'm going to spend some more time on the next one missed.

    ps. Dec, that technique about holding the loop while you swing and letting the fish take it has helped my hook-up ratio a ton. I owe you a beer.
     
  3. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,629
    Likes Received:
    1,322
    Location:
    Walla Walla, WA
    I bought Dec's book this summer and I reccomend it as well. While it certainly has entertaining secitons, I found it WAY more application oriented than many other texts on the subject. Kind of a "Steelheading Handbook."

    IMO, there is a dearth of good fishing books being published these days. Dec, thanks for taking the time to make one worth reading.

    :thumb:
     
  4. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Kailua Hawaii
    If you are new to the game it's a victory. It means that you have found a fish, identified holding water, picked out a pattern that works, made a good cast and managed your line properly and enticed a strike. What you do after the missed fish can be handled a dozen different ways, as some really good fishemen have walked you through above. I would throw in my two cents and say to remember and visualize the actions before and up until the take. It looks like the "light is going on"! Congrats. Coach
     
  5. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Driven by irrational exuberance.

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,489
    Likes Received:
    273
    Location:
    Yakima, WA.
    Home Page:
    I like Curt's and Dec advice as well, but last month on the Klickitat I had a miss, waited, swung again, nothing, nymphed a glo bug and the SOB came after my indicator. I tried an orange skaker but that's the last I saw of her. After I moved downstream, this guy came down the opposite side of the river and she grabbed his nymph! Two years since my last steelhead, can you believe that?
     
  6. Abel1

    Abel1 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Clearview Wa
    You are not going to land every fish, so give yourself a pat on the back and either go home or keep at it. Stick with what the fish hit. And so on and so on!
     
  7. Skagit Angler

    Skagit Angler I miss Ed's Sports

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    North Puget Sound
    Paul.. hope that changes soon.. here's a nice little Skagit summer run to help maintain your incentive!

    http://photos.imageevent.com/banos/saukriversept07/huge/skagit summer run.jpg

    As far as the thread topic goes.. if the point has been felt.. SOL.. if not.. back it up 8-10', downsize change color, fish thru slowly.. if still no go, after fishing the hole, go back and fish that section once more..

    In reality, no one really knows how far that steelie moved to hit your fly (2' or 20'), nor where it went to afterwards.. at least I don't.
     
  8. Caddis Skater

    Caddis Skater Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastside, Washington
    DEC,

    ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC BOOK, GREAT JOB AND A MUST READ FOR ALL INTERSETED IN
    FISHING FOR STEELHEAD.

    I DID NOT MEAN TO HIJACK THIS THREAD !!!!!!!!

    SORRY.

    :beer2:
     
  9. rodeo11

    rodeo11 Meat chucker

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    MT
    Thanks a bunch to all, sounds like a bunch of good pointers for me to try out and see what works right for me.

    Dec, your book sounds interesting I will look into it as well!
     
  10. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,930
    Likes Received:
    411
    Location:
    One of those "blue lines" in the WA, MT,
    iagree Lot's of great pointer's! One of the best threads of the year, definitely of the past few month's.... Even has Dec giving us some awesome info and of course Salmo G, Steelie Mike and others as well!

    Dec I've got your book and have gone through a lot of it, but need to really study it along with some of the other books and DVD's I have and of course just get out there more often. It's been a horrible year for me getting out! I've had to cancel more trips than I've been able to actually get out on...

    Great stuff guys!

    Bill :cool::thumb:
     
  11. Kevin Giusti

    Kevin Giusti New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Bragg,Ca
    Great informative thread. Just thought Id share a recent experience. While swinging through a tailout(floating line wetfly swing) I had a fish aggresively rise to a fly. Not a pluck or a pull but an aggresive rise. Immediatly the "what to do" list began running through my head. For some reason I thought well the fish didnt feel the hook, the fly obviously got his attention(out of interest or aggression) and he moved to attack the fly. So I decided I had a pretty aggresive or POed fish. I stripped in a few feet of line and instead of slowing the fly down I actually slightly increased the speed of the swing through the encouter area and very next cast fish on. Now Im in NO WAY saying any of the other mentioned tactics are wrong or that mine is right. Just sharing an experience. I think all the mentioned tactics are great and if youve found a player they are all worth giving a shot for sure. Including Panhandles "punch the water and go drink" method, of which I have much experience with and must say am very close to perfecting:beer2:,. Who knows why a steelhead shows interest in the first place and you never know what may get one to come back. Again great thread and hope to have many chances at trying out everyones techniques!!!!!!!!!!! Kevin
     
  12. Hal Eckert

    Hal Eckert Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    182
    Location:
    West GLs
    Good thread, what about the "pluck, pluck" or "tap, tap"strikes when you feel a fish just quickly taping your fly ?

    :confused::beathead:

    :beer2:
     
  13. 1morecast

    1morecast Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Port Angeles
    relax, breathe through your nose, and cast again, and again , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
     
  14. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    Auburn, WA
    I have found myself making use of the "F" word at that point.

    My first steelhead on a fly missed the first take, I took it away from him on the second, and he hooked himself when I had my head turned on the third. I stood in one place and cast the same fly with the same length of line for over an hour and a half. I wouldn't recommend that - I was young and foolish back then...but did net a result.
     
  15. rodeo11

    rodeo11 Meat chucker

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    MT
    Wow, wonder if it was the same fish? If so, that's pretty sweet to find a fish that aggressive.