Can floatant detract some fish?

I was recently on the Fall River near Sunriver, OR where the water was crystal clear and I could see dozens of rainbow trout in the water. There was a woman fishing nearby using the same color, and size PMD and in one hour caught 3 fish. She then left and I fished the exact same spot and could see fish come up to my fly then turn around. Not a single strike. I was using Loon Aquel floatant. It seemed as though there was something detracting them from taking the fly. I realize that 10% of fisherman catch 90% of the fish but hope someday I am in that 10% category. Any input would be appreciated.
SB
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Premium
I believe so. I have a paste that if just rub it on, the fly isn't very good. Liquify it in your fingers and rub in well, the flly works much better. I have a liquid I don't care for either. I'd rather fish without. But I'm the guy who finds an elk hair caddis fishes better in the film or wet anyway.
Coming in behind someone who fished a dry I think you'd have been better off switching to a winged wet, but I'd probably of had a wet and nymph on already, as fish do most of their feeding under the surface.
Hope you figure it out.
 

Greg Armstrong

WFF Premium
Hmm.
Maybe go to a 9’ or even 12’ leader. Bag the ring (use a blood not), and go to a 4’ tippet.
A drag free float is imperative with spooky, fished over trout in clear water. Wiggle some “S” shapes into your line/leader before it lands on the surface to help eliminate any drag.

Some days, the dragon wins.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Premium
In those flat sections of river there, if I'm throwing dries, I've always done better with a leader that's in the 12-15' range. I rarely have had to downsize to 6x, but if throwing a tiny midge pattern it can be useful. Another thing to do is just fish a little rs2 just subsurface...it's killer there. It's more about the drag free drift than floatant vs no floatant IMO.

That said, I'm usually just throwing streamers there as those Fall River fish are typically pretty grabby.
 

East Coaster

Active Member
I agree with the others that a drag-free drift would be key, and is likely the difference between why she was catching fish and you weren't. One other tip that might help - you mention that you were both using the same size PMD. Were you using the same pattern? A general guide is that if the water is flat and smooth, you want to use a fly that is sitting low in the surface film, so something heavily hackled like a standard Catskill tie wouldn't work nearly as well as a parachute or a Comparadun (no hackle). Just a thought......
 

Brian in OR.

Active Member
If the fish is coming up to your fly than theres nothing wrong with your leader.... The fish doesn't like your fly so instead of trying to analyze why it doesn't like your fly just change it out to another pattern. smaller larger different variation etc....
 

East Coaster

Active Member
If the fish is coming up to your fly than theres nothing wrong with your leader....
Not necessarily true. The leader/tippet could be causing drag, so the fish turn away when they get close and realize the fly isn't drifting naturally. I've had this happen a number of times and switching to a lighter tippet (without changing flies) usually does the trick. YMMV.....
 

Brian in OR.

Active Member
Not necessarily true. The leader/tippet could be causing drag, so the fish turn away when they get close and realize the fly isn't drifting naturally. I've had this happen a number of times and switching to a lighter tippet (without changing flies) usually does the trick. YMMV.....

I won't argue with that, but in my experiences a fly change usually does the trick when i get refusals....
 

Canuck from Kansas

WFF Premium
Fall River feesh, paphooey!! They can be incredibly selective; they learned that what they had been grabbing was grabbing them back. In that clear, flat water they can take their time, go up, sniff etc, then maybe grab, they don't need to strike fast like in pocket water - change up often, go small.

cheers
 

Jaydub

Active Member
Too much floatant can create an oil slick, but it's more likely a drag problem. My experience on the Fall, when this happens, is to go with a longer lighter tippet, as others have said. Sometimes going with one size smaller fly works. Sometimes they will take a Thorax but not a parachute or vice-versa.
 

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