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#10841207 - 05/13/15 12:00 PM Skunked at LMFR
hayes00 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
I made my first legitimate attempt at fly fishing LMFR this weekend and I didn't catch a darn thing. The water was much higher and faster than when I was there last September. I figured with all the rain that was to be expected. Spillway was moving very fast so I didn't see many great spots.

If not obvious, I should point out that I'm a newbie at this. I can cast well enough, found the popular spots, and have an idea of where the fish hangout. I didn't see many fish at all, but there was a guide there who was helping someone pull in quite a few of them. So I'm convinced I was just using the wrong flies / rig / etc.

I was using some flies from TarponFly's recommended list. I looked under rocks but couldn't find any "hatches." I went through many different types of flies (I wish I knew the names so I could tell you.) Pretty much all Orvis flys and TarponFly's Near Deere. I tried to go with what I had that looked like what TarponFly described for May. I used a small bulb strike indicator part of the time about 2' up from the fly.

I would typically get beside the spot where I thought there were fish, but about 10-15' away. Then I'd cast upstream at a 45' angle and have the fly float down near where I thought the fish were. I was careful to keep it floating naturally, by mending, etc. Then I would repeat.

Any thoughts/tips/etc. would be appreciated.

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#10841227 - 05/13/15 12:07 PM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
Bass_Bustin_Texan Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 24807
Loc: Longview
I won't know until about lunch Friday. smile

I sure hope it's not like you say.....I've put off my trip now twice.
_________________________
You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Unknown

Open your eyes & look within, are you satisfied with the life you´re living.

No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

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#10841363 - 05/13/15 12:48 PM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2957
Loc: Sherman, TX
Originally Posted By: hayes00
I used a small bulb strike indicator part of the time about 2' up from the fly.


Did you try fishing deeper? 2' from the strike indicator is not very deep in moving water.

In fast water, you may need to add split shot to the leader to get the fly deep enough, quick enough. If you are not catching anything, try "bouncing the fly off the bottom" during the drift.

Good luck!

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#10841413 - 05/13/15 01:02 PM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: RexW]
hayes00 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
I tried without the strike indicator and would get stuck on the bottom some. I tried everything. The split shot I have seemed really heavy even though it's the smallest in a normal fishing store. Maybe there are lighter ones for fly fishing.

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#10841469 - 05/13/15 01:19 PM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
DainW Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/20/15
Posts: 79
Ok so the first thing I'll tell you is that 2 feet from the indicator isn't gonna get it done, unless there's a hatch coming off and you know that they're feeding higher in the water column, especially if you were there during high water (which it sounds like you were). When the water's moving fast like that it's really important that you get the flies down, and get them down quickly so that they're bouncing off the bottom by the time they reach the strike zone. What I've always heard is that if you aren't hanging up on bottom occasionally, you aren't deep enough. Most spots at the LMF you need to be at least 5 feet deep, and sometimes even 8 or 9 if you're in a deep hole like the bluffs. Keep adding weight and moving the indicator until you either get hung on bottom or start catching fish. I've only been fly fishing about a year and half now and once I figured out that I needed to get deep, my fish numbers went way up at the LMF. It sounds like you're on the right track fly wise though. That's a pretty good list to start from. In my experience though, at least at the LMF, it's more about presentation than fly selection. "The wrong fly at the right depth will outfish the right fly at the wrong depth." The number one thing though is don't get discouraged. There isn't a fly fisher out there that hasn't been skunked a time or two. Fly fishing is very much an exercise in trial and error. Plus the river is much easier to fish at normal flows. The corp has been releasing water from the floodgates for the last 6 weeks (I think they just stopped though), and it's definitely had an effect on the fishing. Normal flows through the park are 150 CFS and flows when you were there were around 1200 CFS. Also don't be shy about asking people who are catching fish what they are doing. Most people on the river (at least the fly-fishermen) are more than happy to give up some information and help out a fellow angler. If they're really nice they'll even give you one of their secret flies.


Edited by DainW (05/13/15 01:21 PM)

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#10841551 - 05/13/15 01:50 PM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
Lloyd5 Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
One thing that helped my catch ratio was when I started using an attractor. I tie a bright red salmon egg imitation about three feet up from the tip of my leader, then tie on the fly that I think they'll bit - like a tiny zebra midge. My theory is that the bright egg gets them to look in the right area for them to see the fly you really want them to see. Theory could be all wet, but I swear I started catching a lot more fish that way.
_________________________
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http://www.amazon.com/River-Proceeds-Wou...ds=on+the+river

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#10841759 - 05/13/15 03:01 PM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: Lloyd5]
hayes00 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: Lloyd5
One thing that helped my catch ratio was when I started using an attractor. I tie a bright red salmon egg imitation about three feet up from the tip of my leader, then tie on the fly that I think they'll bit - like a tiny zebra midge. My theory is that the bright egg gets them to look in the right area for them to see the fly you really want them to see. Theory could be all wet, but I swear I started catching a lot more fish that way.


I wonder if that's what the guide did. He was using a stone fly, but had something white attached higher. Maybe it was an egg imitation.

Thanks for the posts so far.

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#10843014 - 05/13/15 10:26 PM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
ZachW Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 125
Originally Posted By: hayes00
[quote=Lloyd5]He was using a stone fly


That's interesting- is there a decent stone fly population out at LMF?

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#10843536 - 05/14/15 08:47 AM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: ZachW]
hayes00 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: ZachW
Originally Posted By: hayes00
[quote=Lloyd5]He was using a stone fly


That's interesting- is there a decent stone fly population out at LMF?


That's just what I heard, but I don't know enough yet to look at a fly and tell you what it is.

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#10843593 - 05/14/15 09:05 AM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
Fly or Die Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 32
Loc: Lantana, TX
Not keeping your fly on OR close to the bottom is likely 95% of the problem... most of the time...

Are you getting hung up on the bottom? If not, you are not fishing close enough to the bottom.
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#10843740 - 05/14/15 09:47 AM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
DainW Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/20/15
Posts: 79
I agree with what Loyd said about the attractor fly. Egg patterns and San Juan Worms are always good to use as attractors at the LMF. There's such a large and diverse food base in that river that a single size 20 midge is gonna have a tough time standing out among all the naturals that are available, but if it's a foot behind a bright yellow egg or a pink worm, it's gonna get a little more attention. Plus the eggs and worms get bit too. I've probably caught more fish on a pink SJW at the LMF than just about every other fly combined. My go to set up at the LMF is a pink SJW as the point fly, with a small, flashy nymph like a rainbow warrior or flashback pheasant tail as the dropper.

But whatever you're fishing, make sure and get it down.

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#10843799 - 05/14/15 10:05 AM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: DainW]
hayes00 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/16/14
Posts: 10
Dang. I should have come and asked you guys first. smile

Ok, can you tell me how to attach em? Do I basically tie on a San Juan Worm and leave a long tail, then tie on something else below it? How far apart? 1 foot?

Should I still bother with a strike indicator? These are the ones I'm using. They act a little like bobbers. What about split shot? What is a good weight for fly fishing?

Appreciate the help for a noob!

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#10843986 - 05/14/15 11:07 AM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
ZachW Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 125
Originally Posted By: hayes00
Dang. I should have come and asked you guys first. smile

Ok, can you tell me how to attach em? Do I basically tie on a San Juan Worm and leave a long tail, then tie on something else below it? How far apart? 1 foot?

Should I still bother with a strike indicator? These are the ones I'm using. They act a little like bobbers. What about split shot? What is a good weight for fly fishing?

Appreciate the help for a noob!


I've got a few of those Thingamabobbers but I definitely get tired of the crimping they put on my leaders. I've moved to the cheap, stick on oval indicators. The only issue is they're one time use. Also if you have a super heavy rig they may not float very well.

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#10844061 - 05/14/15 11:30 AM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
DainW Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/20/15
Posts: 79
Hayes, a lot of the questions that you asked kind of come down to personal preference. Personally I tie on a San Juan Worm (or whatever my lead fly is) and then tie the dropper directly to the shank of the hook, about a foot to a foot and a half below it. Most people use a clinch knot or improved clinch knot to tie the dropper to the shank of the hook, but I prefer a uni knot. It just seems like a stronger knot to me (I've never been very good at tying clinch knots, so I just don't have much confidence in them). If you're using a san juan worm as the lead fly, you'll need some weight to get it down fast. I think the standard size split shot I use is a number 1 which is like .4 grams maybe? I dunno I just bought a deal of splitshot at the fly shop and it came with like 5 different sizes. I burned through the two biggest sizes pretty quick and found the smaller ones impossible to pinch on. You'll want to get get the weight about a foot from the lead fly. I usually tie a surgeon's knot and attach about a foot of tippet and then my first fly. I'll pinch the shot on right above the surgeon's knot so it can't slide down. You might even try pinching split shot on between the two flies as well. Just experiment with different combinations of flies, weight, and depth until you find the right one. The nice thing about the LMF is that the water is pretty clear, and if you're using a bright pink san juan worm, you should be able to see how it's drifting. If it's taking a lot of time to sink or it's floating behind (upstream) of the indicator, then you need to add more weight.

As far as indicators go, that's another matter of personal preference. I really like the ones you posted because they're easy to adjust and you can hang a LOT of weight from them. They do crimp your leader though. Whatever indicator you use though, I would suggest white, because it's the same color as foam, and shouldn't spook fish whereas a bright yellor or orange indicator might.

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#10844359 - 05/14/15 01:32 PM Re: Skunked at LMFR [Re: hayes00]
Lloyd5 Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 426
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
I'm going to try the SJ worm next time I go to see how it works for me. Generally I'll use a bead head nymph instead of split shot. The split shot is just about impossible for me to work with when my fingers get cold.
_________________________
Texas State Editor: FishExplorer http://www.fishexplorer.com/tx

http://www.amazon.com/River-Proceeds-Wou...ds=on+the+river

Warm Water Fly Fishing Nut

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