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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Setting the Hook #13493958 03/30/20 01:35 PM
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Dan90210 ☮ Online Content OP
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Hi Yall!

Got the fly rod out and went down to a tiny pond by the house to practice and maybe catch a few sunfish.

I am struggling feeling/detecting bites with these little fish! I can see them suck in the fly just under the water then spit it right out and I am never the wiser if I had not seen it. Any thoughts on this?

I am using a 4 foot leader of 4lb test mono and very small mosquito flies... Thanks!


Originally Posted By: junbengreat
Pulled a gun on his dryer and they caught a bunch of fish.
Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13494038 03/30/20 02:25 PM
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So a couple things:
It sounds like you’re pretty sure they’re hitting the fly, but having trouble converting that to a hookup. With small bluegill a lot of the time they just kind of poke it but don’t eat it. So you get a lot of taps, but no one home when you set.

If you’re not feeling the taps and you can’t see the fly you need to get slack out, so slowly strip in line until you do (bluegill are not generally sensitive to drag or unnatural movements of the fly).

Alternatively fish a popper/dry fly so you can always see the take. Option 3 is, if you want to fish a small nymph with slack, include an indicator of some kind. You could either use a little foam or plastic one or, better, a small popper.

Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13494054 03/30/20 02:35 PM
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Dan90210 ☮ Online Content OP
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That is helpful, I think the slack is part of the problem.

Oh and I know they are taking it, I can watch them suck it in then spit it lol. Little punks.

Again these are TINY gills, like 4 inches, thats mostly what lives in that little pond.

I have had good hits on foam flys, dragon fly patterns slay, but man if the hook up ratio is not low on those foam flies. I am going to go back out soon, when its not raining, and try again.


Originally Posted By: junbengreat
Pulled a gun on his dryer and they caught a bunch of fish.
Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13494103 03/30/20 03:00 PM
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Doesn't sound like you are fishing subsurface flies yet, but when fishing something like a Rio Getter or other small fly slowly hopped along the bottom, you may not feel the take, but if you watch the end of your fly line where it connects to your leader you will usually see a slight twitch or jump when something has taken the fly. You can treat it like you would an indicator. I find when fishing flies on the bottom that a strip set is most effective.

As far as fishing dry flies, the advice above about them just hitting it but not fully taking it is solid. You hear people say that you should wait when you see a take before you set the hook. The saying is that you should say "God Save the Queen" and then set. While this works sometimes, sometimes you have to set it immediately. But other times if you set too soon you will pull it out of their mouth so you need to wait. So there is no right answer of how soon to set the hook, you are just going to have to try it one way and if that doesn't work, try it the other way.

Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13504342 04/06/20 03:29 AM
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Strip, pause, strip, pause. Sometimes they will hit on the strip and you should hook them. If they hit on the pause, you should get them the next strip.

Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Osbornfishing] #13513402 04/11/20 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Osbornfishing
Strip, pause, strip, pause. Sometimes they will hit on the strip and you should hook them. If they hit on the pause, you should get them the next strip.


If they hang on! Lol

Good advice thanks mate.


Originally Posted By: junbengreat
Pulled a gun on his dryer and they caught a bunch of fish.
Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13520916 04/16/20 05:59 PM
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With bluegill I have found I get 2 or 3 bites for every hook set. Not talking about the bumps, but a swallow and spit just like you mentioned. In other words, you are not alone here. As mentioned before, minimize the slack you have out. When you see a take, give it a little strip set. Just a 6-8" strip is all you will need. Also, don't be afraid to present that little mosquito fly by stripping it in like a clouser minnow. No bugs don't move that far or quickly, but bluegill don't seem to understand that.


Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13521170 04/16/20 08:45 PM
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The other secret is to downsize your fly size. If I just want to catch something, I keep putting on a smaller fly till I catch a fish and see what size the fish are.

Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13521613 04/17/20 03:09 AM
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To set the hook on nymphs and wet flys simply hold the fly line and lift the rod.
For Dry flys, lift when you feel the weight of the fish. Any sooner results in a miss.

Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13522084 04/17/20 02:40 PM
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Always....always strip set the hook in fly fishing. Never, never set the hook like in bass fishing or whatever. Even on the smallest fish, get in the habit of strip setting and never deviate from it. My 2 cents.

Re: Setting the Hook [Re: Dan90210 ☮] #13522187 04/17/20 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan90210 ☮
Hi Yall!
I am using a 4 foot leader of 4lb test mono and very small mosquito flies... Thanks!


I just thought about this one. I'd suggest bumping up your leader size also. First off, try a tapered leader. Get a cheap one here. My personal preference for pond fishing is the 7.5 ft leader with 0x which is around 10# test. Then you can downsize with your tippet if you want.

Then I'd recommend a tippet around 8 lbs test. This will be a 2x or 1x most likely. There is just no reason do deal with the frustration of the light lines when flinging in your local ponds, bluegills are not that picky. And believe it or not, I've caught some keeper sized bass out of a pond with little bead midge on a #12 hook. That is bigger than a mosquito, but not by a lot. Not to mention, a 2x tippet pulls out of a tree much much easier than a 5x.


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