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  1. #13
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffK View Post
    Now to stir the pot a little.

    I like tying the dropper flies off a tag line (particularly for soft hackle wets or Czech nymphs).

    The New Zealand style (tying a dropper line off the bend of the hook of the upper nymph) is effective and easy to do afield. This is what Mr Meck touts and he has a great way to tie the dropper line to the bend of a hook. However, I find this to be a snagging machine in places crawling with trout, like the Pequest spillway. Little Lehigh etc. I see way too many fish at the Pequest TCA with hooks all over their heads, tails, and dorsals and I don't let the fly guys get off the hook for this one - regardless of all the outcry against those damn spinfishermen. Don't find that with a tag line dropper. If only circle hooks worked in midge sizes!

    AKS, I thought you would appreciate full disclosure, especially where snagging is concerned.
    Jeff....I agree with 99% + of the stuff you post, however I'm not convinced this time. Why do you feel that the NZ style snags fish more than a classic dropper set-up? When fish are stacked up only feet or inches away from each other, any hook going through the area stands a chance of snagging a fish. Do you have any evidence to support your claim, anything published somewhere, or even any physics rationale for this claim? If you find fish with hooks all over their bodies, how do you know they were from a NZ rig? And even if they were from a NZ rig, how do you know the damage was from the trailer?

    QT


  2. #14
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    Jeff,

    Great point! With any multiple fly rig your chances of snagging fish goes way up. There are three things I have observed myself, and watching others fish, that will cause a snag when fishing a New Zealand style rig.

    1. Too much distance between weight and flies. Limit your tippet sections to 16" or 20". The written in stone formula is actually one and one half times longer than the biggest fish you expect to catch. I understand this from the no snag perspective, but it completely screws with your drift if you go too far in either direction.

    2. Upward hook set. Go with a nice gentle sweep of your rod river left, river right, or downstream (depending on where you are in relation to the fish.) You will not only have a better chance of getting a good hook set, but you are way less likely to snag a fish. You are also immediately in a side pressure situation. We all know this is way better than the Bassmaster "fish on!" 11 o'clock fish looser technique.

    3. Cutting cross current with your drift. If the fish are stacked up in a small area make sure your cast puts your indicator, weight and flies inside both of the outer edges parallel of the seam you are fishing. If your indicator or fly line lands in the seam, and your flies are 45 degrees from the line or indicator and 2 feet outside the seam, the indicator or fly line will pull your weight and or flies across the fish diagonally. Easy snags and no hook ups in this scenario. You need to have the flies going in front and past the fish.

    I hope this helps change your (and other's) perspective on the New Zealand rig. If you alter your style or set up a little bit, it is a snag free fish catching machine.

    McA


  3. #15
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    I'm not really sure why this is, but it certainly seems like it does in my observations. The engineer in me thinks it has to be a result of the two nymphs being aligned exactly with the leader and each other. For example, watch when your leader crosses the back of a fish. Normally, if you slack off the leader the flies go right over the back and down to the tail. With a NZ rig the hook points will be lined up with the leader and can dig in as they slide along the fishes back. With stiff tag lines the hooks don't exactly line up and start flopping about with a slack line - there is no water velocity to want them to line up and dig in. That's what I theorize.

    It probably has more to do with the clear water than the crowding - at the Pequest or Little Lehigh it is almost always sight fishing. Whenever you can see fish a high percentage of your drifts will be right in their face and if they don't take then the fly or leader can slide by them. I don't see a real difference when blind fishing, but when sight fishing unless you can consistently get to the near side of the fish's face (I can't) then the leader will slide over a fish's back if presentation is good enough to not spook the fish, but too poor for him to take - which to bulk of my fishing in these special regs areas.


  4. #16
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    McAwful,
    We posted at the same time. All your points are great. Some of the good fishermen I have seen do a downward set. I just can't get myself to do that and when I get excited I sometimes forget the side or back set and am guilty of yank em out of the water set - usually resulting in a lost fish and my rig dangling from a tree branch. Same thing with LLS fishing. The standard is a strip set, and only drive the hook home once you feel the rod load. Usually takes me a few fish to remember that. Problem is that LLS fishing I only get a couple strikes on a good day.


  5. #17
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffK View Post

    It probably has more to do with the clear water than the crowding - at the Pequest or Little Lehigh it is almost always sight fishing. Whenever you can see fish a high percentage of your drifts will be right in their face and if they don't take then the fly or leader can slide by them. I don't see a real difference when blind fishing, but when sight fishing unless you can consistently get to the near side of the fish's face (I can't) then the leader will slide over a fish's back if presentation is good enough to not spook the fish, but too poor for him to take - which to bulk of my fishing in these special regs areas.
    I still think the rig is getting an undeserved bad rap here. In clear water cases the problem is more likely due to the inexperienced / overzealous fly fisherman, not the rig. Whenever you can see the fish, you can snag one with any rig, even a single nymph.


  6. #18
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    Charlie Meck's index has three page numbers where he references setting the hook (p. 20, 71, 87).

    Basically he states if you see a trout near your sub surface fly and it opens its mouth.. set the hook. If your dry fly is used as a strike indicator, don't rely on it to tell you a trout had taken and spit out your dropper.

    Now I am puzzled...

    Why did I spend $16.95 for something so advanced as this book????

    OR !

    Maybe there is a hidden message in there...

    Wow.. I have more questions.. not a single answer but questions... starting to feel a little like Buckwheat in that regard.

    As always, able to rely on the members of NEFF for some solid advise.

    AK Skim
    Bestest of the Best Friend of BigBow Slapshot


  7. #19
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    Quote Originally Posted by AKSkim View Post
    Jeff;

    You provided some very interesting insight into the possibility of snagging with a dropper.

    Never even considered such an item.

    Thanks.

    AK,

    Any rig can be a "snagging machine" if so desired...well maybe not a dry fly fished on surface.

    I think I've accidently foul hooked maybe 5 trout in my lifetime on a dropper rig. It's just as easy to foul hook one swinging or bouncing a nymph on the bottom.

    Maybe one who foul hooks alot of fish with a dropper should consider their fishing technique as the culprit as opposed to the rig.

    Cdog


  8. #20
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    Quote Originally Posted by Corndog View Post
    Maybe one who foul hooks alot of fish with a dropper should consider their fishing technique as the culprit as opposed to the rig. Cdog
    Corndog;

    As you have well seen fishing the Salmon River during salmon season...

    Yankers... just ripping their line threw a pool or run. If you have to resort to that, why even fish? I bet the cost for traveling up there, lodging, per diem would cost less than going to a fish store and buying salmon.

    As always, ethical fishing... can't beat it.

    AK Skim
    NEFF's own Best Friend to BigBow Slapshot.
    Also, wondering what time they drop the puck on Friday.. hint..hint..


  9. #21
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    If you gents are going to stand on your theories of multiple hooks increase ones chances of foul hooked fish, then our fly fishing forefathers must have been "snaggers".

    I recently read an article about fly fishing methods of old, where guys would put as many as 11 flies on their line. I think it was in American Angler. I can look for it if anyone is interested.

    Cdog


  10. #22
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    Quote Originally Posted by AKSkim View Post
    Corndog;

    As you have well seen fishing the Salmon River during salmon season...

    Yankers... just ripping their line threw a pool or run. If you have to resort to that, why even fish? I bet the cost for traveling up there, lodging, per diem would cost less than going to a fish store and buying salmon.

    As always, ethical fishing... can't beat it.

    AK Skim
    NEFF's own Best Friend to BigBow Slapshot.
    Also, wondering what time they drop the puck on Friday.. hint..hint..
    Well...today I would agree with you...but, 10+ years back, on my first SR adventure, I was taught to snag salmon like so many others and had fun doing it. I was told, "Hey that's the only way to hook them and besides ...everyone else is doing it. Just look around." But I know better now.

    Put 20 guys in a pool, fly fishermen included (noone from NEFF of course), full of freshly stocked breeders and I know for a fact many of those fish will come in tail first. I see it year after year on the BFB.

    Cdog


  11. #23
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    I would say Meck's advise is pretty good. If you watch people fish at a place like the Little Lehigh or Pequest you will see plenty of times where fish take and spit out a fly and not disturb the indicator. I think in some hands the indicator can make your results worse since it can take your focus away from the fish. Watching the fish is always the best course. You can learn a lot even if they don't take your fly that way.

    The indicator comes into its own when you can't see the fish, and then the strikes can often be real subtle, like a simple side motion or even a lift strike, because the water is usually on the deeper side and the leader has plenty of room to move around. Lift strike - if a trout takes a nymph and by doing so takes the weight of the nymph and maybe a split shot the indicator can float a little higher. Don't wait for the "bobber" to go down.


  12. #24
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    Re: Fishing A Dropper

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffK View Post
    The indicator comes into its own when you can't see the fish, and then the strikes can often be real subtle, like a simple side motion or even a lift strike, because the water is usually on the deeper side and the leader has plenty of room to move around. Lift strike - if a trout takes a nymph and by doing so takes the weight of the nymph and maybe a split shot the indicator can float a little higher. Don't wait for the "bobber" to go down.
    Yes exactly and to add...a strike sometimes will only make the indicator hesitate for a split second. Your eyes must be locked on the indicator or you will miss many takes.

    Personally I try not to site fish, so I don't see the fish take my nymph. Fishing this way makes the indicator a very handy tool to identify a take and to keep my nymph off the bottom.

    Cdog


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