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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    West and main stem Delaware in November.

    Fished the lower west and upper main. With the exception of 2 other anglers in a drift boat, we didnt see another soul the entire time. Its like a different river this time of year, and I love it.

    Low water on the west but float able with a raft. Went 3 for 5 on decent energetic rainbows on nymphs. No surface action until an hour before dark when there were small bunches of ISO's above the riffles. Saw one or two legit rises before dark.

    On the Main, the water was around 1800. I rarely fish the main and I am finding it is hard to wade in most sections, which are really deep. Even some of the riffles seem bottomless. Anyway, pulled off below an island and didnt expect much, until my indicator dipped, and the horses were off to the races. The fish rolled initially and I got a glimpse of it. Easily 20"+ rainbow. This thing fought like a steelhead. Head shaking like crazy. Took tons of line and went from one side of the river in seconds. I fought it hard for around 4 minutes until it shook the hook.

    Can someone confirm for me that my mistake was letting the fish get directly below me? Thats when it shook off. I was right in the middle above the confluence of two riffles, right below an island. It ran from one side to the other, and then straight down river. It came off seconds after it stopped and started that head shake. I have to assume the direct inline pressure allowed it to shake it free. What to do in a situation like this? I couldn't of re-positioned myself quickly enough to prevent it from getting directly down current of me.

    I landed another bow in that riffle, around 12-13" that was acrobatic as could be. Then landed a cookie cutter 14" brown above Buckingham. One of the Bow's had a deformity (see underwater photo below) and some type of protrusion of tissue from its lower jaw. Can someone tell me is this potentially from previous hook damage? Or some type of growth?

    Bottom line - I am absolutely in love with these Delaware rainbows. Good god I keep replaying that fight over and over. Wish I could have landed the big one, but happy to of met him or her regardless! And I have a new respect for the Main.

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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    Great report. I think you're right that letting the big bow get below you was your mistake. But go easy on yourself - it's not that easy to dictate the terms of engagement with a 20 inch Delaware rainbow in fast water. You do your best and accept defeat when the fish wins.

    If the bow came unbuttoned once it got downstream (rather than breaking off), then it wasn't firmly hooked in the first place. Browns will just bulldog you in a strong current and will actually allow you to get a better hookset just by keeping sideways tension, with your rod tip low. When a rainbow runs directly downstream of me, all bets are off. If the fish is hooked in the top or bottom of its mouth, just changing the angle of connection might be enough to shake the fly loose. I also find that even when a fish is on the reel, it's tough to keep consistent pressure when they run hard downstream because they take a bunch of line, adding slack to the connection before you have a chance to crank down and tighten up again.

    Anyway, sounds like a great day on the water. I'm jealous. What flavor of nymph was working for you? And were the fish still in the riffs or are they moving into their winter lies?


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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    Well we braved the below freezing temps today again. Not another sould on the water. And for good reason. I think it was around 21 when we launched. Didn’t expect Much, but had another great day. Two more beauties today for my buddy, probably around 18” each . But guess what- the exact same situation played out for me again. I hooked another hot fish, and it ran right. Then left. Then straight down again and came unbottoned again after a heavy head shake. I’m rather perturbed to say the least. But again, happy to have fought a good battle for a few minutes. I’m using barbless hooks, so I expect it’s just two bad luck situations within a week. But still tough to swallow. Lol

    even with water temps around 36 degrees all the fish caught were in fast heavy rifles sitting right off the seams. One fish was on a traditional Hot spot pheasant tail jig and another on a caddis larve creation I called the green machine. I tied em last and took two fish on them today, so...I’d say so far it’s gonna be a hit.


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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    I have had this exact problem, especially in some fast water sections of Western rivers, where the fish will just keep trying to drop further and further downstream from the pool into the riffles and beyond.

    A Colorado guide gave me a fantastic tip for this.

    If the fish is running downstream and about to hit faster water, submerge your rod tip in the water while keeping the line tight. When all the line is underwater, keep the tension.

    Most times, at this point, the fish will move forwards, and back into the slower water. Now re-lift your tip, but don't jerk it, and start fighting it again.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim








    Quote Originally Posted by cms829 View Post
    Fished the lower west and upper main. With the exception of 2 other anglers in a drift boat, we didnt see another soul the entire time. Its like a different river this time of year, and I love it.

    Low water on the west but float able with a raft. Went 3 for 5 on decent energetic rainbows on nymphs. No surface action until an hour before dark when there were small bunches of ISO's above the riffles. Saw one or two legit rises before dark.

    On the Main, the water was around 1800. I rarely fish the main and I am finding it is hard to wade in most sections, which are really deep. Even some of the riffles seem bottomless. Anyway, pulled off below an island and didnt expect much, until my indicator dipped, and the horses were off to the races. The fish rolled initially and I got a glimpse of it. Easily 20"+ rainbow. This thing fought like a steelhead. Head shaking like crazy. Took tons of line and went from one side of the river in seconds. I fought it hard for around 4 minutes until it shook the hook.

    Can someone confirm for me that my mistake was letting the fish get directly below me? Thats when it shook off. I was right in the middle above the confluence of two riffles, right below an island. It ran from one side to the other, and then straight down river. It came off seconds after it stopped and started that head shake. I have to assume the direct inline pressure allowed it to shake it free. What to do in a situation like this? I couldn't of re-positioned myself quickly enough to prevent it from getting directly down current of me.

    I landed another bow in that riffle, around 12-13" that was acrobatic as could be. Then landed a cookie cutter 14" brown above Buckingham. One of the Bow's had a deformity (see underwater photo below) and some type of protrusion of tissue from its lower jaw. Can someone tell me is this potentially from previous hook damage? Or some type of growth?

    Bottom line - I am absolutely in love with these Delaware rainbows. Good god I keep replaying that fight over and over. Wish I could have landed the big one, but happy to of met him or her regardless! And I have a new respect for the Main.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    Thanks for the tip Jimmy. I cant wrap my head around why the lower point of tension would help, but I am going to give it a shot next time this happens. Its frustrating losing two big fish two weekends in a row during the same exact scenario.

    I also think I am not putting enough constant pressure on the fish, not wanting to break it off. I am using 5X this time of year though nymphing so not sure how big of a possibility it is under I put the hard brakes on a fast run. These damn Big D rainbows are smart, thats for sure. Seams like they know exactly when to start that crazy head shake.

    Maybe I'll give it a go next weekend again if the weather allows.


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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    I have read that you should throw a bunch a slack into the line and the fish will stop and turn back. I always think to try it after I've lost the fish.


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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    I got into a bad funk of losing fish last summer, and I ended up attributing it to tying with discount Saber Hooks.

    I got them for like 5 per 100 hooks. If you're using a batch of flies that are all tied by the same guy -- there might be something to it. Maybe your tier is using cheap hooks..

    Lacey: Where'd you get that pistol?
    Blevins: At the gettin' place.

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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy229oz View Post
    I have had this exact problem, especially in some fast water sections of Western rivers, where the fish will just keep trying to drop further and further downstream from the pool into the riffles and beyond.

    A Colorado guide gave me a fantastic tip for this.

    If the fish is running downstream and about to hit faster water, submerge your rod tip in the water while keeping the line tight. When all the line is underwater, keep the tension.

    Most times, at this point, the fish will move forwards, and back into the slower water. Now re-lift your tip, but don't jerk it, and start fighting it again.

    Hope this helps.

    Jim
    I have fished the upper Madison and the fish get in the current and turn sideways, well, nothing you can do as the tippet snaps from the pressure of the current and the fish...chase 'em chase 'em, my friend says....chasing a 20 inch wild trout down slippery boulders next to class five rapids is my idea of FUN, so there is that....I'm not fishing streamers so, I'm using 5x....one fella was using streamers and 2x...he just drug them through the current....


    submerging the rod tip in the situation described below sound like it would work, as it does't let the pressure on the hook slack and the fish may give a bit as it won't be as much pressure....hmmmm, that ain't going to work up by the slide though, might snap your rod..

    "I'm not out on the river to win." -Kieth Rutherford

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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    Quote Originally Posted by moosekid View Post
    I got into a bad funk of losing fish last summer, and I ended up attributing it to tying with discount Saber Hooks.

    I got them for like 5 per 100 hooks. If you're using a batch of flies that are all tied by the same guy -- there might be something to it. Maybe your tier is using cheap hooks..

    I guess I should probably fire myself then, lol. I only tie with Partridge, Daiichi, Hanak, and I just got a batch of Orient Sun hooks that look super nice but haven't fished em yet.

    I am not straightening out the hooks, so its not that. I am using 90% barbless though. So I am not so sure that throwing a bunch of slack to the fish is a good idea.

    I also cant wrap my head around how dropping the tip in the water on a downstream run would help. I feel like as soon as the tension is put back on and they start shaking their head like crazy, out it would come anyway. I'm gonna try it though. We'll see if the wife gives me the OK to go back up Saturday.

    Lightenup - I tried chasing a bit...but If I had followed any further I would of been swimming along with him Brad Pitt style. Though I would of likely died of hypothermia, and my TV career would of been over.


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    Re: West and main stem Delaware in November.

    Quote Originally Posted by cms829 View Post
    I guess I should probably fire myself then, lol. I only tie with Partridge, Daiichi, Hanak, and I just got a batch of Orient Sun hooks that look super nice but haven't fished em yet.

    I am not straightening out the hooks, so its not that. I am using 90% barbless though. So I am not so sure that throwing a bunch of slack to the fish is a good idea.

    I also cant wrap my head around how dropping the tip in the water on a downstream run would help. I feel like as soon as the tension is put back on and they start shaking their head like crazy, out it would come anyway. I'm gonna try it though. We'll see if the wife gives me the OK to go back up Saturday.

    Lightenup - I tried chasing a bit...but If I had followed any further I would of been swimming along with him Brad Pitt style. Though I would of likely died of hypothermia, and my TV career would of been over.
    I'm thinking, submerging the rod tip will put the line under water, dragging it downstream, keeping pressure on the fish, but not as much...so it may let up a bit and give you the upper hand? No? I am thinking about that correctly? Jimmy?

    "I'm not out on the river to win." -Kieth Rutherford

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