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trouble with landing fish. what am i doing wrong?

trouble with landing fish. what am i doing wrong?

Postby the_cascadian » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:10 pm

so i'm totally new to fly fishing and the world of tenkara and have only been fishing for about two weeks now. i had a lot of luck to start and even landed a beautiful six inch rainbow trout on my second outing! subsequent outings were full of catching and releasing beautiful trout from a mountain creek near my house. this seems to be a case of beginners luck, because now i hook fish left and right but absolutely cannot bring them to hand. i feel the bite, set the hook, tip the rod away from the fish, and just as i'm preparing to land the fish, it de-hooks itself and swims away. what am i doing wrong? is this just the name of the game?

also, a question about knots: as a climber i haven't found the knots too difficult to learn. however, i feel like sometimes i am not tying them super well, as i had a break at the tippet-fly connection today while almost landing a small fish. i typically use a davy or yamamoto knot to connect tippet to fly or for the traditional line to tippet connection, all on 5x tippet. is there something i'm missing with the knots? how important is it to add spittle to the tippet before tightening? can the knot somehow twist and invert while tightening, thus weakening the knot? if i get the fly stuck in a tree and pull on it a few times in an attempt to loosen it, does this weaken the knot over time?

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Re: trouble with landing fish. what am i doing wrong?

Postby DavidHE » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:34 pm

Not sure I can give you much on landing fish. I seem to be losing a large number of fish lately. On the bright side, my flies are tricking the fish, so my tying must be ok and hooking and almost landing fish is much better than watching your line in the water and hooking nothing. Keeping tension on the little guys seems to be key.

As far as tippet, I always wet mine. The heat generated by friction when cinching the knot down does weaken it. I also find after several good hook ups, whether it be fish, trees, rock, etc. the end of my tippet near the fly can get deteriorated. Sometimes you can feel that it is gnarled and worn. I'll cut it back a little and reattach my fly.
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Re: trouble with landing fish. what am i doing wrong?

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:29 am

Most of us can only guess on why the fish is being lost before the net but I would guess you might have too much slack in the line when it gets closer to you?

Are you hand-lining in the trout or trying to net it while yanking your arm behind you?

I recommend getting in good practice with hand-lining and over time it gets easier and better.

Remember when hand-lining to keep tension on the line while stripping in to you or hand over handing the line until at foot. Keeping the trout just at waters level with mouth above the water, reach for your net and scoop up.

I see some grab for net too soon. I do that sometimes myself.

But a little more info on how you are trying to land the fish might help. Even setup a camera pointed at you and then go back and look at footage to see what is happening. That is always fun.

Yes wet davy knot and once done, wiggle it all angles applying pressure on the tippet and give it some good plays left and right so you know the knot is snug. I have found sometimes I don't tie it well and a yank or two later, it comes undone.

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Re: trouble with landing fish. what am i doing wrong?

Postby rsetina » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:07 pm

Like TJ said there may be a combination of things you can to to keep the fish on the hook. We'd only be able to help with that by observation. Just be sure to keep tension on the line when bring in line by hand. I know that most of the fish I loose are the smaller ones. They just wiggle so much they seems to have a knack at coming loose. You started out landing fish just fine, so keep at it and it will come back to you.

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12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
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Re: trouble with landing fish. what am i doing wrong?

Postby statikpunk » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:54 am

of course without seeing you fish its hard to diagnose the problem, but one thing that comes to mind for me is to make sure you have good hook sets. a razor sharp hook is critically important especially with tenkara. the long soft rods lend themselves to soft hooksets, so don't be afraid to give it a snap, and sharpen your hooks often especially if you have caught several fish on it. I need to take my own advice, often I will have take a dozen or more fish on the same fly (if I dont lose it) and then all of the sudden I cant land a fish and dont understand why. it then dawns on me and I sharpen my hook, every time, problem solved. something to try for you anyway.
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Re: trouble with landing fish. what am i doing wrong?

Postby houghland1966 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:44 am

Hello all of the above is very good advice another tip I was given was to double strike. If you have a fish on quickly strike again it seems to make a big difference with me. Sometimes the fish has gone before you have a chance but I think it increases the amount of fish you get to the net.
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