Size does matter?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jeff Wood, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. I have been fishing smaller streams both here in Washington and also in Colorado. In those streams I have been catching lots of smaller fish. The queston is how small do I go. I could use really small flys and catch more but smaller fish but are smaller fish hardy enough to handle being caught and released. I try to keep the fish I catch in the water (If I have to use a net it is a fish sensitve net)to take the barbless hook out but I still worry about the small fry. Any thoughts? I spend most of my time of the Snoqualmie so I know this is an important issue.

    P.S. Who ever let us know about turnig this fish upside down to easily remove the fly should be thanked profusely.

  2. IMHO, I believe little flies catch little trout (not that they don't catch large ones, too). It's just that larger flies don't catch as many small ones. Smaller trout are far more fragile than their larger brethren. I also tend to use higher wt. rods to quicken the catch and release time. Sure it's more fun to fight with lighter tackle but it is not in the best interest of the fish, a primary concern of mine in a sport which has in its nature a certain degree of lethality.

    I don't use a net when landing trout, nor do I grab the fish rather, I bring the fish near and grab the bend of the hook to secure. I then work the trout while holding the hook to resuscitate then use the trout's weight to ease the hook back out and release. And I only fish with barbless hooks. BTW, I don't pretend that my way is the only way or more humane than the next.

    Simply my $.02.

  3. Quite small fish are often in better shape at releade than larger ones because they come to hand faster and with less fight. They re more fragile, though, and need to be handled with extreme care. Be quick and gentle; use an appropriate net (well wetted) if that makes it quicker and gentler. Otherwise, do it by hand (well wetted). If you're fishing in an anadromues reach, keep in mind that small fish are likely juvenile steelhead or salmon.

    BTW: a lady "aquaintance" of mine once let me in on the cruel reality that "size doesn't matter only when its not big." She didn't pick the best time in the world to tell me either.
  4. Wow - what a time to have her talk about your manleyhood. I had a new girlfriend once, who just broke up with her long time boyfriend. She called out his name right during the heat of passion. Oops. Well to turn this back into a fishing topic and away from the true confessions BB, I will offer the following. I have been fortunate to have opportunity to go fishing with Jim Hill. He runs Hills Discount flys that is shown on this web sites home page. He fishes the Yakima as his home water. He also sells flys to many of the local guides. He showed me the size of the fly he has personally caught his largest trout on and it's a size 16 and 18 nymph. By the way, if you want to save some $$, he sells good flys for much less than other shops (shameless plug for a great fishing guy and new friend). If you were to see what he has in his fly box, you would see everything from big monster stones to size 22 WD40's. Jim and I went to Alaska this year and fished together for two weeks. Instead of the traditional big flys working up there, the small sparse flys worked the best. I hooked several kings on a size 6 fly that I normally use on the Stilly for pinks. I even hooked a monster king on a size 6 reverse spider that I tie for SRCs. So IMHO, you gotta have a lot of different ammo. Something else that I have heard that I am now really starting to believe is that if you believe in particular fly pattern, it will work for you because you will place it where it needs to be and learn to fish it at the right speed and depth (like good Mojo).

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