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Vortex Feeding Trout


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#1 xilinx_altera

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 12:07 PM

OK I'm a big trout hunter (I consider a big trout anything 18+). I'm pretty frustrated as of late. It has taken me a few years to really have the ability to dial into WB trout. I understand trout feed 90% below the surface but I'm a seriously stubborn dry fly fisherman, I just love seeing that take versus a twitch of an indicator and I fully understand I would catch 10x more fish if I nymphed. I've been humbled on numerous occasions which makes me really appreciate when I do land a fish. In fact, I appreciate WB trout 10x more than the cheesemans canyon S. Platte trout I slayed earlier this year (much thanks to everything I learned fishing for wild trout on WBD over the years), like there was no challenge on the Platte, sure it was 18+ inch cutbows, browns and bows one after the other, but my utility function came into affect and by the 10th one I was bored. WB trout make most other trout look like child's play as they really make you earn it and hence why there is no river I love more to fish. Case in point, forget the fact they are the most stubborn fish on the planet, the fact one has to seriously match the hatch down to the silhouette, size, color, shape , stage etc etc all those variables we have all in numerous occasions scrambled through our fly boxes with hopes of dialing in. Sure, for dry fly fisherman, the type of rise helps winnow out many choices for flies, for example that splashy rise is either a caddis or emerger, that head then tail roll is sipping in that film. Many more rise types give us an indication of what they feed on. There is one specific rise form that literally gives me a rush like a roller coaster, a rise form that makes me shake, a rise form where I know its a very mature and experienced trout, its that sucking sound and not just a sipping sound, its that sound like a plunger where all you hear is that plunger sound ( one very quick sound ) and observe a circular portion of water that literally gets sucked down a vortex. You will see no fish whatsoever. You will encounter this rise type in the evening and in slower water. I know some of you are saying yeah yeah it's a sipping rise. No no this is far from a sip, this is the rise of a serious pig and trout of a lifetime and I'm talking a couple feet worth of a trout that is typically carnivorous. This kind of fish is 2+" below the surface sucking water through its gills to suck in prey. This fish is not like others who inspects a fly close to the surface where one can see a sillohette or a large area of disturbed water. Rather, this fish gives itself both time and distance to inspect the prey, it will never breech water. This fish understands as its sucking down this water it has time to decline that prey all in the cover of deeper water. This rise form does not leave much evidence as it quickly dissipates and you don't see those concentric circles that slowly fade down stream. You need to dial on the that sound first then home in on location. This kind of fish has avoided years of predators both fly fisherman and eagles alike. This kind of fish has lungs like Michael Phelps, this is a beast that rarely gives any indication that it exists in the river. This fish knows exactly what its doing. If your careful enough you can make several attempts to entice the fish, though any splashy cast or whipping line around will cause that sucking sound never to be heard again. If your lucky enough to have that pig target your fly and you see your fly getting sucked down a vortex with no fish in sight, you full understand this is the sole opportunity you will have for the next 24 hours to set the hook properly otherwise forget it, if you miss the set as your fly is only 1 inch away from actually making its way into this pigs mouth or the trout moved off and all your setting is your fly out of the vortex. If your lucky enough to have that fish still waiting after it inhaled ever so quick to suck your fly right off the surface and down this vortex then timing is all you have on your side. All those variables aligned and it boils down to the last one that actually will hook the pig: timing.

OK for those who know exactly what I'm talking about, how have you sucessfully set the hook in this scenario?

Frustrated with timing big trout hunter.

#2 GaryB

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 11:55 AM

On slow risers, I try and count "one, one thousand" before lifting my rod. Note I said TRY



#3 Gene

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:22 PM

Great question and I'm not sure I have the answer. Had that happen twice last week on 2 big fish on the Farmington. I always felt that it was the fish taking softly and I still do. I have usually lowered my tippet size and or lengthened it. That day nothing worked, one fish actually appeared to eat my fly and several different ones 6 times and no hook up. I went to 8x and still nothing, quite frustrating. The next day I had a big fish take me to the bank and I came back with half my tippet lenght. Like you I will keep on trying, no give up in me, lol. Good luck maybe someone else will offer a solution.

Gene

#4 xilinx_altera

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 01:26 AM

Thanks guys, I'll give it a try next time I come across this rise form and lucky enough to have my fly sucked down that vortex and count one thousands!



#5 idryfly

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 03:05 PM

X.A.........your summary of the WB is spot on......it is the only river system that makes me feel like a newbie every time. I fish the Farmington a lot as I did yesterday.......I considered it a poor dry fly day for me even though I was well into the double digits on trout landed because I've had days way better than that.    WB Delaware on the other hand I go anticipating getting skunked and then if I catch a few I feel like the king of the world.   Earlier this season I spent a few nights up there and was besides myself with the missed hooksets........to the point I was simply dumbfounded.   I had big mouths actually come up at my fly -  and very subtle rise forms at my fly........and I was missing 95% of my fish  ????   I blame it on the fact that I was so anxious and I hadn't fished it in a while -  but to this day that still bugs me.   I probably should have said  "God Save the Queen" slowly before lifting my rod rather than shouting "oh my God" and then ripping the fly out of their mouths....LOL           I agree with the statement that I rather catch 1 trout on a dry fly than 10 trout nymphing.........and I also rather catch one WB trout on a dry fly than 10 dry fly trout anywhere else I fish.



#6 Grouse

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:47 PM

I hate to generalize but my experience is that it's very difficult to miss most hook sets. My feeling is that it's usually a last minute refusal where you're not actually missing the hook set. A few weeks ago I was on the WB Delaware and a few bugs started to come out late in the afternoon. A few fish started to rise but were tough. I normally fish 4x or 5x as much as possible. The trout came up to a #16 Sulphur on a 5x tippet (snowshoe emerger) and looked three times. The rises were steady and were actually gulping rises. I added 6x tippet and changed to a smaller fly which he took on the second drift. The trout came out after dark and were rising everywhere. I find I do better on the WB than the Farmington some times.....lol I find that WB trout, while never easy are more approachable than years ago. I think this is due to increased angler and boat activity. Anyway, I don't really buy the missed hook set theory, I really don't think you'll miss many sets.

#7 xilinx_altera

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 12:30 PM

Grouse - I respectfully disagree with you about rejecting the missed hook set theory in cases where I've seen my fly get sucked down a vortex, with no trout in sight, which sounds like your gulping rise.  Question is how far down, on average, are these vortex trout and how long, on average, does one wait before setting the hook? 

 

I reject your theory that WB trout are more approachable due to increased angler and boating.  Your suggestion that wild trout, that have evolved over millions of years, are becoming 'domesticated' due to increased angler and boat activity, and in turn become less selective and more approachable, is flawed.  Your compare the WB to the Farmington rivers and suggest WB trout are more approachable, however, the Farmington river has a vastly higher 'stocked' trout population (refer to Appendix A of first link below).  The Farmington has a stocked population and the WB does not as its a pure wild trout fishery.

 

http://www.ct.gov/de...port2014-15.pdf

 

Also, the mortality rates for stocked fish far exceed that for wild fish:

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm...pubmed/12030979

 

https://www.oneonta....River OP 34.pdf

 

1.  Wild trout are more selective than stocked trout

2.  Wild trout are less approachable than stocked trout

3.  Stocked trout genetic makeup does not significantly cross over to wild trout

4.  Wild trout have higher survival rates than stocked trout

 

I have avoided stocked waters the past 10 years, as I prefer quality over quantity



#8 Grouse

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:35 AM

I never said WB trout were more approachable than Farmington River trout......not sure where you got that impression. As far as WB trout being more approachable than in years past, it's not an observation based on the trout genetics as such but the seasonal exposure to anglers and boat traffic. You seem to be looking for an argument where none exists. Clearly wild trout are more wary and like most people I prefer wild fish. I've fished the WB for over 40 years and while it's not always easy, I rarely have a problem taking fish. As far as missing a hook set I'm referring to the respondents who mentioned missing hook sets. I stand behind my belief that an experienced flyfisher will not really miss many hook sets. Often these are refusals at the very last instance. How often have you hooked a trout in the back? These are refusals where you set the hook as the trout is going back down. To me a gulping rise is where a trout has a large amount of food and feeds with its mouth open, taking many flies one after another..... often in back eddies.

#9 xilinx_altera

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 10:47 AM

We are not talking about the same rise form. I'm sure in your 40 years fishing the WB you've come across the rise form I'm talking about, I guarantee, especially right when the sun dips. Its close to that gulping rise your talking about but its more like a plunger sound and all one sees is a 1" circumference of water get pulled down with no trout in sight and its well below, how far below I speculate 2+" below. Its an experienced fish that does not move downstream inspecting the fly, it brings the fly to itself; this is the differentiator. It simply sucks in water pulling prey from the top down through the vortex created by this must be massive trout. Its impossible to hook the fish in the back when its sucking your fly down a vortex. Again I don't see this fish but based on the rise form it absolutely must be a beast.

In the times youve come across this rise form, how have you successfully timed the set?

I almost want to say where but high doubt its isolated to my fav go to spot.

Distance, time, cover of dusk and leverages fluid dynamics to bring the fly to itself. This kind of trout is measured in feet and not inches.

#10 hacklehouse

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:48 PM

It's hard to believe that this discussion has gone on as long as it has.... Bottom line is that you are missing fish.....probably not the fault of the fish, possibly the result of overthinking a simple sport or lack of experience, or both.
The elitist comments about being a big fish hunter and having avoided stocked rivers for 10 years are insightful.
For your information, the Farmington has a very large population of wild Browns, many of these being in the 14-20 inch range, I haven't found any of them to be "vortex" feeders.

#11 xilinx_altera

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 08:29 PM

Some people like apples more than oranges. Apple lovers should not be labeled as 'elitists', sexists, homophobic, xenophobic....you get the idea.

I prefer large wild trout sorry if that offends you.

Appendix 2 illustrates while the farmington may have a higher population of smaller sized wild trout than larger stocked trout, the likelihood of a farmington trout doing what I call Vortex feeding is far lower on the Farmington than on the WB so ill assume you have not been fortunate and experienced enough to come across this rise form let alone wise trout that pulls the fly through a vortex. 

https://www.google.c...LZe6Yc15gBu86VA



#12 catskilljohn

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 01:04 PM

It's possible that since the fly is tethered to a leader it doesn't have the "freeness" to actually make it all the way into the trouts mouth.
You sound convinced that these fish have figured out that they can be a significant distance below the surface and coupled with their personal gill ability can pull a bug under and into their mouth without being at the surface.
If they have it figured out this close, and accurately, it would work with any bug not attached to a leader, but a leader would inhibit the flys movement maybe enough to not make it all the way down the vortex.
Just speculating here...I do all my fishing with nymphs, and don't deal with the same frustrations you guys do. I just don't see all the subsurface mistakes I make, and I'm happy like that😎 CJ

#13 hacklehouse

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 03:02 PM

I have 60+ years of fly fishing and started fishing the WB around 1970....so my experience is not an issue. In all of our travels to Alaska, So. America, the American west and Zealand, I've unfortunately never incountered a "vortex" feeding trout. After reading all of these posts I
feel that I have really missed an unusual opportunity.....

#14 xilinx_altera

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 04:21 PM

I'll pull a libtard response and spell correct you... Its encountered and not incountered

Sorry if your bent out of shape for me coining my own term for an unusual feeding form for a very wise trout. Others can discover news things too.

This simple question of timing turning into a debate reminds me of blockbuster video c-level management rejecting video on demand decades ago, stubborn in their ways of past and not embracing the new.

I leave you with a simple riddle as I know you've been there before:

The first of two stretches that imply fun, traverse the path that runs though a field then a short dimly lit piney like stretch then field again. You will appear in the upper part, don't head North or across but move South. Pass the second rock that lies on the opposite bank, head another 100 yards south where the water slows down and depth evens out, wade mid pool and wait. Once the sun dips and the shade is cast, patiently wait, don't be distracted by the sipping trout, what you seek is calculating, if your lucky enough to hear a suction sound quickly beacon in, cast your fly 6 feet above and hopefully see a vortex appear, with no visible trout in sight as the shade is cast over the water, and your fly will disappear. The quesion is how long to wait before you set!

#15 xilinx_altera

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 04:24 PM

It's possible that since the fly is tethered to a leader it doesn't have the "freeness" to actually make it all the way into the trouts mouth.
You sound convinced that these fish have figured out that they can be a significant distance below the surface and coupled with their personal gill ability can pull a bug under and into their mouth without being at the surface.
If they have it figured out this close, and accurately, it would work with any bug not attached to a leader, but a leader would inhibit the flys movement maybe enough to not make it all the way down the vortex.
Just speculating here...I do all my fishing with nymphs, and don't deal with the same frustrations you guys do. I just don't see all the subsurface mistakes I make, and I'm happy like that😎 CJ

Now if one can invent a way to hook a trout with no leader would be a magician! Clearly a timing issue with me on these feeders. I will admit my stubbornness to not nymph has my catch rate at 10% of what it could be. Maybe I suck it up and embrace nymphing more.

#16 catskilljohn

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 05:14 PM

Obviously I wasn't implying you should invent a way to fish without a leader, simply offering a possible scenario to why your not sticking these "beasts".

They get that way (big) cause they have found every way to evade capture. If it was easy to catch them, there would be a whole lot less of them.

Cj

#17 xilinx_altera

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 06:42 PM

CJ: LOL I know, though wouldnt that be a hoot!

All I can say is this kind of feeding is one step beyond sipping as don't sipping trout do something similar to what I'm talking about? However, with sippers I always see a nose poke or a disturbance in water the length of a decent sized fish just below the surface. In what I call the vortex feed I just see a circular portion of water get sucked down with a pretty distinctive sucking sound, hence vortex, and my fly gets pulled down (almost like that sound you hear when the last bit of water gets drained after a bath), I never see a trout. I know I'm maddow conjecturing, with no facts whatsoever on the actual size, here but I'll bet this kind of feeding pattern is from a fish in excess of 24". It must be a beast to keep cover and use its Phelps like lungs to pull water down like I observed, gives itself distance and time to inspect.

Anyway, I'll film this rise form and share to get opinions on the matter.

Tight lines

#18 Alex Argyros

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 10:47 PM

It's "distinctive," not "distinguished."



#19 catskilljohn

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 11:43 PM

I have hooked a few trout on top that I would say took the fly as you described, but I was in the vicinity of fast water and never heard it.
I did however see the fly simply vanish into a hole in the water, one I landed(18") and the other straightened the hook.
Both times i am happy to say resulted in a solid hookup.
I would love to see a video though😉 CJ

#20 xilinx_altera

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 01:51 AM

LOL Alex, I could argue your point as distinctive is a synonym of distinquished, per dictionary below. I've since edited my post as I too prefer distinctive over distinquished, appreciate the call out.

https://www.google.c...biw=360&bih=573




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