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Dry dropper woes

Post By: xavierk31      Posted: 9/18/2023 8:37:55 AM     Points: 6086    
To all my fly anglers out there- had a really great afternoon getting in some more high mountain stream fishing before it gets too cold. As it goes of course with dry dropper and these smaller fish, I probably missed just as many fish as I got into the net. But that's ok, I had pretty consistent action all afternoon which is always fun.
But probably 2-3 fish I ended up foul hooking with the dropper. The very last fish I caught as a matter of fact, I foul hooked him on one of his pectoral fins, poor guy. So instead of trying to rip out the small fly and slicing his fin, I went ahead and just cut the line. The brookie mentioned is pictured, color seemed darker than the other ones I caught.

Coupe questions here-

1- Are my reflexes just still not used to getting a quick hookset with these small creek fish? I don't think line sag was the issue, because with the majority of these casts, I only had my leader out of the rod- it was such tight quarters I almost wasn't able to have my fly ilne out at all.

2- Do I need to just not have a dropper in these instances, or strictly have the dropper be barbless? While I did get several hits on my dropper, the vast majority of the hits I had were on my dry.

3- Why was this brookie much darker? Was this due to just less sunlight in the pool where he was? That section was very shaded..... wasn't sure if there was another explanation...
 Reply by: eholm      Posted: 9/18/2023 10:31:56 AM     Points: 17793
Nice! I can only comment on #3. We had an interesting discussion last year in which Fishseal confirmed that brookies do adapt color to their environment: [log in for link] so I think your observation about the shady location is correct. I would also guess that it could be getting darker in color as it heads into fall spawning season, especially if it was a male.
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: 9/18/2023 11:29:16 AM     Points: 6086
Thanks Eric, that's interesting. And also makes sense that brookies would be so resilient. The spawning explanation would make sense too, but some of the fish I caught yesterday were just so bright RED on the bottom... really pretty fish. Also was funny to me how some of the fish I caught were in such a small pool of water that seemed fairly unassuming.
 Reply by: Banzai Jimmy      Posted: 9/18/2023 12:49:30 PM     Points: 13852
Similar experience here specifically with small stream brook and dry-dropper. It happens. What I also experience is if they do get on the dry, then they flail so much they wrap themselves up on the dropper tippet and occasionally get the dropper just stuck into them a tiny bit in the net.

Depending on the water, I'll switch to one or the other if one was the clear choice for the fish just so I don't have to deal with a foul hooking or getting wrapped in the dropper tippet. But, sometimes they're split on what they want so I stick with it.
 Reply by: xavierk31      Posted: 9/18/2023 2:34:19 PM     Points: 6086
Banzai- ya I've had that happen plenty as well- getting the line wrapped around them. That seems like it can happen regardless of the size of the fish tho... and these fish were especially floppy, lol. Could tell they were all wild fish not used to being caught or seeing people at all.
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