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Thread: Dead drift??

  1. #1
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    Default Dead drift??

    Recently my 2 sons and I spent a month in Cooper Landing, fishing the upper Kenai. It was a great time and we were very happy with the fishing. We were there from mid August to mid September and hit the bead bite squarely. (with the exception of a few days what with the glacial dam break and a presumed "egg glut"). Hundred fish days (for the boat) were the rule and there were a couple days when we each caught 50 or so fish. I'm not bragging, just trying to set up my findings and questions.
    We all know that the accepted expert advice (when fishing beads) is that the bead must drift naturally (no drag!) and on the bottom. I would say that the majority of our fish were caught in that manner. But there were many exceptions. In addition to fishing as we drifted, we caught most of our fish getting out of the boat and fishing loooong drifts. By long drifts, I'm talking 50'-70' of fly line + 11' to 14' of leader. My experience is that when you throw a mend into a long drift, it's nearly impossible to avoid making the strike indicator (bobber) dance a little (if you're also trying to reduce slack in the line), which I always presume makes the terminal tackle also dance (induce some sort of drag on the bead). We received MANY strikes while mending. We also got hits at the end of a drift, as everything started to drag. I even caught at least 2 fish while retrieving (reeling in ) line preparing to change locations. I also got many strikes while "jiggling" the indicator while floating (I caught a couple of my biggest fish that way).
    So, my question is have others experienced catching fish (while "dead drifting") by imparting motion to an inanimate object (bead) that to be effective should ONLY catch fish when it behaves in a dead, drifting with the current manner? I can (sort of) accept the idea that the "end of a drift" drag would trigger a "garb it before it gets away" response, but when boat drifting drag is much easier controlled than on a long drift, and my experience shows that giving the bead some small motion will often promote a strike. WHY?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    So, my question is have others experienced catching fish (while "dead drifting") by imparting motion to an inanimate object (bead) that to be effective should ONLY catch fish when it behaves in a dead, drifting with the current manner? I can (sort of) accept the idea that the "end of a drift" drag would trigger a "garb it before it gets away" response, but when boat drifting drag is much easier controlled than on a long drift, and my experience shows that giving the bead some small motion will often promote a strike. WHY?
    Yeah, I've seen it. Near as I can tell, it's most likely when the fish are bored spitless with a steady diet of the same old stuff, so when something "different" happens it really gets their attention. Best example I know is when the fish aren't hitting either egg flies or streamers. But put a streamer in tandem about 6" behind the egg and move it around. Bam. Fish can't seem to leave it alone if it's moving. Kind of a tossup whether they'll hit the egg or the streamer, but they're going to grab one of them at about 100 mph.

    On a sorta related note, when fishing dries during a caddis hatch, dead drift is one of the surest ways to cut your catch. Move the fly around like the real caddis, and fish are all over it.

    I figure dead drift is an arrow in your quiver, but just one in a very large quiver. Something to try every time, but not a religious solution to the problems of the world.

  3. #3
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    I would attribute the 'grab' to the fishes natural instinct to chase prey. Whether egg or streamer, I believe the 'instinct' factor kicks in. I find similar results on random steelie, silver, dolly flies. Flies that one would tie and don't really have any specific representation. And this excitement factor probably does kick in when there is such a monotonous continuum on the river like an egg feed.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Great info everyone! Here's my two cents...Because of fluctuating flows, hydraulics, obstructions in the river (log jams), etc., bio-mass on which trout feed on can be anywhere in the water column. Another thought, and again, this is just an opinion, these fish get imprinted when they are young with feeding habits! Some are more comfortable feeding on the bottom, while some are more aggressive in obtaining their meals, and don't mind chasing it down. I refer to those fish as players! That's what Dec Hogan calls them, although he was referring to steelhead. Those are the fish, that will pull down a strike indicator all the way under the surface, and I know that hasn't only happened to me! I love the players...

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    Interesting replies. Gives me something to think about, until next September.
    D Ray - are you talking about a fish hitting the indicator & pulling it under? Sounds like that would take a pretty good fish! I did find that on days when I had fish hitting at my indicator (orange in color) that an orange bead would out fish other colors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Interesting replies. Gives me something to think about, until next September.
    D Ray - are you talking about a fish hitting the indicator & pulling it under? Sounds like that would take a pretty good fish! I did find that on days when I had fish hitting at my indicator (orange in color) that an orange bead would out fish other colors.
    And that my friend is what "thinking outside the box," means in a nutshell! Congrats!

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