Saturday, September 3, 2011

How to fish the Puyallup video


  1. HELP! I beginning to think I'm too stupid to do this. I've been to the river 3 times in the past week... about 12 hours in all and haven't landed a single fish. I've had a couple on but that's it. I've been using a size 12 pink corky and size 1 hook with pink yarn. I've tried pink, orange, black... etc. I've tried leaders from 2' to 6' feet and I still cannot get a fish. Everyone around where I'm fishing is cathching them but not me. A guy standing next to me caught his limit in 20 minutes the other day while I stood there watching him. I'm beginning to think that either I just don't know when I have a fish on or maybe my 30 year old steelhead rod and reel that I paid 30 bucks for (30 years ago)is the problem. I'm going to head out to buy a new rod and reel today but I don't know what to buy... it seems like I'm just throwing money at this new hobby of mine without a clue what I'm doing. Am I just stupid or what? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

  2. Will there be any fish in the river on the 4th and 5th with the nets being in the water?

  3. Yes there are definitely fish still in the river. Just not as much push up thru during the incoming tides, because there aren't as many there.

    Mak sure you fish above freeman rd. I saw someone getting a ticket down there this afternoon under the bridge at Clarks Creek.

  4. To HELP!

    On a high pressure system like this in the middle of summer, a lot of factors can play in.

    1. Make sure you're yarn is small, just enough to cary a scent. I see people with three inches of yarn all the time....not many hookups :-(
    You may even try a smaller hook...size 2 --black (you have to clip off the barb) -- fish don't see black

    2. Although the conditions may be correct for a shorter leader, while combat fishing is in full effect, salmon won't bite, unless your presentation is natural, which is achieved by using a longer leader... 8 -10 ft.

    3. I don't think the rod & reel are the problem, but I use a ten foot pole, rated for 12-20 lb. line.
    My reel is about 50 bucks, I go for the cheapest best i can find....a guy next to me had a $550 reel with not many hookups.
    --just make sure the gear ration is 5.0:1 or can retrieve your gear, and fish much faster.

    Where have you tried fishing so far?
    How much weight are you using?

    The most effective thing is asking someone who's catching fish...."how are you doing that?!?" They've probably been fishing for years at the location you're fishing, and could give you some good tips.

    I hope this helps.

  5. Thanks for the reply. I've asked some of the guys at the river and they are pretty much using the same rig as you. I've been fishing behind Safeway. I picked up a new reel today with a 5.2:1 ratio to replace my 4:1. Couldn't find any black #2 hooks so I got some red and silver... will take the barb off of them and try again tomorrow morning. The guy at the sporting goods store offered me a few suggestions to refine my technique so I'll give it a try. If I don't bring home a fish pretty soon my wife is going to start wondering if I'm really going fishing. Wish me luck and thanks again for your help!!!

  6. The amount of weight is pretty important. Note the amount of weight people who are catching fish are using, and try to copy it. People who are catching fish are casting where they are casting for a reason, so try to note where they are casting.....they are reading the water, and know what is going on underneath more than you might think.

    You should feel the weight hit the bottom every few feet, and after casting in the same spot over & over, you'll get an idea of how the drift feels. Once you cast, and feel something irregular,....set the hook.

    I've fished behind safeway before. There are definite spots that are better than others at that location, and yes....for the beginner, ten feet up or down river can make a big difference.

    Please let me know how it goes. .... i'm interested.

  7. We were back at the river this morning at 6:30. I picked up a new reel yesterday and I was anxious to try it. It felt much better than my 30 year old 4:1. I set up some new hooks and leaders: 9 foot leaders, size 2 silver hook, number 12 pink corky with a little black yarn and a little bit of scent.

    I tried to cast out where other guys were; looked like a good place to start. My 3rd cast I had a fish on and never knew it. I thought I had a snag and so did a guy down the river. He thought somebody down river was reeling me in. I had gone back to 10 pound test which was probably a mistake but I'd had luck with getting fish on during trip number 2 to the river. Anyway, I'd had two fish snap my 10 pound test on my 2nd trip to the river so I set the drag pretty light this time (trip number 4) hoping it wouldn't happen again. Line continued to spool off of my reel a little at a time so I continued to tighten the drag. Severeal seconds went by and I finally saw a fish surface about 30 yards down river. It was on my line and I had no idea!!! It quickly spit the hook and was gone.

    I tried to repeat what I'd done and I lost a couple of hook setups to snags right after that. I finally got another fish on and again, never knew!!! I was at the end of the drift and I was reeling in when I saw a fish surface, before I could set the hook he spit it and was gone.

    I lost two more hook setups to snags after and only had one left. I told my son (we've been trying this together) that I was going to try another spot further up river so I didn't lose my last hook. I moved about 40 yards up river and on my first cast lost my last setup to another snag.

    I went back down river to borrow a hook setup from my son; it wasn't long before I lost that one to a snag also. I borrowed his last one while he cleaned a fish that he caught; this makes his 3rd one in 4 trips and 14 hours of fishing. As you can probably guess, I lost that hook too. After two hours on the river I had managed to lose all of the gear we brought with us so we headed for home.

    I have never sucked soooooooooo bad at anything in my whole life. I used to fish all the time as a kid and I always caught fish when others weren't... this drift fishing is just foreign to me.

    Do you have any suggestions except for trying on some concrete boots and wading into the river as far as I can go?

    I just don't seem to know when I have a fish on... I've tried the suggestions offered to me but I just don't seem to be able to tell the difference between when my hook is bouncing along the bottom and when a fish picks it up. I've had 4 fish on that I know of in my 4 trips to the river and each time, had no clue they were there until I started to reel in my line at the end of a drift.

    As for weight, I've tried 1/2 ounce cannon balls, 3 inches of pencil lead weight and we even made are own slinkys which I like the best since they are a little more subtle when dragging along the bottom of the river.

    Thanks for your help and for taking the time to read this long post!

  8. Wow....I feel your pain.

    I hope this helps.

    I think You might not being doing a couple of these things, so I'll just do a step by step "how to drift fish"

    1. cast up river at about two o'clock

    2. slowly reel in the slack as your rig goes from 2 o'clock to 12 o'clock.

    3. place your index finger on the line between your reel, and the first eye of your pole, so you can feel the weight hitting the bottom every couple feet.....a fish biting feels a little different.

    4. One it's directly in front of you, stop reeling. -- there should be no slack in your line at this point, so if a fish picks it up, and you set the hook, it wont have a bunch of extra line absorbing the set.

    5. At the end of your drift, set the hook by pulling the tip of your rod straight up....often times during a huge run, you'll get a fish this way, even though you don't necessarily feel a hit.

    6. Repeat'll have better hook setting power, and you can feel your line better if your pole is pointed more straight out in front of you, at eye level, compared to pointed straight up like you have a fish on.

    When are you going again?

  9. Dude...seriously...9' leader...your not fishing your flossing/snagging. Sure you realing in fish but the only skill is the floss and rip. Sorry it had to be said.

  10. Thanks for the quick reply. I think I'm doing most of that and I think #5 above is how I got a fish on today on my third cast and didn't know it. In fact, it's probably how I have gotten all 4 of my fish on without knowing it.

    After I got the fish on this morning on my 3rd cast I tried to repeat that very scenario and it only led to one snag after another.

    As for going again... I don't know. Right now I wonder if I'll ever go again. Maybe after a good night's sleep I'll be ready to go again. Although I am totally discouraged at this point I don't give up easily.

    My son is finishing up his last year at Saint Martin's University and has some evening classes but I think he has Wednesday thru Friday open so maybe we'll try to sneak in a couple of hours on one of those days after I get off of work... maybe this weekend... don't really know for sure when we'll go again. We don't have any plans as of now.

    Thanks again! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help... do you think I should go back to 15 pound test with a 12 pound leader?

  11. Floss and rip? Please elaborate.

  12. I may have made it sound like the way to get a fish is to rip your line thru the water at the end of the drift....
    This isn't what i meant. Lifting the tip of your pole straight up, should only pull your rig straight towards you, not all across the river hoping to snag a fish. - if a fish is mouthing your hook at the end of your drift, it will set the hook.

    i consider flossing, just ripping thru the water every couple seconds thru your drift. In my opinion, the hook should only be set once thru a drift....when you feel the fish mouthing your hook

    all the fish i'm hooking into, are in the mouth, not the nose, or gills.

    A 9 ft. leader is only used during combat fishing, when I have about two feet between me & the next guy on either side....& it's used to give my presentation the most natural look it can have, because a fish is seeing about a hundred corkies every two minutes.

    I'm usually under six ft.

    I know i might not be able to convince you....

    any thoughts?

  13. I understand what you are saying...But generally in water as stained as the puyallup in an effort to get fish to bite and control your leader, generally leaders get shorter..UP to 18". Ever notice on the back of fishing lures how they tend to recomend leaders from 18-24"?

    To go even deeper...hydrodynamic studies have shown than leaders beyond 38" long tend push the leader out of shape and the bow in the line creats LESS sensativity. In other words...with a 6 or 9' leader the fish who "bites" your offering will be trying to spit it out the hook for a longer period of time until the bow is taken up.

    The floss comment is based on the tendancy that many, who fish long leaders, are counting on that the line is trapped in the mouth of the fish until the weight slides down stream and the hook is set...most times...on the outside of the jaw.

    Google flossing fish and it may explain it better than I can.

    Thanks for asking the shows that you are trying to make your fishing site a place of learning.

  14. Here is a link that may help decribe flossing.

  15. To: 8:21

    Outstanding post! As an engineer I've been sitting here thinking through this whole thing of 9' leaders and it just didn't process. It seems that a shorter leader would tend to be much more effective. That isn't to say that the 9' leader isn't working but there may be a better scientific explanation. It seems to me that the further a 9' leader has to travel before you notice that a fish is on and you set the hook, the less likely the fish will be there at the time you set your hook.


  16. Thank you all for the comments...definitely some food for thought. I'll test some of this out here in the next day or so on the river.

    Hmmmm... I'm still thinking...good posts

  17. WOW! My apologies to the administrator for causing this stink. I was just trying to get some pointers on how to catch a couple of fish with my son. 5 trips to the river and I still haven't landed a fish so I was hoping that some of the guys here would offer some help.

    To the administrator of this forum: Thank you for your help and the tips you've offered. I will try to follow your advice and again, I apologize if I stirred up a hornet's nest for you, it was not my intention.

    Thanks again!