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I'm pretty new to this fly fishing game. Something I've always wondered, is how much it affects a fish when a fish breaks off with the fly still in his mouth? And how long does it usually take for the hook to dissolve and/or free itself from the mouth? Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't know if anyone has really studied this particular effect on fish mortality, but I would imagine a barbless hook will work itself out fairly quickly. The hook will slightly enlarge the opening of the wound as it wiggles itself with the fish movement and current, and for the most part should work itself loose. Of course some hooks will really be stuck in there, and won't shake loose so easily. If any biologist has actually done a formal study on this and has hard numbers, it would be an interesting read to post up if anyone comes across any.
 

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I have caught a few fish with someone else's fly lodged in their mouths. None of the flies looked like they had been there too long, suggesting that they may fall out, or, hopefully not, the fish dies.

I have seen a few papers on mortality of catch and release fish but not with lost fies considered.
 

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I caught a big ass chum in the stave last fall with a sweet spoon in it's back...I was happy (big fish plus a new $6 spoon) and he was happy ( got released and the hook out of him) :thumbup:
 

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I have caught big Springs in the Vedder and the most hooks i have removed i think was 7 from ONE fish and one of the hooks was a big red leech :wallbash: The fish seemed pretty excited to be going back and going back without all the hardware :thumbup: and i think only one hook was actually in its mouth, most were near his tail :naughty:
 

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I think mortality depends on the type of fish, environment, and size of hook.

I would imagine in saltwater, hooks will rust out rather quickly. If the fish is used to eating really small bugs, then a small fly in it's mouth will probably not affect it's ability to eat.

I've caught fish with flies in their mouth as well. It's pretty common in heavily hit catch and release waters (we have several of these in California).

One guy I talked to told me how he once caught a 16 inch trout with a size 20 nymph sticking out it's anus! Apparently, the fly had somehow become unhooked and managed to work its way through the digestive system!
 

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ed fisher said:
I think mortality depends on the type of fish, environment, and size of hook.

I would imagine in saltwater, hooks will rust out rather quickly. If the fish is used to eating really small bugs, then a small fly in it's mouth will probably not affect it's ability to eat.

I've caught fish with flies in their mouth as well. It's pretty common in heavily hit catch and release waters (we have several of these in California).

One guy I talked to told me how he once caught a 16 inch trout with a size 20 nymph sticking out it's anus! Apparently, the fly had somehow become unhooked and managed to work its way through the digestive system!

OWWWWW!!! :eek:

There's a good reason to clip your barbs.
 

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yep, barbs aren't really that necessary...I don't figure I lose that many more fish (I fish everything barbless). Just makes it a little more enjoyable/easy to release the fish.
 

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My own personal experience with this hasn't been that great. I've lost a few flies to small trout in small ponds, and when I came back to the pond the following day, there was my fish floating belly up. I knew they were my fish because they had my flies in their mouths. I fish barbless, too. This has happened to me often enough that I fish with fairly strong leaders. I may miss a few more fish as a result, but I really have no desire to have them die because my fly is in their mouth. I haven't seen anything like this in rivers, probably because the fish float away.

On the other hand, I once lost 4 flies to one steelhead and got really mad at my knot tying. I triple-tied the next knot and hung on to him. I plucked all five flies out of his mouth and let him go. I was surprised that he kept coming back for more - sadist! My brother-in-law had a very similar experience with a steelhead.

Perhaps the size of fish matters in this? I would like to see a study done on this.

Dryflyguy
 

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I wanna go fish whatever river has Steelhead that keep striking over and over even after they have been hooked :peace: I have only ever have one Steely do that to me but with wool and drift fishing, it hit 3times before i stuck it and then it just broke me off anyhow :wallbash:

I have yet to get one on the fly, maybe this year
 

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Yeah, I think it's a pretty rare event. Both steelies were caught in the Bulkley River. All flies were dry flies. I kept thinking I was snagging on a branch just under the surface, too, because there was just the slightest ripple on the water and my line would snap back at me, minus the fly. It was only on the last fly that I figured out it was actually a fish. It didn't seem to mind having all those flies hanging off its lip.

dryflyguy
 
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