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Old 03-06-2011, 10:10 AM
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Default Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

So, I fished the Deschutes for about six hours yesterday, and had an overall great time. Weather was great, and the fish were hungry.

I caught a total of three fish, two nice redside rainbows and a whitefish. I probably had a hundred takes while fishing an indicator rig, and probably a dozen total hookups, and lost all but three .

The fish on the Deschutes do fight with an extra bit of vigor, but I think had I had razor sharp hooks, my catch rate would have been much higher. I am definitely buying a hook hone before my next trip to lessen the frustration a little bit. I still had an amazing day, and I was excited that I was so easily able to "match the hatch", but man... lost a lot of good fish out there.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

The guy I fish with constantly gives his flies the thumbnail test. Especially if his fly has hung up on rocks. Me, never, but I'll probably start when I learn how to sharpen them.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

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Originally Posted by Jimmie View Post
The guy I fish with constantly gives his flies the thumbnail test. Especially if his fly has hung up on rocks. Me, never, but I'll probably start when I learn how to sharpen them.
Jimmie: Yes, you want that tacky feeling, but you always want to make sure your hooks are as sharp as possible. That is the main reason I went away from Mustad hooks back in the 80's, they just weren't consistently sharp like some of the other brands. I haven't tried one in years so I have no idea if they have changed or not.

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Old 03-06-2011, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

Hi oregonism,

Todays hooks are way sharper than they use to be directly from the fly shop. We use to sharpen hooks before we ever fished them to be sure they were sharp. Today that is not the case. You still need a good sharpener

Since you were indicator fishing I wonder if you have another problem besides dull hooks. Twelve hookups out of a hundred takes is not a good score. Are you usually more successful when you fish with an indicator? It just seems like there is something else going on besides dull hooks. What do you think?

Frank
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

Before I had much experence fishing in the surf, I'd have to sharpen my hook after every few casts.
Bad line management, too heavy a line, not mending correctly, for a number of reasons my fly was getting pummeled in the surf and dragging through the sand.
I learned to sharpen regularly. Anytime I wasn't actively casting/fishing, I had my file in my hand giving the hook a few strokes.

That carried over to my trout fishing too. I have a small whet stone that I've fashioned into a zipper-pull on my vest, right where it's always handy. If I'm just standing there staring at the water or whatever, I have it in my hand and I'm checking my fly.
It's become a habit.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

I'm sure a lot of the "takes" were the bottom on occasion, but I was missing a lot of takes that were obviously fish (i.e. getting pulled a direction other than backwards). I was using some very cheap hooks I got at the fly shop, so I think it may have been the issue. I am still learning to keep the slack out of the line properly, but I am getting better at the hookset.

The most frustrating thing was setting the hook, feeling a few good head shakes and then losing the fish. It wasn't necessarily just not hooking fish at all, but a lot of times they'd just spit the hook. My wife actually hooked into a really solid fish (saw her rod bend double and the fish flash... looked in the neighborhood of 18-20in), and it spit the hook. The hook didn't seem to penetrate very well on the fish I did catch either. Next time I go out, I'll know for sure if dull hooks was the issue as I plan to get a sharpener.
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

Hi,

I do carry a Dr. Slick hook hone and it seems to work well. I use some pretty large hooks so if I hit a rock I can check a hook point visually to see if it is damaged. When I find one peened over I freshen it up and this helps I believe.

Ard
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

Not knowing what size hooks you were using, one way I've 'overcome' this bit of frustration is to use a slightly larger hook, scaled down tie, done on fine wire. The finer the wire the easier it is for the point to penetrate.

Over kill example here but think about pushing a nail against your arm vs an automatic pencil lead. Obvious which one would take less to break the skin.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

It might be the one tip that we need to be reminded of most often. Its especially important while nymphing, since the hook point can be repeatedly bouncing off rock.

Also make sure you haven't snapped the hook point completely off! I did that once and finally understood why I suddenly had a 30min fishless streak on an otherwise prolific day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post
That is the main reason I went away from Mustad hooks back in the 80's, they just weren't consistently sharp like some of the other brands. I haven't tried one in years so I have no idea if they have changed or not.

Larry
In addition to their low price, I actually like Mustad hooks for that reason, as you're less likely to cut your thread when you pull it over the hook point. But yes, you do indeed have to remember to sharpen them prior to use.

(and that has nothing at all to do with my tendency to enjoy bourbon while tying )
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Valuable Lesson Learned (i.e. sharpen those hooks!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
It might be the one tip that we need to be reminded of most often. Its especially important while nymphing, since the hook point can be repeatedly bouncing off rock.

Also make sure you haven't snapped the hook point completely off! I did that once and finally understood why I suddenly had a 30min fishless streak on an otherwise prolific day.



In addition to their low price, I actually like Mustad hooks for that reason, as you're less likely to cut your thread when you pull it over the hook point. But yes, you do indeed have to remember to sharpen them prior to use.

(and that has nothing at all to do with my tendency to enjoy bourbon while tying )
Yeah, I sometimes need to remind myself to examine my rig. I hooked into a nice fish and lost it (first nice hookup of the day), and then continued to cast. Cast for about ten minutes with the heart pumping, waiting to get another hit and then checked my rig to find out the my dropper got taken by the fish.

I took a closer look at the hooks as I have a few of them still in the package, and they are actually quite sharp (passed the fingernail test). I'm just thinking that an hour of banging against rocks probably dulls the cheap hooks pretty quickly.
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