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Flies Questions about flies. What flies work and don't work. Complete fly talk...

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Old 07-23-2010, 06:02 AM
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Default Question regarding hook "profile"

In my years and years of experience with "Spinning", I've always noticed hooks (or at least, the ones I buy) are not "flat", that is to say the point & barb are not parallel to the shank but offset slightly.

Last night, after trying several patterns with little success (and sign of fish all around me) I tied on a new what looked like a #12 Royal Coachman. The fish immediately went nuts after this fly, and had at least 8 hits on it in less than 10 minutes, but not a single hook-up.

Frustrated as hell by now, I reeled in and pulled up the hook to have a better look at it, maybe it was blunt, maybe no point, whatever.

It was then I noticed it was completely "flat", the point and barb being parallel and in line with the shank. You could essentially lightly grasp the hook between thumb and finger and pull the hook out from between them without the point digging into skin.

So I thought if I can't hook myself, how in hell can I hook a fish?

I took out my trusty 4" needlenose pliers (a necessary part of anyones fishing kit, I found out a long time ago) and gave the point a slight twist, so it was offset from the shank by a few degrees. Tested it again between my fingers and any movement of the hook caused the point to dig in to the skin.

OK, cool.

Now, within 2 minutes of that, I solidly hooked an 18" brown. So solidy in fact, I managed to land it without the aid of a net.

This morning, I checked my fly box and nearly every hook is the same, flat with no offset.

So, after all the rambling above, my question:

Do I have a bunch of bum hooks? I've never seen this on a plain hook where you just thread it through a minnow or a worm or something.

Thanks in advance.

Jamie.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding hook "profile"

Jamie,

Once Tiemco became a standard on the market I used them for my dry flies. There is no off set to the hooks and they will work fine. Prior to the Tiemco hooks I used Mustas and they too worked well. Your problem lies somewhere other than the bend of the hook, perhaps you are jumping a bit when the fish strike. It is also possible that with a large fly the fish are knocking it away when they hit. I would go to a much smaller fly (16 - 20) and see if my results change.

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Old 07-23-2010, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding hook "profile"

Thanks Ard.

You mention I'm possibly jumping a bit when the fish strike. I'd guess it's quite likely it has something to do with some "incorrect technique" of this noob, yes, no doubt.

As for the fish knocking it away, I dunno. I believe I'm definately feeling tugging, and that's one of the obvious advantages of light tackle, the feel is so much greater. I can't help but feel as if the hook is sliding right out of the fish's mouth!!!

After your smaller fly suggestion in an earlier post, I went looking. I found absolutely no sz 20, and only a couple of #16 Mosquitos. I tried one of them last night, with no luck.

My guess is I'll have to try ordering #20s on-line if I don't find some soon.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding hook "profile"

Hi Jamie,

Most fly hooks have no off set and I don't think that is your problem. I would bet you have too much slack in your line and leader and the fish is spitting the fly before you can set the hook. You don't say if you are fishing in a stream or lake. If you are fishing a stream then slack line is probably the culprit. You also need to keep your rod tip low and in a position to set the hook at all times.

It could also be that there are some very small fish and they never really get hooked.

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Old 07-23-2010, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding hook "profile"

Hey Frank, and thanks for the tip.

It was in a pond, and quite possible I have too much slack, or rod tip too high.

I try to pay attention to how much line I have stripped, but being used to spinning rods all my life, it's something I'm having trouble keeping in check.
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