It sounds like you guys had short strikes and that may be better if you are C&R
I am not what you could call a deep pool of knowledge on these type flies but my introduction to them does date back a few years. When I first saw a fly with a trailing hook the trailer was a #12 double. That was 1979 and they were Pike flies. By 1980 I was fishing for Landlock Salmon in Northern Maine and here the flies like this were used for trolling on the big lakes for salmon. The Maine trolling flies had a single hook stashed into the long saddle hackle wings.
I never caught salmon or trout on a stinger type rig but I did catch pike. The best case scenario is that the fish comes speeding up behind the fly and completely engulfs it. Again; best case is that the single lead hook is embedded in the mouth or lip and the trailer is either hooked into the tongue or roof of mouth. I don't think it takes a lot of imagination to figure out what will happen when a rowdy 14 or 15" trout comes after a big articulated streamer and hits it like it done something wrong. My guess is (and I emphasize the word guess
) that the guys who fish these exclusively have a lot of fish who are hooked pretty bad. For catching short striking fish this fly has its merits but when a fish runs up on them hard I see a bad day for the fish.
I have been fishing single hook streamers since I tied my first one. The picture below is not the greatest but you'll get the idea. The two flies were tied by a 13 - 14 year old kid with no tying mentor but big ideas. Somehow I knew I wanted to fish with wet flies.
I got better at finishing heads and those two flies survived all the years and all the moves, they are what remains of my roots.
Now getting back on point, the idea of all the flies with stinger hooks is good if you are harvesting fish to eat. As far as a sport catch and release fisherman I have problems with the direction todays anglers are headed. Whatever it takes
seems to be the mantra of some today. Get the fish, get the picture, carve your name into the tree no matter what! Use bobbers to float a nymph? String extra hooks behind a fly to hook the heck out of whatever hits it? Whatever it takes to put a fish in your hands right? Is there nothing sacred? I don't need anyone to tell me to go back to fishing with a sapling or to live in a cave either. Yes we have good rods and lines but do you want to retain any aspect of what fly fishing was 50 years ago at all..............
I may be missing something here but what is the difference between a streamer chocked full of hooks and a Mepps Spinning lure when it comes down to outright hooking power? And what prey tell separates the guy floating nymphs beneath an 'Indicator' and the fellow drifting a Red Worm beneath his bobber. Is it that the nymph was 'hand tied'? We are missing something here, something bigger than those fish look when you thrust them into the 28mm lens of those digital cameras. We are losing the very essence of Fly Fishing
Fly fishing used to be what set me apart from the crowd. It announced to all who watched me work those wets that I was taking a different road to Rome. Even though I had not been born into it I was determined to learn what those who had went before me knew; Haig Brown, Wulff, Hewitt, McNally, Leisenring, I wanted to be like them. I wanted more than a fish to hold up and say 'Hey Look' I wanted to understand.
I'm done now, time for my meds