12-19-2004, 01:32 AM
I'm making my first attempts at tying string leeches. My question has to do with the usual practice of cutting off the bend/point of the front hook after it's served its function of staying still in the vise's jaws while materials are tied on. Is this really necessary?
I know that bigger fish usually hit a string/articulated fly near the rear; even so, what's the harm in leaving the front hook in place? it would seem likely that a fair percentage of the time, a fish hits the long fly nearer the front.
Truthfully, my main reason is that my one wire-cutter, a side-cutting plier, doesn't work well on steelhead-size hooks. Still, losing one of my two chances of attaching a fighting fish to my fly seems, er, pointless. Any thoughts?
12-19-2004, 01:42 AM
You could easily leave the front hook intack, unless you are going to fish the fly in water or times of year when it is unlawful to use two hooks. Remember WA state waters restricted to selective gear rules require single barbless hooks and I'm sure there are other areas in the US and Canada that also restrict one to a single hook. Many people use a cheap, ring eye wet fly hook (the Mustad 3366 for instance) in #2 or so for the front hook because they are going to cut the bend off it and since it isn't going to be asked to hook a fish, there is no issue with how sharp the hook is or how well it holds a point. Also, the cheap ring eye wet fly hooks are easier to cut off.
12-21-2004, 08:52 PM
In B.C. we do not have the choice - it is all single hook barbless for steelies. Having said that pretty much all the fish that hit my leaches are well hooked on the rear bait hook.
12-22-2004, 07:08 AM
Are double hooks legal in BC if the barbs are mashed down? I am just getting into tying tubes and thought I might give the doubles a try. Thanks in advance for your response.
12-22-2004, 09:19 PM
Doubles and trebles are not legal for steelhead in B.C. - nor are they neccesary in my opinion, my landed ratio on steelhead hooked on single barbless bait(short shank) style hooks is around 80%, when you start using regular or long shank hooks the percentage landed drops to around 50%. The only cautionary note that I would make is that with barbless hooks one must keep even constant pressure on fish with absolutely no slack line - often when one has the fish on its side in shallow water and slackens off the line the fly simply drops out without having to be removed.
12-24-2004, 08:36 AM
Thanks for the info. I thought that was the case, but wanted to be sure. Happy holidays.