Smallest hook used to catch fish [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Smallest hook used to catch fish

12-16-2001, 08:46 PM
What was the smallest hook you ever used to catch fish?

I caught a 12 inch rainbow on a #26 white & black dry fly (midge) on a 7x tippet.
I think tying the little fly was just as tough as fishing it. :eyecrazy:
Once I just opened a new box of Mustad #24's and the box fell out of my hand and onto my shag carpet...
Magnets; tweezers and a good magnifing glass was needed to get me out of that one... :rolleyes:
I love the midge hatches, trillions of flies in thick swarms...:eek:
Post some of your adventures with these micro-flies for all to enjoy.

Dble Haul
12-16-2001, 08:59 PM
I once fished a micro Trico hatch with a size 32 (!) dry fly. It consisted of half a dozen thread wraps and a tiny CDC post. That's it. It was tied to a 10X (!) tippet and caught about 3 trout that may have measured a whopping 8" each. I was using a 3 wt rod, and I literally could not see the fly on the water. When there was a rise in the general area of where I thought the fly was, I gently set the hook and hoped for the best.

I have to admit that this type of fishing is a bit outside of my comfort zone. Micro hooks and cob web tippets are OK on occasion, but it's not what calls to me when I'm in the throes of cabin fever. I will admit that it has made me a better, more rounded fisherman, though. And that's not all bad. :cool:

12-16-2001, 09:44 PM
My standard summer run Steelhead fly on the upper Rogue is a #12 Prince Nymph. Ya, gotta have some metal to set the hook.

12-16-2001, 10:12 PM
Smallest for me would be a size 22 or 24 Jassid terresterial pattern we use to fish on the Beaverkill during July and August.

I was young when I fished that, don't know if I could see it now.

Tying it on the leader now may not be possible.

12-17-2001, 05:37 AM
:) The smallest hook I have used, and used it many times to catch trout was size #28. I took many trout over 3 lbs on it. When the trout were sipping midges in the surface film it use to work great. A very simple fly use to be a size 28 hook wrapped with peacock herl, then over wrapped with spiral turns of thread, which makes for a more durable fly. I wish I was able to post pictures, Have a picture of a 5 lb rainbow taken on a size # 28 fly with thread for a leader. :)

12-17-2001, 08:05 AM
Bit of a blank on who actually did this but some famous fly fisherman (Joe Brooks?) Used to tie a 'regular' sized steelhead fly, cut the hook at the top of the bend and use a size 28 as a trailing hook (quase 'in line' rig). If memory serves he was quite sucessful in hooking/holding some rather large fish. Smaller hook would catch the tounge or some other part of the inside of the fish's mouth and away he'd go.

12-17-2001, 07:23 PM
Smallest fly #24 CDC emerger with 7X tippet to land/net & release 24 to 26 inch Kamloops trout on a lake in BC
WOW, but I'll never do it again, it just takes too long to bring the fish in and they get too tired.
Extremely small flies require very fine tippet which means a longer fight, more exertion on the fish and the possibility of a slower recovery, in some cases they may not recover.
As much of a thrill as it is to fish micro flies for us, think of the shape the fish are in after the long fight...

12-18-2001, 06:19 AM
Small fies and fine tippets are a skill that conitues to elude me.

I need to get back to and improve upon my beginings with trout.

Lately, my problem is with the fine tippets, too much time in the salt & warm water has eroded the delicate rod handling abilities.
At 35, I can't even see the opening in a size 26 eye let alone thread a tippet!

As a guide said to me, "I don't think I've ever seen anyone double haul a 4 weight."

John Desjardins
12-18-2001, 09:28 AM
For me I think the smallest would be a #22. Every time I use something like that I forget that my glasses are for distance and I fumble for minutes trying to tie them on until I remember and take the glasses off. What I've found that helps with the small stuff is the following.

1: Use a fresh supply of tippet: that roll of 6 or 7x that sat in the trunk all summer has ~ 1/4 the strength of a new batch.
2: Use a larger dry fly as an indicator.

12-27-2001, 09:22 PM
I had a client lose several good fish on 28's and because he kept breaking the fly off I soon ran out. The light was fading fast and I had a 32 in the box, threaded it on a new tippet and after securing it I gently let the tippet and fly fall from my hands onto the surface.

almost within reach a darting trout snatched the fly and I called for the angler to set the hook gently. He raised the rod, and raised, and raised, and the tippet came clear of the water. I grabbed the tippet to show him he had yet again lost a fly to clumsy hook setting and to my astonishment found that I had tied a knot onto itself, apparently, for there on the terminal end was a neatly tied knot, sans fly.

I had tied on nothing, and thrown my own fly wonder the drift looked so good.......

I rarely go smaller than 18 for the fish we pursue. We often go to 1/0 or 4/0 as well. Tiring to cast, but worth the effort.