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Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-24-2004 05:33 AM
BLACK FRANCIS thank you all for the opinions.
12-24-2004 12:22 AM
Hammer what about just `touching' the sides of the point with a file or stone,and bending the barbs down halfway,helps me with the doubles i use here,the smaller sizes=`wee doubles' make it tough to keep them pinned,i also bend the body of the fly with my hemos=results=points go down,out
12-23-2004 04:12 PM
flytyer I live in the PNW and use the AJ spey hook in both #5 and #7 for summer fish and have not had a hook open up. However, in summer I use 8lb tippet and if I horse a fish, it will break the tippet if it decides to take off.

I find the AJ spey hook in #5 to be a very good hook for low water spey flies and even carry a few royal blue and red spey flies on them in winter for when we get a freeze and the water gets low, clear, and cold (in the low to mid 30's). I've caught fish to 13lbs on the AJ #5 in the low, clear, cold conditions just mentioned and did so on my 16' T&T rod with 12lb tippet with no probelm. I just have to remember not to horse the fish or the hook may bend or open up.

The #7 AJ spey hook I use only in the low water of mid-summer to mid-fall and use it tie spiders and light wire Spade's finding it too short and small for a spey fly to look right.

I use the AJ spey in #1.5 and #3 for spey flies in winter and the #3 during the early summer and later fall as well as during very early morning and very late evening in summer low-water. In fact, I use the #3 more than any of the other sizes during winter. I also use the #1.5 for marabou spiders for winter fish. And the #3 makes for a very nice bunny leech hook and it the hook I use for the fuchsia bunny leeches I tie and fish for chum, and I've caught chum to 22lbs on it without a problem. I also use the #1.5 for some full dressed, married wing classics I fish in winter because I prefer the smaller wire it is made of over the heavier wire of standard salmon irons, which results in fewer flies lost to logs or rocks.

I use the AJ blind eye #1.5 for dee flies that I only fish during winter/spring. I haven't used the AJ #3/0 because it has such a large gap that there is too much probablility of damage to smaller fish like Dolly Varden, although when the return eye is opened up and straightened out, it makes for a very nice, long dee on which to tie double wing dees.

The heavy wire AJ spey hooks I use only on G.P.'s because the standard wire AJ's don't have enough mass in the hook bend and point to keep a full-dressed G.P. riding properly in the water with the hook point down, while the heavy wire ones do. I tie them in both #1.5 and #3.

For standard winged flies, Ally's Shrimps, and Irish Shrimp flies, I use either the Daiichi 2441 or the 2141 depending on the time of year. In winter I use the 2441 only in sizes #1/0, 2, and 4 and almost exclusively for Ally's Shrimps is several colors for my own fishing. In summer fall I use the 2441 in #4 and #6 for Ally's Shrimps I fish in the heavier water on a floating line so they sink a little instead of being in the film. The 2421 I use in #4,6,8 for summer-fall fishing and usually only tie Ally's Shrimps or Irish Shrimps on it for my own fishing.

The Daiichi 2131 (Ververka's low water hook, or AJ's River Dee Low Water hook) I use for dry flies (except Bombers, which I put on Daiichi 2220's in #2,4,6) in #4,6,8 and for true low-water featherwings (the body is only 1/2 of the shank with tail, wing, and hackle reduced in size in proportion to the body) in #4,6,8 with #6 being most common.

The Daiichi 2151 (also known as AJ's Steelhead Iron) I use exclusively in summer/fall and only in #8,10 for tying Spade in several colors, which are fishing on floating line.

I wish Alec had a blind eye AJ spey hook in both #3 and #5 on the market (although I've told Alec many times since before he put the #1.5 blind eye on the market that the #3 would be perfect for larger speys) because both would be perfect for spey flies. If you open up and straighten the eye on these, like Steve Gobin has done for years, you get the same thing. It would just be very nice if they were available already made this way.
12-23-2004 08:28 AM
peter-s-c I've found that the 2051 AJs #5s will open up and break off points on snags but I still use 'em anyway. For the get-down stuff, I'm using Kamasan B190 Deepwater Salmon Singles. Not as pretty as an AJ but they do get down. Generally, if I have to use a T-6 or a T-8 then I'm switching over to the Kamasans.
12-23-2004 07:59 AM
Shaq I bought a pack of targus hooks from Cabelas and have found them to be a decent heavy wire hook. They have a nice shape for tying hackled spey flies and landlock salmon type flies.
12-23-2004 07:17 AM
Gillie Even though I'm out there a couple times a year I'm sure there are more qualified people on the forum to answer this. I do know that in the summer on the Deschutes a size #5 AJ is very common. John and Amy Hazel who guide out there do most of there flies on light wire AJ. In the summer on the deschutes I have found 10 lbs to be an average fish.
My experience with winter fishing is that most of the people I've fished with stick to heavier irons due to the potential for larger fish in heavier flows. I think the ability of the larger iron to sink also plays a large role.
The smaller AJ's have always been a source of internal conflict for me. I think they are a beautiful hook and I think they fish very well with a floating line for near surface presentation. I have certainly landed fish on them up to 15 lbs although I have also straightened a few out (the most vivid memory I have of straightening one was trying to turn a fish on the Umpqua that was headed for rapids where I had no chance to follow, the fish came loose and the hook gap was opened up when I retrieved the fly back in. For reference I think I was fishing 12 lb tippet but might have been 15).
For the GL I really prefer the2441, 7999 and 2151. I also fish the AJ heavy wire spey. I wish Alec would come out with the heavy wire in #5 and #7. Those would be perfect for the GL winter fishing.

I've been rambling, but in summary I avoid AJ #5 in big rivers for winter steelhead but like them for dry line summer steelhead.

The nice thing about this forum is I'm sure someone will disagree and share another perspective .

12-23-2004 05:49 AM
not offended at all, and how i got to defending a tiemco is beyond me. another question for someone who has fished the pnw (you), does anyone use standard aj's in #5 for those big fish rivers? i have always thought they were a little on the light side. i know friends that use the larger 2051 for atlantics but that #5 seems awfully light. opinions, please.
12-22-2004 07:10 PM
Gillie Black Francis,

Didn't mean to offend. I know they can be used, but I'm not a fan of light wire hooks in bigger rivers. That includes the Niagara. We all have our own styles .

12-22-2004 06:03 PM
sean Black Francis , I use that Phil Rowley pattern as a damsel imitation for big kamloops rainbows in lakes. It is my favorite subsurface trout pattern. Never thought to try it for steelhead and while I usually do not fish weighted flies for steelhead, do not see the need seeing you only have a three foot leader with a sink tip, I may give it a try.

I use the 200r for a bunch of summer patterns and it is a great lower cost hook. Too bad they do not make it a little bigger for winter use.

12-22-2004 04:07 PM
that fly has caught just about everything, especialy in clear water. i think it makes a good emerging hex for the smallies on lake erie
these things are swung not deaddrifted i use tips also but like the fly to be weighted to keep it down with the tip.
that pnw stuff is bs the fish get just as big here in the gl as they do out west. the rivers don't get any bigger than the niagara. that hook has just as heavy if not heavier wire than a #5 aj. go compare them if you don't believe me. i have nothing against aj's or daiichi and you have seen our hook selection to prove that, but i would bet on the strength of these two side by side. aj #5 vs 200r #4. go see for yourself i have them right in front of me.
sometimes it's just a fish hook. now i too prefer a black, up eye, but that wasn't the question.
12-22-2004 03:34 PM
Shaq I found that the AJ steelhead iron has a thin enough return wire that I can fit a cone head over it with no problem. It actually holds it in place pretty well and a bit of thick cement secures it. I have some popsicles I tied with the cone and work pretty well for higher water. I also tie a cone head steelly muddler on that hook.
12-22-2004 03:27 PM
flytyer Black Francis,

I agree with you that the fly you pictured is a very good match for the 200R. Hook return wire never poses a problem to me because I don't tie or use flies for steelhead with bead heads. I don't fish dead drift and only swing flies; therefore, I use sink tip from type 3 to a section of 700 gr Deep Water Express to take the fly down.


Alec Jackson markets the Daiichi 2151 as the 'Alec Jackson Steelhead Iron', but he only offers it in #4,6,8, and 10 (he calls them #3,5,7,and 9, but they are the same sizes). It is a heavier and shorter straight looped eye hook than the AJ Spey Hook (Daiichi 2050, 2051, 2052, 2055, or 2059). Alec also has a heavy wire version of the AJ spey Hook (Daiichi 2060, 2061) available in sizes #1.5 and #3, which I like to put G.P.'s on since they have less tendency to roll over with the heavyier dress of a G.P. compared to a spey or dee.

Another hook Alec markets under a different name is the Daiichi 2131 Veverka Low Water Hook. Alec calls it the River Dee Low Water Hook, but it is Veverka's hook. Alec names the sizes differenty (#3,5,7,9) than Daiichi (which sizes them as #2,3,6,8) even though they are the same hook.

Your local dealer should be able to get these hooks from Alec or from Anglers Sport Group (the Daiichi distributor for North America). Aaron (River Run Angler, a site sponsor) carries many of them and can get them quickly for you if he doesn't have them in stock since his shop is only about 25 miles from Alec, all it takes is an email or private message to Aaron.
12-22-2004 03:14 PM
Originally Posted by BLACK FRANCIS
ok here is the pattern we are talking about. the 200r is the right match for this pattern with a bead because some won't go over the return wire. i agree that the 2220 is THE wooley bugger hook, but this is a woody bugger. tell me that's not a good match of hook to pattern.

Do you ever use this pattern for browns and smallies? Looks like it would be great for them.
12-22-2004 03:13 PM
peter-s-c Thanks -- working on two new sites -- one day I'll get them finished.

The hook is a Kamasan B220 #8.

My best winter colour producer for this fly has always been yellow floss body with yellow chickaboo grizzly hackle.
12-22-2004 03:04 PM
Shaq Thanks Peter. Love your streamer page. What size hook is that?
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