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Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-16-2003 02:38 PM
removed_by_request When I spinner fished (gasp) we would use barbless trebles.

Never had an issue with fish mortality, they were easy to remove and fish stayed stuck rather well.
04-16-2003 01:58 PM
pmflyfisher On all of the waters I have fished in N.A. trebles on flies have been verboten. Most places you can only use single hook for trout and salmon. I would only use trebles when allowed and I was definitely going to kill every fish caught. I am against them totally for waters which are primarily wild steelhead, trout, or salmon.

On wild fish waters single barbless hook is the rule that should be enforced to help ensure that fish will have the best chance of survival after being hooked and released.

PM Out
04-16-2003 10:41 AM
What Counts


As you found out, the guy with the most toys does not win. Things and $ can be replaced or done without. Relationships matter and character and you got large doses of both - you were blessed.
04-16-2003 01:11 AM
LOL Fred

Yeah, we had no money. LOL. But, I did say I was loved, wasn't that close enough?? I meant having no money in poor you goof. Didn't say I went without, sheesh. Man, you gotta be so liberal nowadays. I may have to pull some of my select flies outta that package for you now. LOL. Just kidding, you'll get full lot.

But, we didn't want, because I was exposed to alot of things that were fairly inexpensive to do. Plus, my Dad tried to make our "food gathering" trips fun. We'd drop crab or shrimp pots while we'd be out salmon fishing. Then go back and check pots periodically. But, it was a 50/50 thing. It was hard growing up with alot of rich kids who had nice cars and clothes. But I'm glad I was raised way I was. I learned the value of a buck (wish my exwife did LOL, I wouldn't be in trouble like I am now) and learned to help the family. Spent too many days splitting wood (didn't have electric or gas heat), and we logged properties to get the wood for our winters. The only way I learned to fly fish was by "borrowing" my dead uncles rod and having to tie my own flies so I'd have some. My flies were terrible, but caught fish back then. LOL, they were tied on octopus hooks. But, now I have a positive income (even with my ex's $50k debt I got stuck with), and try not to put my kids through too much of what I had to. I don't spoil, but I try not to hand them everything.
04-16-2003 12:19 AM
ST 69, poor? No you just didn't have any money.

"I grew up poor, and we subsidized our food with fish, seafood, and game meat. I grew up like I wasn't poor though, my family made sure we always had enough to eat, so I never realized I was poor until I got into high school where stupid things mattered. I saw how other kids got everything they wanted and had much nicer clothes. But, in long run, I was much better off and loved much more then they were. "

Heck of a difference. I can remember asking the bus driver in Seattle to lend me less that a quarter to pay the bus fair home from 'downtown.'' Guy put the money in the box; next time I saw him I paid him back. That was back in about 1956, don't know if he 'trusted me' or just wanted to make the till box on the bus balance. But "he" taught me a lesson in trust and honor.

And there is NOTHING else that matters between men/women. Perhaps this is why it went so well when Joan and I moved/built our vineyards in Oregon. Old ground, but 95% of the hundreds of thousands we spent was based on a 'gentlemen's agreement and a handshake.'

Editéd a lot of this out to keep from sounding like a complete ... many of these folks are still close business associates. It's cool when you call for something and they know your voice ... and the deal is fair to all. And you don't ask the price.

For Aaron, I appreciate all your kindness and hugs; you've far exceeded all/any of my expectations. (And the checks in the mail today)
04-15-2003 08:08 PM
I'm in same boat marketic

Trebles when used correctly are killing machines, what they were designed for. I grew up using them, but that was in the days when there wasn't talk of endangered Steelhead/Salmon. I grew up poor, and we subsidized our food with fish, seafood, and game meat. I grew up like I wasn't poor though, my family made sure we always had enough to eat, so I never realized I was poor until I got into high school where stupid things mattered. I saw how other kids got everything they wanted and had much nicer clothes. But, in long run, I was much better off and loved much more then they were.

Sorry, got off topic a bit. But I only use single hooks, even when multitip hooks are allowed. Most hooks I use can't be sharpened, but still give them a go over with file (I think I do more damage to file then the hook. LOL). But growing up how I did, if a fish was hooked, we wanted it in. I remember running meatlines in the sound (still have one that I never use but has memories). Extremely effective way of fishing, but no fun, just hooking fish and ratcheting them in. By time I was able to get a job, I was able to help with money to my family, and we were able to be more into sportsmanship then simply eating. Was around 83'. I haven't bought a treble since, and in fact instantly take them off any tackle I may have that has them on it.
04-14-2003 09:36 PM

Hello, Per-- I agree with you that treble hooks are an effective way to put a fish on the beach. I never meant to imply that they do not hold fish (although I think an argument could be made that a well-sharpened single hook stuck securely in a fish's jaw will hold some fish better then a treble hook stuck in both jaws).

However, most of my fishing is done in Catch and Release areas these days so the issue of treble hooks is a moot point.

I still maintain that even where trebles are legal, though, it is not necessarily a good tool for the job. Salt water salmon fishing for example. It is common to catch under-sized fish that by law must be released (such as king salmon). I am amazed that the Canadians commonly use treble hooks in their Pacific Northwest salmon fisheries when in some areas they are compelled by law to release not only immature king salmon but adult coho salmon as well. Treble hooks in a C&R fishery!

Treble hooks as you confirm were designed to hold fish for the purpose of getting them into a net for a kill. But it's also true that I have used singles (or sliding doubles) in the salt water with enough success to make me realize that trebles are highly over-rated and are not particularly necessary.

When I first started using tube flies for steelhead in the early seventies I could not bring myself to utilize treble hooks the way I saw them used on the Tweed in Scotland, even though back then you could use trebles in all the Northwest rivers. So I made a decision to fish tube flies with single hooks, despite my concern that my flies would not "swim" properly. Surprise, the flies fished just fine and the single hooks held fish just as well as the trebles! When I returned to Scotland for Atlantics I dispensed with the treble hooks for singles and never saw any change in my beaching rate.

The biggest steelhead I ever caught in my life was back in the early eighties. I was showing my girlfriend how to cast and my fly inadvertently hit the opposite bank and became stranded high and dry on a rock. Wow, what a cast said my girlfriend. I plucked the fly off the rock into the water where it should have landed in the first place. Suddenly there was dead weight on the end of my rod. For several minutes I thought I was snagged on a log. I finally wrapped the line around my hand and started backing up the beach. Wrong move!! A tail the size of a shovel came out of the water and my heart skipped a beat. I manged to get my hand out of the coils and thirty minutes later I snaked a fall run buck steelhead onto the beach that I estimated weighed 16 kg. The fly? It was a No. 8 fine-wire barbless trout hook. It was parked securely behind the fish's maxilla and a nuclear device wouldn't have moved that tiny little (black) fly.

I had just returned from a trip to the Tweed where I'd met an old Scottish fisherman one day. We were sharing the same beat. Och, laddie, he said to me, voice firm with the wisdom of age. On the Tweed we have a saying and it's this: the smaller the fly the bigger the troot.
04-14-2003 10:06 AM
Topher Browne

As a reformed "long-liner," I was surprised by the results of my 2002 season: I landed the vast majority of salmon, including my largest fish, on a stripped fly. To say this was an 'eye-opener' understates the case; I was blown away.

Whether stripping or swinging, I now much prefer holding onto running line as opposed to the fat belly of an extended taper line. The running line seems to better transmit the subtle bumps and 'takes' that Per talks about.

Stripping the fly also counteracts a central flaw in most salmon-fishing technique: the tendency to fish the fly too slowly.

While fishing from a canoe with a hardcore salmon angler of the fairer sex, I heard the guide, seated in the stern, command her to "Strip, strip, strip!" at the end of the swing. She turned to him and said, "Excuse me?" Her sense of humor intact, she then dutifully began removing her clothes.

The benefits of "stripping" are many.........

04-13-2003 11:57 PM

I always sharpen my hooks, if they're able to. Most chemically sharpened hooks are either sharp out of pack or tossed. Most will not take a file at all since they are actually hardened as they are chemically sharpened. All my long line releases have been just that. Acrobatic Steelhead or Coho that leap and toss and make it almost impossible to keep the slack out of your line. I still carry a file in my vests, but most of the time my hooks won't take one. I only use the fly or bait hook if it easily drives in without effort (I have the track marks on my thumb to prove it LOL). But, I've had more long liners with barbless. Though hooks drive deeper, you get enough slack and/or pressure from a leaping fish they can easily spit hook. I actually never had much problems with trebles, except trying to actually release the fish. When you have three barbs imbedded in a fishes mouth, isn't the easiest thing to pry out. But I'm good on the hook set, if I have a barb in, that thing won't come out. With barbless, I still drive that baby deep, but it doesn't take much with the typicle fighting styles of a silver/steelhead to knock one loose. Now a king, never had one long line on me.
04-13-2003 10:36 PM
Per Stadigh marketic,

The way you describe how to fish the cast out is exactly how I like to do it. I too ALWAYS strip line in as the fly comes round, in fast and/or cold water we are talking less than an inch per second while in slower and/or warmer water it might be good foot per second.

Aside from knowing that the fly is swimming actively at the leader's end, one also will detect even the slightest touch from a reluctant fish. It is amazing how many fish that comes to the fly without really taking. With the rod held high and with no active tension applied on the line one would not know a fraction of those touches. A lot of the fish I catch are such "touchers" that often take solided on another fly or a when encountering a different speed of the presentation.

This links up with the "long - short line debate" spinning on the Spey forum. The drawbacks asoc. with " line stripping" while using the shooting head rigs I fancy are far less when this constant retrieve is brought into the calculus. A good deal of the shooting line often is brought back WHEN FISHING THE CAST ROUND. A thin running line also is less affected by the water found between oneself and the fly than what is the case with a fat floating belly. This helps a lot when pointing the rod tip along the line, as both of us appears to prefer.

I too prefer sharp hooks, but feel that it is less critical with fresh run salmon than with more hard mouthed backenders. Ol' Hugh Falkus even advocated DULL hooks to ensure that the hook set in the jaw and not in the first tissue found......

On trebles I have to disagree. I have fished them for 30 years in Norway. They are superior alas not very elegant. Period.

Per Stadigh
04-13-2003 10:08 AM
95% - WOW!!!


That is the highest beaching rate I have ever heard of. I am impressed.

It sounds like you are more keeping tension on the fly than stripping? That may work better for Atlantics than for steelhead, especially in the midwest where much/most of the fishing is done at very cold water conditions.

You are right on about the sticky sharp hook. If they do not grab the fingernail when slid across, they are not really sharp enough.
04-12-2003 09:56 PM

I'm a bit surprised to see a discussion of hooks and fish hooking success rates without any mention of the word "retrieve" or "hook file".

I've fly fished for Atlantic salmon and steelhead for almost thirty years now and I have never dead drifted a dull pointed fly for either species (at least not when I’m on my game). When I hear the phrase "long distance release" I immediately think to myself: "asleep at the wheel", or "dull hook" or "dead drifting fly while overly absorbed in fluviatile scenery".

When I find someone else's flies hooked to a tree branch, just for amusement I always check the point of the fly on my thumbnail. These are the fancy flies the cool dudes are using these days. Holy Cow -- 80 % of the time the hook points are dull! So it comes down to this: whether you're fishing one hook, two hooks or three, are they sticky sharp? And how are you retrieving that hook, if at all?

I wear a stripping glove on my right hand. Always have. Every cast I've ever made in my life is allowed to free drift only for a very short while. The rest of the time the fly is stripped back towards my rod tip, the line being pulled over my right hand trigger finger with my left hand. Whether it's a floater or a sinker, there is a continual almost imperceptible retrieve. And I never lift the rod tip on a set. I jerk the line downwards with my left hand over the trigger finger of my right hand, leaving the rod tip pointed straight at my fly and the fish that decided to take a pass at it.

As a child I remember calling this type of retrieval "the Scottish Worm Crawl". As an adult I call this form of retrieving a sharp single hooked fly over my trigger finger as "95% beach rate". The remaining 5 %? I call that "Oh Well".

Treble hooks? Three times the trouble. And I’m appalled they weren’t banned years ago. Not because they are so aesthetically obscene stuck in a fish’s face. It’s because they are not a good tool for the job.
04-12-2003 05:39 PM
Ok, can only give comparison on bait

My flies have always been singles. I fished only a couple times in UK, and can't remember if I was using a single, double, or treble.

But, when I first started steelheading. We used treble hooks with our bait and on our plugs. Some guys when allowed still use trebles on plugs. I've noticed, that on bait hookup/land ration was MUCH higher. I mean, only time you'd lose a fish was if it ran into trees/obstructions. But, with our sandshrimp or eggs, the fish would engulf it, and would always have 2-3 of the hooks into the fish. When they outlawed trebles, and went down to singles, our catch rates went down. I believe sometimes the fish would grab hook just right or off to side and hookset pulled hook out or impaled into a soft place. Lost more fish in that regards. Had almost no difference between barbed and barbless. Normally the barbless would sink faster and deeper with less effort. Only on the constanst acrobatics of some fish did they ever toss a hook. With fly fishing, I'd have to assume similar things would transpire. If you have a solid hookset, your single will drive in deeper. BUT, you'll have more of a pivot if you're using longer hooks. I'd assume if you had 2-3 of your treble hooks in with a longer hook, would be tougher to maneuver out on the leverage point. I only use singles/siwashes nowadays. I do know that in the days I used trebles, if that plug went off, I got the fish to the boat everytime. The only time I lost a fish was when I lost plug as well on a snag. Period! You do have guys who like to use oversized trebles on plugs, which cause a snagging effect if run into fishing zones. I never did that, nor did my fishing partners. I have had WAY too many times having fish spit or miss hooks hitting with siwashes on. I can't count how many long lined releases I've had on siwashes rather then trebles (none with trebles).

As I said, mine is more from a conventional gear aspect. It's a different fishing style. Especially with bait. With flies, I couldn't give a fair assessment, since I don't recall ever using them. But, hope my conventional gear assessment helped.
04-01-2003 04:38 PM
Greater effectiveness of singles.....

Most of the discussion on "more effective hooking with singles, and less lost fish" has come from the spoon and plug fishermen, and it is true in that case. There is more than sufficient data to argue that point. However, I know of no studies, other than someone's opinions, to argue the same case for flies. I think that we have carried this idea over to flies as "gospel".

Only way to prove the point is with a statistically valid study.
But since many of us fish with small dry flies and small nymphs, I doubt if there would be much interest, other than salmon and steelhead fishers.... and we are a minority.

04-01-2003 11:58 AM
Willie Gunn

Having read through the thread thank you for all your imput
Gardener, said,
It also occurs to me that Malcolm's single may have slid out of the fish's mouth because it was fishing on its side - Hugh Falkus was insistent that one should check that a fly swam properly before starting to fish. I think the increased weight of 'keel' from the two points of a double increases the likelihood of a fly fishing right way up, which is important not only for secure hooking but also proper presentation (unless, like the Willie Gunn, your fly is tied 'all round' without a defined top wing).

The fly as far as I am aware was fishing up right, it was an Ali shrimp and it looked good before I sent it forth.
Willie Gunns tied on a tube with a single hook, How would you ever know wether the hook was up down or side ways, more worries. The gillie says I worry about the science of it all I should just choose a fly and fish it, changing flies just wastes nylon

As usual you talk sense, but do you always use tubes? do you ever use standard dressed flies? I could see why you don't.
I will have to try these Loop Doubles.

Topher said
Offset single hooks may improve hooking very slightly in the situation you describe. I used to fish an offset Gamakatsu single hook. I no longer bother with offset single hooks and notice no drop-off in hooking-to-landing ratios

I was thinking about bending an off set into all my singles but if you find no difference I will save myself the effort.

Now that three days have passed and I have relaxed maybe it was just on of those days. I hate loosing fish I can remember fish lost as a boy over 30 years ago much better than the ones I caught. Saturday was a pig of a day the wind was 25-30 MPH downstream,if you couldn't Double Spey it was too dangerous to fish.

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