As always, I started out barbless... I went for my winter creeper as a shrimp fly which are used for PNW native steelhead and always barbless. But as I approached the 11th jumped fish (and twice that many fish hitting the fly) I was digging for anything with a barb on it in my flybox!
I think the main thing (with conventional hooks) is to get the point into a soft spot somehow. This is not typical for me to say but since the acrobatics are so ridiculous with these fish I have to agree that a barbed hook is the way to go.
In the skull shot I posted the largest spots were in the corner of the mouth under that HONKIN upper mandible. Webstain's comments about the pause reminded me of the centuries old greased line method of letting the salmon hook itself in the corner of the mouth. It's very good advice.
However I actually did try that in St.Kitts and just as often as a solid hookup would result the fish would spit before the fly could corner itself. I need to increase the sample size to get a better scientific picture of this
It's a research project dear