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Tube Flies

2157 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  juro
Greetings all! I know many of you on this board, and hope to make the acquaintance of others.

So is anybody tying/fishing tube flies? I'm just getting into this and am "discovering" that there's a lot to be done on the subject--why, for instance, aren't there any designated tube fly singles out there?

I'm most curious about anyone's experiences comparing their hooking/landing ratio with tubes vs dressed hooks? Do short shanked hooks like the Tiemco 105 make a differnce on whether fish come unbuttoned?
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Awesome to hear from you! How ironic... I was catching up with my email and sent you a note. When I gave the board one last check - there was a post from you! Spooky, but very cool.

A while ago I exchanged tube flies and materials with several salmon anglers from the British Isles. I have some very fascinating examples of how they tie in the UK and Sweden. Also, a wide variety of tubes including brass, aluminum, and plastic purchased here from Kennebec River. K/R makes the tube holder for standard vises that Les Johnson turned me on to at the Swallows Nest. Mike Kinney used to work there too then, those were the days, eh? Anyway, most of these are classic salmon color themes with hairwings, frequently rigged with double hooks. The hooks I received in my tube fly swap were partridge hooks, but I'd have to look them up to be honest.

Because of the way coho hit in the saltchuck, I preferred tube flies to offset the hook toward the rear half. The way those fish hit at Sekiu and Neah Bay would send the tube up the leader and you could often see another emerald backed hooknose chasing the flailing tube fly while the other fish thrashed.

I've recently been thinking about going to tube flies in the salt here in the Cape Cod area for two reasons: fly re-use after hook damage (sand, rocks) and reduction of bite-offs from toothy fish. The hook placement is a non-issue with striped bass because they hit at the head of the fly.

The last time I hooked a steelhead on a tube was on the Skagit last spring with Andre and guide Ed (the steelhead bum) Ward. I was fishing one of Ed's radical tube fly designs, which you are probably familiar with. The tube allowed for a very intrusive stimulator fly design to be fished with a reasonable hook, in fact the fly cast easily despite it being pretty huge. The fish came unbuttoned but I hesitate to say it was due to hook design or tube.

I guess I need to fly back out an do more research!

best regards,

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Andre - how goes the Intruder herl search? Email me a snail mail address, I have some feathers for you.
Hey BlackSalmon,

Well, i haven't had much of an opportunity to fish them yet, but have tied a few and bent the ear of many a flyshop employee to learn what hooks are being used, what they consider the advantages are of tubes, etc.

I've found that, for large flies, the most popular hook is the Owner Flyliner. Beautiful hook - dark chrome finish, wide gap, Very Sharp, stright eye, and a bit pricey. Definitely top-end. Others are using everything from shortshank saltwater hooks from Tiemco and Mustad to Tiemco globug hooks in the smaller sizes.

The reasons people are fishing them are (1) that they seem to cause less trauma to steelies (and smolt) than the larger irons and (2) that they were getting a better hook-to-hand ratio for winter/spring fish, especially with the really big flies. I've talked to 5 guys that fish tubes exclusively in the winter/spring and all but one said they were convinced they were landing a higher percentage of fish with tube flies. The one exception said it was about the same, but he's a bit eccentric and fishes tube flies mainly because they're "Cool and Different".

Anyway, I've should be getting a shipment of the Owner hooks any day now - if Tyler gets down here on December 22-23 and I've gotten the hooks, I'll send a few back with him so you can check them out.

Happy Tying!

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RE:Tube Flies (books)

I seem to be attracted to tube fly information lately, mainly because I never heard of such flies until a few months ago.

I came across a fly shop in Girard, Ohio, near Youngstown called "Books and Hooks". He has the largest library of Fly books that I have ever seen.
Including signed books from Japan, (Sadawa), I believe, to others from the U.K.

One that caught my eye was "Trout & Salmon Flies of Scotland", by Stan Headley, which I purchased. Some of the tube flies are fairly long and most interesting especially since few publications show flies on the tube.

Anyway, I have purchased the HMH tube attachment and will be tying tubes.
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Garo -

I'll scan and post some of the tube flies I have traded with folks across the atlantic and a few of my own as well. Keep us posted on the progress you make with them. I haven't seen the HMH attachment, how does it differ from the Kennebec tool?
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