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PostPosted: June 1st, 2017, 9:57 pm 
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I was curious about other anglers thoughts and observations on hooks size/design, their various impacts related to hooking injuries, and if it should be taken into consideration when fishing FFO or when practicing catch and release elsewhere. When fly tying I'm always playing around with new hook sizes and styles, much of the time making my decision on what hook is attractive on a given pattern. After many years of fishing, fishing several types of hooks, and observing sports and their various patterns and hook choices over the years I began to make conscious decisions to avoid certain hooks, weather it be the gap size, shank or gauge and type of wire the hook is made with. This process is always on going for me, for example, this year I experimented with a new woven stone fly pattern that I tied on size 6 and 8 Upqua 900BL comp hooks. For the most part factory barbless and an extended "needle" point are what make a comp hook a comp hook, often accompanied with a wide gap. I've never had a problem with streamers on this hook, it's a short shank, barbless 2x needle point streamer hook.But, when I fished the stones on this hook and caught smaller fish, the wide gap and the extended point made for some intense penetration and hooks exiting fish in rather solid places. As pretty as that stone fly nymph is, I'll be switching that pattern to a hook with less gap or less point. I've also avoided traditional long shank streamer hooks. Depending on the size and style of the hook, they can have a lot of torque on a fishes jaw (barbless relieves this situation a bit), more so what I see with long shank streamers is when they get caught up in the net while a fish is flopping out of control and the net gets twisted and twists the fish like cheese in cheese cloth, seems almost 50/50 some days when pulling a feisty fish out of the heavy water. For this reason I avoid long shank hooks on my steamers and tie most of them with smaller short shank streamer hooks or with larger nymph hooks. When fishing these streamers I miss a lot of fish, but most fish I miss I don't prick and can usually follow up and catch that fish with a nymph or dry. With the popularity in big meaty articulated contraptions and the "dry flies are for sissy's bumper sticker" type of mentality roaming the rivers some days, I see some pretty intense hooks these days hanging from limbs and stuck to logs and rocks, many stainless salt water hooks with pinched barbs. I've seen some streamers tied with such heavy gauge babless hooks that even fish hooked in perfectly normal locations will bleed just from the diameter of the wound. I know many like to follow the mantra that big flies catch big fish, but it's my opinion that some of what I see is a bit excessive for catch and release salmonoid fishing. I was looking to start a constructive conversation as to the different hook styles and sizes that people use, the various ways in which they impact fish, if you take these considerations in to account in your own endeavors and or if you have seen any impacts that you feel may even warrant future legal recommendations.


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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2017, 7:12 am 
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I fish, and catch fish, on bigger nymphs than most, and most times I am grateful for having a solid hook, because the fish that eat a #6 3xl stonefly are doing it in fast and heavy water and not spring creeks. It allows me to quickly land them. I think that is the Trade off. I confess, I don't always fish barbless, but I do reduce the barbs on most.

That said, I tie in economy mustad and Allen hooks, and the new mustads have significantly smaller barbs. Especially on the 8xl streamer hooks that I love for featherwings. The old ones, which I still have we're like gafe hooks, the r79s are better.

I had lots of issues with spinning salmon when I still used a cloth net. This is 100% of the advantage of a rubber net to me.

In caddis waters, I do love the Daiichi 1120 pupa hooks, especially with the offset point.

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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2017, 8:13 am 
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TGIF wrote:
I had lots of issues with spinning salmon when I still used a cloth net. This is 100% of the advantage of a rubber net to me.


For sure. Using wet hands and a rubber net are the most crucial factors in dispensing the least physical impact on catch and release fish, my opinion only.

I agree with the original post that some hooks simply cause a lot of unnecessary damage. I will admit that I should pinch barbs more often that just where required. Thankfully, after an average encounter with a hook, fish have an uncanny ability to heal minor mouth wounds quickly. Their skin and gills are different story.


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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2017, 9:21 am 
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Location: Vassalboro, Maine
I have been using Klinkhammer hooks this spring...and like the thin wire and tip. I also used 3906b nymph hooks-cheaper hooks to fish nymphs that I expect to lose....but I bend the barb down.

Last week, I was fishing a 2 fly rig, and when I grasped the line, the hook popped out and sank into my thumb- WAY past where the barb was....ouch....came right out.

That was a good point I had never considered- how a wider weight hook causes more damage...must consider this more.

HUtch

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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2017, 10:20 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
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I agree with the premise stated above...i.e. that short shanked streamer hooks cause less damage than 8X or 10X hooks.

For dries and nymphs my "go to" hook is either a Tiemco 100 or Daiichi 1180 (essentially the same hook) and I always bend down the barb before tying the fly. As these (both) are light wire dry fly hooks they will sometimes bend out when fishing nymphs right on the bottom, but a quick re-bend with my pliers take care of that problem. I firmly believe that light wire hooks do less damage to fishes mouths than heavy wire hooks do.

In C&R fishing using rubber nets; barbless hooks, and tippet appropriate to the situation so you don't have to play the trout to exhaustion all lead to reduced mortality. With the increase of fishing pressure on our heavily fished streams its incumbent on all of us to try our damndest to do as little damage as humanly possible to the resource.

One more thing that would (probably) help more than all of the above is to voluntarily cease trout/Landlock fishing when the water temps hit the 70* mark. There's plenty of Bass fishing to do until the water temps go back down into the 60's for the hard-cores that just have to fish.

Dave M

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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2017, 7:13 pm 
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Joined: July 28th, 2013, 7:27 pm
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There's another consideration: is the hook round wire or has it been forged square above and through the bend?

I was made aware of the importance of this by Polly Rosborough, the Chiloquin, Oregon, fly tyer who wrote Tying and Fishing the Fuzzy Nymphs. Polly was a tremendous character, an irascible, old curmudgeon who lived on the banks of the Williamson River and knew its trout by name. (The Williamson is deserving of a thread of its own -- double digit rainbows, with 12 pounders not uncommon during the summer run to escape Lower Klamath Lake's high temps) I had the privilege of visiting Polly a couple of times in the mid 1990s while out there to fish the Williamson.

At any rate, during one of the visits he said, "Don't ever use a square wire hook. The sharp edges of the wire will cut a large hole wherever it's hooked, and the hook can easily back out." I've used round wire ever since.

But as it applies to this thread (heavy wire vs. light wire), his advice also means that, with round wire, you will not wear a larger hole. like one that we're discussing might occur with heavier wire. I've liked Mustad's 38941, 3xl for small streamers and leech patterns; their 3906b for wets; TMC's 3761, 2x heavy, 1x long for nymphs and wets (it's a pretty hook). Eagle Claw D281F is a 4xl streamer hook, but the gap to length proportions make the gap look too small to me.

Speaking of what looks right to you, this hook thing must be close to the same brain center as the sexual attraction thing. I mean, it's deep! I can't begin to tell you exactly why a hook looks right -- total length to wire gauge to gap width to barb length -- but there's some chemistry there that I recognize as "my kind of hook" when I see it. I've got more hooks than I'll ever use!

So check your hook wire. Is it square or round at the bend? Don't peeve Polly. Even from the grave he'd be formidable. He's worthy of a thread of his own, too! I have some wonderful stories.

The last thing he said to me, trailing 50 feet of oxygen tube as he let me out of his (by then) Medford, Oregon, apartment, was: "Do as much good as you can!" Pretty good advice for and from anyone of any age.

Maybe we can do a little good with round wire hooks . . .


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PostPosted: June 5th, 2017, 1:37 pm 
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[quote="TGIF""........I had lots of issues with spinning salmon when I still used a cloth net. This is 100% of the advantage of a rubber net to me......"[/quote]

I use a rubber net. Rubber nets are not immune bag twisting either. I've seen plenty of long shank hooks get caught and cause bag twist on the fish, it's not only salmon that do this either. The biggest scenario I see which causes bag twisting in a rubber net is the same scenario in which I see excessive numbers of line wrapped fish, fishing multi fly rigs tied off off hook bends and eyes. When a team of flies is chained together off of the bends or eyes of hooks, if a fish gets hooked on the top or middle fly (or just top fly in a two fly rig) a lot of times the lower fly or flies fall through the holes in the net bag creating a starting point for bag twist. If the flies do not fall through the bag when tying off the bend or eye, most excited fisherman net the fish with their whole rig and their leader and flies get all intertwined in the net bag creating a mess for both the fisherman and the fish, and is detrimental to the fish. This is one of the many reasons I rig multiple nymphs off of tags. I can catch a fish of any size and my other flies will not interfere with the hooked fish regardless of which flies it took. A Tag also gives me the ability to net the fish and only the fly and tag it took and the rest of my leader set up and flies stay outside the net bag.


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PostPosted: June 5th, 2017, 5:30 pm 
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Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
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Location: Brunswick
I'll be honest, this was not something I had ever considered. I diligently pinch every single barb before I start to tie, so much so it is now muscle memory when I grab a hook to insert it sideways in the vise and pinch the barb. I also have started using a rubber net, which is fantastic, if you don't have one get one. You will love it. I will now take hook shape and design into account when I buy hooks.
CZN, if you don't mind could you please describe the distance you space your nymphs on a multi fly rig, maybe a quick leader formula? I currently tie off the bend, and need to change that. I've been lucky and have never had a fish get wrapped up, mostly because they almost always end up taking the bottom fly.
I do honestly care about the fish I catch and take ever step I can to ensure they leave my hand unharmed.

Peter

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2017, 7:17 pm 
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Peter, My basic nymph rig is as follows. Starting at the end of the fly line, I use about 36"-40" of 15lb Anmesia orange mono to a micro tippet ring. From the tippet ring I add about my wing span of tippet, I then attach about 30" of tippet to the previous piece using a double surgeons knot. After the knot is tied, the tag facing the fly line will be cut and the other tag is where a fly will be fished off of, so when tying the surgeons knot make sure to leave that tag long enough to tie your fly on ( I like my tags to be 6"-10") if a third fly is to be fished, repeat the second step by adding another 25"-30" section of tippet and removing the tag pointing towards the fly line. When the set up is complete, if I let my fly on the tag hang parallel to the rig, I like for my flies to be at least 18" apart when at rest in this manner. This will allow me to catch a fish of that size and have no interference with another fly. I will deviate from this set up in a variety of ways depending on conditions, but for the most part, indicator or no indicator this is the basic formula I use and the other the other ways I rig nymphs derive from it. If using and indicator My adjustments to the set up are usually made by changing the length of the first piece to tippet connected to the tippet ring, or in the placement of the weighted fly or flies in the set up(or weights if you use those). When fishing a Euro style adjustments are mostly made with the position of the weighted fly, on rare occasions I will alter the length of the first piece of tippet ie: if wading up to your arm pits or fishing standing up in a drift boat. For the most part, as a rule of thumb that almost always seems to work out, regardless of what water your fishing or what rod your nymphing with, if you make the length of your leader from where the fly line ends to the last fly in your rig (weather it's one or three) about the length or your rod, it is almost always manageable and the best set up for that rod. Further adjustments can then be made by changing weight placement. I strongly discourage making leader lengths from fly line to the last fly longer than the rod, it becomes unmanageable particularly when wading deeper, and becomes counter productive as once a leader becomes so long, weight(in the form of flies or shot) will not make up for the drag created by the additional tippet. The only situation I have found making the leader length longer than the rod to be of any benefit is when fishing from an elevated position such as standing in a drift boat or when your ability and water depth allow you to cast a significant way up stream of your targeted area to fish. Without writing a book that's about the best I can do for now. Hope this helps and answers some questions for you.


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PostPosted: June 5th, 2017, 7:46 pm 
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Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
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Location: Brunswick
Thanks Dan, that was a great explanation. I do manage a longer leader when using an indicator a times, 10 to 12 feet with a 9 foot rod. I still follow the 1.5 times the water depth rule but I find that, especially in deeper water, the extra leader above the indicator allows me to get better drifts as the leader creates less drag the the fly line. Yes, sometimes it is a bit unruly, you do have to lift the rod tip quite high to get the fly out of the water so you can recast. I am tall so it is not to bad for me. I find it hard to get good long drifts and good mends when there is less then 2 feet of mono above the indicator. That's just how I have learned to do it. I do want to do more tight lining, so I will definitely give your leader a try.

Thanks,
Peter

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PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 7:43 am 
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You guys are right... I guess i need to do more... hookless flies and bagless nets? It just might work....

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 8:50 am 
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TGIF wrote:
You guys are right... I guess i need to do more... hookless flies and bagless nets? It just might work....


That would be tough, with hookless flies you may even be able to avoid the net all together. I would get tired of walking around with the fly in my hand all day too. All joking aside, The rubber bag certainly has a much lower incident of bag twist, which is one of the many reasons it's the better choice. One of the instances of those seldom occurrences is with longer shank hooks, its just an observation. Which is why the topic of this thread was to discuss various hooks , how they impact fish and what other fishermen's experiences with that were. How each person takes the info discussed and applies it or doesn't apply it, is totally up to them and none of my concern. It's just nice to have other peoples thoughts and experiences to consider at all, I wish I had more of it in my earlier years and will accept all I can get still. I appreciate and respect every last little experience anyone is willing to share with me, in the end I take some and I leave some.


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 4:23 pm 
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Great topic. Just throwing this out there, is a pinched Barb really barbless? Obviously by pinching at the vise or by hemostats/pliers is intent in compliance with barbless regulations, and certainly better than not pinching them at all.As far as I can tell, there is no standard definition or litmus test if you will, to determine if a hook not specifically manufactured without a Barb is barbless.


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PostPosted: June 7th, 2017, 3:26 am 
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CZN wrote:
TGIF wrote:
You guys are right... I guess i need to do more... hookless flies and bagless nets? It just might work....


That would be tough, with hookless flies you may even be able to avoid the net all together. I would get tired of walking around with the fly in my hand all day too.


If you plant ice, you're going to harvest wind.... a famous hippie once said...


I think a lot more can be said for proper fish handling, and temperature sensitivity then worrying about square (haven't seen one in ages) wire vs. round wire hooks, or large wire versus thin wire. Our teenagers are sticking plates in their ears, and guaged wire noses and lips... it all heals.

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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