View Full Version : Hooks for nymphs and wets
05-24-99, 10:59 PM
I am very new to fly tying. I've noticed that most hooks for trout are down turned eye. This is for dry and wet alike. I've read and been told that nymphs have better ( more lifelike and natural ) action in the current if you tie them to your leader with a loop instead of a knot that cinhes down tight to the eye. If this is true then it would seem to me that an up turned eye hook for subsurface imitations would make more since. When fishing a wet, keeping a tight line to the fly is important in strike detection. It would seem that with the down turned eye the pressure from the line would always pull the line to one side of the eye since the pressure is upward and the highest part of the eye is in the back. The line would try to move to the top of the eye and have to slide around the side to reach this highest point. This would seem to me to cause the fly to turn over or at least sideways. If an upturned eye was used the high point of the eye would be in front and it would seem to me the fly would ride more upright. Since most of the imitations we tie are of living creatures that would be upright in the water this would seem important.
Am I way off base here or missing something??????????? Getting ready to order more stuff( yeah I know, you warned me) and with hooks by the hundred I want to get the right ones. Any and all comments welcome.
The Ole Man
05-25-99, 12:33 AM
You think too much http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif. I've never understood but one element of the up/down/straight eye thing. I think-and this is my opinion, because I've never read anything on this subject-that the original intent for a down-eye on a dry fly was so the leader could approach the fly pretty much flush with the surface of the water. If a dry was up-eye, the leader would have to climb out of the water to reach the eye. If a dry is straight eye, the leader would still climb up and out. The reason being that dry fly hackle supports the hook shank above the surface. Thus a down eye "reaches down" to the surface film to help "meet" the leader. I realize that this does not apply to many of todays patterns. But it probably did apply to most old patterns of the past. The rest, nymphs, wets, salmon flys-I just don't know. Most salmon fly hooks are loop-up eye. Mustads older streamer hook the 9575 is looped up-eye. I use straight eye hooks like Tiemco 200R and 2312 for Madam X and hoppers because these are non-hackle flys and float flat on the surface-a down eye on these would mean a downward reach for the leader approach-below the surface. Then there is the case for midges. Straight eye is often used for those because in the tiny hook sizes, a down eye closes the gap size too much and affects hooking ability. How do I determine what to use? I read the descriptions of hooks in every flyfishing catalog I can find-especially "Nat'l Feather Craft". These often suggest uses for various flys. I also study the hook called for in every fly pattern I read-whether its in a mag. or a pattern book or on the internet. Lastly, I look at every fly in a flyshop display case wherever I go and see whats being used by the major tyers-mostly Umpqua Feather Merchants. The book "Fly Patterns of Umpqua Feather Merchants" is probably a good reference for what hooks for what-because Umpqua is the U.S. distributor for Tiemco hooks. Hope this helps a little.
"I've noticed that most hooks for trout
are down turned eye. This is for dry and wet alike. I've read and been told that nymphs have better ( more lifelike and natural )
action in the current if you tie them to your leader with a loop instead of a knot that cinhes down tight to the eye. If this is
true then it would seem to me that an up turned eye hook for subsurface imitations would make more since.
Knot comparison is a thorny issue. Some prefer to use loops for nymphs and streamers so that the fly will have more action, others will use an improved turle knot, even paying a knotting strength penalty, to lock the fly. It's a matter of choice and what one needs to accomplish in a particular situation or drift.
One thing is for sure that most cinch-down knots are not particularly effective for turned down eye (TDE) or turned up eye hooks (TUE). This is particularly true of the fisherman's favourite, the improved clinch. These cinch-down knots tend to slide around the hook eye and vary the direction of pull which in some instances may negate the effectiveness of the fly.
Although, TUE are available. They are not used often except for salmon flies where aesthetics tend to rule. TUE hooks tend to be attractive to the eye. There are TUE dry fly hooks (Mustad 98042) that were popular at one time for midge flies to increase the gap distance. However, the newer straight line eye hooks seem to have supplanted them. The main reason that TUE hooks are not often used is that the orientation of the hook pull is less effective.
Like everything else in life, no hook and/or knot is right for every choice.
"When fishing a wet, keeping a tight line to the fly is important in strike detection."
In certain cases, this is true. In others, it is not. Some forms of wet-fly fishing entail the dead drift using an upstream cast. In this case, a slack line is required for a proper presentation and a visual cue is required for the strike.
Spiders (soft-hackles) are best fished upstream and close to the surface. They are tied unweighted and sparsely to fish at their best. The soft hackle must undulate in the current while dead drifting. If a spider is fished on a downstream swing, the hackle will mat against the body and the fly will lose much of its effectiveness.
The angler strikes when he sees the fish take. This is not untowardly difficult because the fly is fished close and near the surface.
Since most of the imitations we tie are of living creatures that would be upright in the water this would seem important.
This observation played an important part in the development of a tying technique by the late Charles E. Brooks. He tied his nymphs "in the round" so that they looked the same from any view. His central thesis was that in turbulent water a nymph tied with a top and bottom might end up topsy-turvy and possibly negate strikes. It should be noted that he fished very turbulent flows for very large trout in the Yellowstone drainage.
The Ole Man
05-25-99, 11:07 AM
The up eye on streamers and salmon flys had/have a purpose ,in my opinion. Here again this is based on observation and logic. I have read nothing published on this. Since streamers and salmon flys are subsurface, and are manipulated and controlled by an angler far above the surface, then it is logical design to have the eye pointed at the surface and thus in the direction of the angler and the controlling forces. This tenet goes down the drain however, when wet flys are considered-because most of them are/were almost always down-eye. The diff may be that streamers/salmon are freq manipulated and wets are generally drifted. Just FYI, old salmon flys did not have an eye as part of the metal hook. The hooks were hand made and with out an eye-which was too difficult to fashion at the forge. The eye was a piece of gut folded into a loop and this loop was lashed to the blind end of the hook with thread to create an eye attachment. These blind eye hooks and the gut are still available today for those who wish to duplicate the old-fashioned flys. Partridge makes these hooks and sometimes I even see contemporary hand-made ones show up on the market.
You all think too much ! http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
short leaders, $20 flyline, and ugly hand tied flies.... http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
If you are just starting to tie flies, I'd stick to the smaller packs of hooks (25). Experiment with the different hooks out there.
I bought mainly Mustad at first because B****Pro carries them and they are inexpensive. I now mainly buy Tiemco and Orvis hooks. Tiemco for nymphs, 2487 (or 2457?) is my favorite nymph hook. Orvis straight big eye for dries. They cost more but I think they are worth it.
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