Decades ago, after my first reading of Arthur Wood's greased line technique, I copied him and tied sets of flies down to #10, 12. The usual conditions that would warrant use of something that small (low, clear, slow) have been met every time by having small (<8") fish take it -- repeatedly. Mr. Wood never mentioned such a thing in his letters. Beyond the discomfort of having to use a small tippit (in the event of hooking a steelhead), the fly never gets a chance to fish. I'm not referring to those few weeks when smolts are passing through. Then, any fly will hook them (seeing a 5/0 Ackroyd in a 6" smolt is enough to reel up and go elsewhere).
So my question to those that successfully use small flies -- How do you avoid the results I've described. Hoping to learn something here.
(I'd ask A.H.E. but he sits smugly indisposed
Like most others i agree that a LW style aproach, is the easiest solution. But...
(Here comes the gasoline to the fire)
To asume that mr Woods size 10 salmonfly equals a modern size 10, is in mine point of wiew a huge longshot.
The only correct answer to this, woluld be to speak to Wood himself. This is not possible as you pointed out. The next option will be verfied measures of Woods actual flies on a modern hook scale (wich i doubt is the case), and identification of the manufcaturer of the hook.
In the times of Woods endeavours, hook sizes were usualy given by the lengt of the hook (in inches). I belive there was at least 5 different hook scales used:
-Redditch (as modern sizes, i belive)
A size 10 Frances equals a size 3 Redditch (both 1 inch). I have no correct answer for you, but there are a handfull of people that can give a fairly conclusive fact based answer. This will be the Blacker project team, including mr Ronn Lucas sr.
They have done some very impressive reserch on this subject. BIG thanks for their groundbreaking work. If anyone want to go deeper into this subject i recomend starting at mr Ronn Lucas sr.
Sorry for the nitpicking, but I enjoy a beautiful Limerick. But still I tie and fish my flies on a modern hook (never smaller than sz 8 wet for salmon).
Hope I didnt stirr up the hornets nest...