Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: British Columbia
Ive had this discussion before with others. I for one, tie traditionally. Meaning, the same way we have tied flys for years. That said, hear is a little info that may answer some questions.
While fishing summer/fall steelhead, way way up a system late in the season, for steelhead that for the most part, have been in the river for at least 2 months. The hook is rarely in the "scissors" of the jaw. Most fish seem to be hooked in the forward part of the mouth area. Some, right on the tip of the snout. To me, it would appear they are taking the fly quite delicately from behind. Takes seems to just stop the swing mid river with little to no violence. The line just goes tight. I find intruders with trailing hooks seem to get more fish than single irons (with bigger patterns.
Fresh winter fish (or fresh summer fish close to the salt) seem to just smash flys and take them sideways in the "scissors" of the mouth. Big takes and violent grabs. For these, I like my hook placement with intruders, closer to the mid body of the fly. With single irons, more forward dressings. My reasoning is from sight fishing observations. Ive seen steelhead move out of the way of an oncoming swung fly. Let it pass and hit it at great speed coming down river. Like a fast U-turn once the fly has passed. Crazies thing Ive ever seen. We all know that fresh salt fish are aggressive but I think few have ever seen the different angles of attack these fish can, and do use.