Trailing-Hook or Not? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Trailing-Hook or Not?

Hello,
Do you prefer fishing for steal-head with streamers tied directly on the hook, or on a shank with a trailing-hooK? Any hook-up advantage? I've tied both, but have only fished with shanks up to this point, because of the success I had early on, which I suspect may have kept me from further testing...Thanks for you time. Steve

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 05:06 AM
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I have caught fish on both and I have lost fish on both, about equal amounts. Fish what ya like, its all that matters!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 08:05 AM
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With shanks and as with tubes I like the fact that I can pick the size/style of hook. I might be throwing a big fly but I don't need a 2/0 hook to do it.

Dan
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 01:15 PM
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I have a preference for tying on hooks simply because they're easier to cast. 1/0 is the largest hook that I'll use anymore.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 02:10 PM
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A while back I preferred trailing hooks because it enabled me to fish short-shank, wide-gap hooks that minimize bycatch mortality and sub-lethal injury.

Now I tie the smaller flies on short-shank, wide gap hooks. They may look like hell, but I don't care. In addition to minimizing bycatch impact, they are much harder to throw or work out of the steelhead's mouth while working the fish in.

Moreover, it is rather amusing to use hooks designed for carp and other coarse fish in the pursuit of steelhead.



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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 06:15 AM
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Enso, I have snelled spade head carp hooks for tube flies. They work great.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 07:44 AM
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I like the option of being able to change out my hooks with trailers.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bc steel View Post
I like the option of being able to change out my hooks with trailers.

That pretty much settles the argument for trailing hooks.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:39 AM
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Most, if not all, of the photos I have seen on SP of hooks impaling anglers faces (and ears) are with trailing hooks on flies. It strkes me that any possible advantages may not be worth the risk.

Malcolm
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 12:02 PM
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Most, if not all, of the photos I have seen on SP of hooks impaling anglers faces (and ears) are with trailing hooks on flies. It strkes me that any possible advantages may not be worth the risk.

Malcolm
Other than Outerhebrides there doesn't seem to be much of an issue lately.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 12:52 PM
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I don't think that an incident with anchor placement has anything to do with whether you are using a platform with a trailer hook or using just a single hook.
In my earlier years I had a couple close calls while using a single hook. Resulted in a hole in my wading coat, a hole in my waders (crotch area ) and even casting my hat right off my head Thankfully, no flesh was compromised during those incidents


I use single hooks 90% of the time when fishing for GL's steelhead at home or Atlantic salmon on the east coast and only occasionally do I use shanks.
I prefer to fish single hooks, right up to #3/0. However I do modify the wide gaps to less than 1/2". I fish mostly traditional and vintage patterns and styles which is a major part of my on river experience.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 04:38 PM
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Well played. This comment made my day! You would be amazed (or perhaps not) at the many humorous anecdotes and comments I have received, all in good spirit, and none of which would have been sent had I stuck the fly in my eye or something serious. Even received a note from a very famous B.C. guide confessing to having put a fly in the SAME earlobe within a mile of the same place on the SAME river. Still laughing.

If everybody used shoe horns, they'd catch 'em all on shoe horns.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GHalliday View Post
Other than Outerhebrides there doesn't seem to be much of an issue lately.
Look back at his thread. There were a few of us.

For the record, over approx 50 years of fly flailing, one tube fly to the nose, a Skunk to the jaw (first year spey casting), and about 20 years ago, a small beetle to the forehead (fishing dries in Yellowstone in a heavy wind).

Record-
Shanks/tubes-1
Traditional hooks-2
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 05:38 PM
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It just takes one, I suppose.

Years ago Trout & Salmon magazine (UK) featured a one page article (complete with a sobering photo) of a lady who was taking a salmon fly casting/ fishing course on a river. Her hook became snagged and she pulled. The fly shot back hitting her in the eye, this was not a dainty trout dry fly either, but a larger single fly. She went into shock and was taken to the nearest hospital post- haste. The article mentioned that it was fortunate that, by chance, there was an eye specialist on call who operated and safely extricated the fly.

The woman was in danger of losing her sight in that eye and mention was that sometimes the other eye packs up 'in sympathy' if that would have happened. She went on to have a long recovery and did not regain all of the vision in that eye.

The artice was published as a reminder to be mindful, plus to wear eye protection.

Only a few years into this spey lark, I will not cast double handed overhead, having had a few whacks on the shoulders or the back of a hooded head when I tried. The whole idea is for it all to stay out in front or to the sides anyway. All that is needed is a rogue puff of wind to send that fly facewards. Even trout fishing s/h I learned long ago to turn and follow the cast to see when it straightens and also ensure that the fly is always sailing along behind me, rather than toward. I learned that early, now 40 years ago fishing from a boat on large English reservoirs.

As previously mentioned, I am experimenting with various sizes of keel hooks, which may well be the safest fly hook for streamers and spey type flies.

Malcolm

Last edited by MHC; 03-20-2019 at 09:01 PM.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 08:57 AM
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Most, if not all, of the photos I have seen on SP of hooks impaling anglers faces (and ears) are with trailing hooks on flies. It strkes me that any possible advantages may not be worth the risk.

Malcolm
a bad cast is a bad cast and a hook is a hook, trailer or single. I may be wrong, but any fly in the path of ones face is just as easy to connect in a unfavourable manner. I think bottom line is proper casting.
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