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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Cliff notes: Light wire hooks are great for dryflies but can straighten out. More stout hooks eventually sink and need bulk or artificial materials to stay atop.
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I like the S10s but the Hends hook seems to check off the correct boxes.

鈿燩.S. note that sz 10 in one brand is significantly different in size than another brand.

馃棧Ramblings of a nut:geek::
Dry fly hooks for steelhead (possibly salar - which I have no experience with) are a different quest. Obviously, the hook has to be light enough to float but stout enough to keep from straightening out on larger specimens.

Tyers usually mitigate the sinking tendency of the more stout dryfly hooks with more hair or artificial means (such as foam). Others might prefer to go lighter on materials which require even lighter hooks to keep afloat. I have been swayed to the latter option.

A few years ago, Josh from the Royal Treatment Fly Shop turned me on to Gamakatsu S10 downeye dryfly hooks. They're a good compromise of light wire and some strength with a very sticky point. I really prefer downeye hooks for my knot preference. So the S10s fit the bill.

They will not bend out when the steelhead runs and fights; however, when it's time to land the fish another story ensues. Steelhead tend to twist, flip-flop, or gator roll : these fight-or-flight reactions really can torque the Gamakatsu s10s. I have had a few large steelhead straighten out the hook (only when attempting to land the fish).

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I have tried other downeye hooks:
Mustads, Daiichis to name a couple - but they just didn't do as well compared to the s10s when tying Steelhead Bees.
I even went as far as using deer hair/cdc bodies on the Steelhead Bees to keep Mustads on the surface. They did okay.
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Well this past Spring, I was browsing the Deschutes Angler Fly Shop and @beulahnw was helping out behind the counter. Bruce directed my attention toward a couple of hook manufacturers and I walked away with a pack of Hends hooks. I believe they are used for euro-nymphing.

They seemed light enough for steelhead dries. I liked the downeye, the limerick bend, and that long barbless point with hopes that it may hold the fish better.

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If you click on the image above, you can view a video clip of the deer body Steelhead Bee waking. Notice that it is not the wings that cause the surface displacement, but the deer hair body itself. The No-Twist Knot on the downeye also assists in planing the fly to the surface.

Last week, I was honored to be invited to fish with some gracious gents who only fish dry flies. Fortunately, some steelhead were looking up and we were lucky to tussle with a few.

The one fish I landed was a large buck that did a lot of close quarters scrapping. The Hends hook stayed true to my satisfaction. (Of note, I hooked 2 other steelhead that spit out Steelhead Bees tied on Gami s10s - one on the dangle and the other on a leap)
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The retired fly:
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Hopefully some of you can try the Hends hook and give it a proper review.

Cheers and Blessings,
Adrian
 

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I can attest to the strength of those hends hooks as well as hanak which are similar. I have a fishing friend that specializes in landing highly pressured 2ft wild browns on small dry flies in the northeast. He had the same issue with hooks bending out and ultimately settled on using the wet fly version of those hooks rather than the dry fly.
 

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Okay, that fish is a beast, well done brother!!
Got to try some of these Hends hooks. I really like their proportions.
Do they come in #8 too?


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mike, it seems like do make sz8 with the same model number. I'm gonna have to give those other sizes a try (as well as the Hanak brand that Upstateonthefly suggested).


Thank you all for the comments and allowing me to post my random wandering thoughts on here. Cheers!
 

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Adrian,

As a reference - you cm also look for any of the following, if you want to explore what is coming out of Europe. Pre Covd, during my few work extended trip in Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, I would find-search for local materials (also did this, when I am in other countries to). Years ago I found hooks from Hanak, Dohiku, Hends and Kanpek. Of these, I would say my impression...

  • Hanak (Czech) got the most press. I still use the 333 for small Czech nymph.
  • Hends (Czech) not as popular, but I like the tip, hook, curl better than Hanak - Hends BL 474 & 554 is in my stable for trout
  • Dohiku (Slovakia), my second favourite, but I am often buying Hends instead.
  • Kanpek (Czech) never got into

You can look at others as well, and you will find many of them are very similar, but look carefully at the point shape.

Anyway, some pointers to look.

David
 

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Adrian 鈥︹ Thank You for the heads up. I haven't heard of these before. I鈥檝e always been partial to the Partridge down eye. Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
David (Raspberry), thanks for the detailed hook info! I went out the the other day and found a couple of those hook makers at the local shop. Curious how they will fish.

David Reid, thanks for reminding me about the Partridge downeyes! I have yet to try those for dry flies.

Todd, Nate: here's to the Loco Dry Fly Crew...Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
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A follow-up on the Hends hook:

Another steelhead buck ate the Steelhead Bee tied on the Hends hook. A couple of observations - the 2 steelhead I landed on the hooks were both bucks in soft water that bull-dogged and flip-flopped/gator-rolled at leader.

馃敶Usually soft water dry fly grabs on the swing are a little more difficult to stick.

馃敶The Gami s10 dry fly hooks I usually fish have a risk of straightening out on larger vigorous fish at leader.


The Hends hook on the 2 fish thus far stuck the soft water grabs and held on without straightening out. That's pretty impressive. Now we need a doe steelhead to test out the Hends...
 
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