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I have noticed that double and treble hooks are common place fishing for atlantics, especially on tube flies. Often times the trebles are very small. Many of the people using them are conservation minded and practice strict catch and release. I personally have never fished for atlantics but from what I have heard they are in need of ethical catch and release every bit as much as our steelhead. I have always heard that trebles increase fish mortality and make a stress free release more difficult. They aren't really used on flies out here but are common with guys throwing spoons and spinners. My only experience with treble hooks was fishing eggs and throwing panther martins for trout as a kid. When they swallowed the hook with eggs that was the worst but I dont really remember trout swallowing a spinner. So my question is... why are they using trebles?? Does it increase their landing ratio or is it that they really don't see a correlation between the hooks and fish mortality?? Or is it a tradition/culture type thing? These are just questions I have I'm not saying they shouldn't be used or anything like that.
 

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Probably (treble) is that's the most common in the UK/Europe fishing.

Rare to see one of their flies with a large 'three points,' very small is the norm. But fish picks up the fly ... you've got him. Period. Double, which I use where 'legal,' have much the same effect. Both type of hooks are pretty much self hooking.

Fred
 

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I've wondered the same

Yeah, I have been a bit puzzled by the same. There are also a number of steelhead patterns that are/were tied on doubles. I personally don't see how they fit in with low impact C&R type fishing, having found in the past (fishing spinners for trout) that trebles can be very tricky to remove delicately.

To each their own, as far as legalities and mortality etc; after all I don't see much difference between a spoon/spinner/plug with a treble and a fly with one. Of course I used to also swap out all the treble hooks on my spinners for singles too. I just don't see that the need outweighs the potential damage to the fish, for me, so ethically they don't fit in my tackle.
JB
 

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Read an article once

that doubles caused less damage than large singles becuse of the effect of not penetrating as deep..

Must of dreamed about this looked to no avail

I will have to try and find it...
 

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''Speydo-masochist''
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As a UK salmon fisher I will chip in with my observations on this.

The trebles used very rarely exceed a size 6, usually smaller - often 10s & down to 18s & even 20s on micro tubes for summer lows & warm water.

Because an Atlantic salmon, even a 4 or 5 lb grilse, has a fairly large mouth usually only 1 or 2 points to the treble are sunk - if hooked in the scissors you may get all three engaged but this is in relatively inelastic gristle & it pops out of here with no bleeding.

Because the hooks are at 120 degrees to each other the if two are engaged they don't penetrate as deeply as a single of the same gape going in at 90 degrees to the jaw, but gain the advantage of two points of attachment so spread the load & secure a strong hold - which is why you can get away with a long winged size 8 whereas if dressed on a single you would opt for a size 1 or 2.

As Fred said, the small but very sharp points require little pressure to penetrate & the fish taking & turning with the fly against the drag of the line is often sufficient - particularly with the smaller sizes. Many have very small barbs, but often the anglers will crush these to facilitate an easy release, although in the small sizes the barbs are minute & don't tear the flesh if you use forceps & rotate them out rather than merely pulling them.

Salmon don't feed in freshwater so fish are usually hooked around the edge of the mouth, very rarely is a fly swallowed deeply. If this does occur & the fly can't be retrieved without significant damage then it is best to cut it off & return the fish to the river, there is no feeding to prevent & the fish is still likely to spawn. Only a tiny fraction make it back to sea - if it does the salt water will destroy a relatively fine wire hook long before the fish commences feeding again.

I have never fished for steelhead (yet, still hopeful!) but from what I read I believe they take pretty positively, with Atlantics the take is often no more that then a slight additional pause of the fly as it swings & a small very sharp treble assists greatly with a hook up which may well not happen on a large single.

Mortality from hooking is very rare, providing the angler treats the fish carefully & holds it against the flow to allow the stream over its' gill to reoxygenate the fish. I have actually lost fish hooked deeply on large singles when fishing at night for sea run browns where it penetrated deeply & reached somewhere vital, I have never had this occur with the size 16 or 14 trebles I usually use on my sea trout tube flys which are my usual preference over the large singles.

If I didn't honestly believe they weren't safe then I simply wouldn't use them, but in 25 years I have not felt that this is the case - I don't speak for the overly large trebles of size 1/0 etc fitted to spinning lures & plugs (these are forbidden on the Tweed where the maximum size permitted on any fly or lures a size 4) as these often both penetrate deeply & have over sized barbs, but on the rare occasion I use a spinner I swap these out for a size 6 which avoids the risk.

Those are my findings, others may disagree, & other species which may feed in fresh water may result in frequent deep hooking in which case I can see the need to limit hooks to singles - but I also feel these should be limited in size to avoid the risk of a deeply penetrating point reaching a blood vessel or organ which could increase mortality even if the fish appears to swim off OK but subsequently succumbs to internal blood loss.

Regards, Tyke.
 

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Boulder garden
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Back in the day

Used trebles 30 or so yrs ago on my spinning lures. I couldn't help but notice damage caused by them. So I changed all my lures over to singles and become a better fisherman. Max pressure and quick releases. Swinging feathers for 10yrs now. 90% of my fish caught have been lipped. Many release themselves. I tip my cap. Those trebles ain't letting go. Goddess forbid a treble in the fishes mouth.Only time I've had a problem with a single barbless was fishing with roe dead driftingwith a guide who wouldn't fish any other way. The steelie inhaled the eggs and it was over for that girl. Won't do that again. If your into putting meat on the table or worried about landing every fish you hook, then knock yourself out. Put your egos second and pitch your barbs on your single hooks.
Hooks are hooks, they can cause damage regardless of how many hook points there are. At least with a single barbless you have a chance of a quick! clean release. Trebles are a nightmare in the fishes mouth, get one point released and two more dig in. Fish squirms and bam they all set again! Blood! Dangerous for the fisherman also. That fish ain't gonna make it .Trebles are shameful as far as I'm concerned.
 

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A barbless treble or double as long a it's small is not that bad as a C&R hook for ex Atlantics. Of course a small single is even better.

I am personally a prisoner of old habits, so I tend to use a barbless double or treble behind my tube's if the rules let me do so. I have also used a lot of singles and always do so if the rules dictate or if I'm catching a lot of fish. Many times the bites are far and few between...
 
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