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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 1, 2008March 1st, 2008, 1:10 am EST
I recently read that A.K. Best ties just about everything on a Mustad 94840. Dave Hughes seems to be a fan of this hook and the Tiemco 9300 (for wet flies, that is). I have bunches of different hook styles and like to experiment--though I'm sure A.K. and Dave know plenty I don't. Anyway, what is your approach? What are your favorite hooks, and what do you use them for? Why?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
LittleJ
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
LittleJ on Mar 1, 2008March 1st, 2008, 3:38 am EST
I like tmc 2457. Lately i've been tying about everything that goes under on it. It's strong and seems to come pretty sharp out of the box.I think I remember reading somewhere (possibly on faol)a gentleman said that all chemically sharpened hooks were weaker than the mustads' of the market, but i've never had a problem and don't forsee me regularly catching 9 lb brown trout where it could even present a problem.
DGC
Chambersburg

Posts: 10
DGC on Mar 1, 2008March 1st, 2008, 8:59 am EST
I have mainly used Mustad. That is not because of any perceived superiority but the accident of having bought a lot of hooks all at once (a closeout sale).

Mustad 94845 barbless is a good deal and sharpness is good accross the size ranges.

94840 is good for # 20 to # 16. Larger than that you can have dullness issues, imo. TMC is better for those.

I really like the 3906B up to and including # 12.

9672 3XL I have a lack of confidence in regarding sharpness, even after taking the hone to them.

For small streamers, I like the 3665 6XL. That seems too long, but in the samller sizes I think it works fine, and the smaller wire does not tear up the fish as much as the larger wire of the shorter streamer hooks.

This topic could be an appendix in a tying book, not that I need to buy yet another tying book! Perhaps others will weigh in on Partridge, Daiichi, etc.
DGC
Chambersburg

Posts: 10
DGC on Mar 1, 2008March 1st, 2008, 9:03 am EST
Have to mention 2 more Mustad hooks.

94833 xtra light wire is too thin and weak under # 12. They bend way too easy.

94831 2XL light wire is good for the larger dry flies--strong enough despite the light wire.
CaseyP
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Mar 1, 2008March 1st, 2008, 9:35 am EST
Dai iachii 1560. in MT last summer i grabbed some ingredients off the shelf of a fly store in a hurry, and wound up with tungsten beads, yellow dyed pheasant tail and speckled rubber legs in "pumpkin and olive". at least the herl was as usual. came to tie them and of course the hook was hard to get the bead on, and the yellow tail looked a bit different, but gee, they caught fish. so for luck i still use them. they make nice chunky BHPTs that sink like rocks.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 1, 2008March 1st, 2008, 11:24 am EST
Great responses. If any of you also post on the Flyfisher's Paradise forum, there are two good hook threads there in the flytying forum. I'm learning a ton, both here and there. One very experienced tyer has spoken in favor of the TMC 2457 and other wide gap hooks, which I've been favoring recently. I'll also note that the Little Lehigh Flyshop may be able to get Varivas hooks--see Rod's website. I love the 988, especially for my upside down ties. It may be the chance of a lifetime if you want some of these. I just emailed Rod with an order.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
BrettB
Martinsburg, West Virginia

Posts: 8
BrettB on Mar 1, 2008March 1st, 2008, 1:31 pm EST
I tie mainly streamers: Wooly buggers, chicago fly (mohair leeches), and marabou streamers. I have come to prefer the Tiemco 5263 in sizes 6 and 8. It's shorter than the standard Mustad 79580 and, I think, gives fish less shank to "torque" or wrench it out of their mouth. The tiemco points are quite sharp and the barbs quite small. However, I usually mash the barbs to accommodate a 1/8 tungsten bead which will sink the fly quickly.
Brett Billings
long-time tyer and amateur entomologist
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Mar 2, 2008March 2nd, 2008, 6:36 am EST
Hi Louis,
Yes, Most of the hooks I use are Mustad. I've been tying on them ever since I started tying.

Here's a list of those I use:
3399A-wet fly
3906-wet fly
94840-standard dry
9671-nymph
9672-nymph and streamer
C53S-curved nymph
C49S-curved caddis
R48-caddis short (use them for spiders)

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Mar 3, 2008March 3rd, 2008, 8:18 am EST
My favorites are the Mustad C49S caddis/nymph hook and their 94833 3X-fine dry fly hook. I don't see any point using thicker wire than that for a dry fly... it does kind of bend, but the tippet will break long before the hook bends out.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
AaronJasper
New Jersey

Posts: 3
AaronJasper on Mar 12, 2008March 12th, 2008, 9:32 am EDT
I am surprised no one mentioned the new barbless hooks with super points by Tiemco

They have the:
3761sp bl 1xl nymph hook
3769sp bl 1xs wet fly hook
2499sp bl curved shank hook

They have a few more but these are the ones that I think would be best for the application mentioned. They stay in the fish better than barbed hooks and come out easier. This helps out because the flies do not get damaged when removing them from fish. I hope this helps.
www.troutpredator.com
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 12, 2008March 12th, 2008, 10:02 am EDT
Thanks, Aaron, I've seen similar recommendations for the 2499 on the Flyfisher's Paradise Forum, and have become very interested in these hooks. I also met you on the upper West Branch last summer and watched your nymphing skills in action. I learned a lot in a short time. I'll be giving these hooks a try.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
AaronJasper
New Jersey

Posts: 3
AaronJasper on Mar 12, 2008March 12th, 2008, 10:15 am EDT
Martin,

I actually had the hooks go through the jaw of the fish a few times! The beauty is that even though that occurred the hooks came out so easily that the trout were not marked! I can't wait to get up there again. That is my favorite stream hands down. Did you see the picture of the big one I got last summer? I landed that one on a 3761sp bl. It was 26.5 inches measured! I was nervous about losing it because that was one of the first batches of flies that I made with the super point barbless hooks. You will love them.
www.troutpredator.com
Andyg
Eastern Sussex co., NJ

Posts: 13
Andyg on Mar 18, 2008March 18th, 2008, 10:04 am EDT
My favorite dry fly hook is the Varivas 980; second favorite is their 988. I can't for the life of me figure out why they stopped distribution in this country. I always rated their hooks as both sharp and strong.

I also use the TMC 5212 for imitating some of the larger mayflies like March Browns, and Brown and Green Drakes. Also like the bite the TMC 921 offers and use it for tiny olives and tricos.

For wets and nymphs I like the TMC 9300, 3761 and 5262.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 18, 2008March 18th, 2008, 10:53 am EDT
Andy, I'm with you on the TMC 921. It's my main baetis hook these days. Thanks for your input.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 25, 2008March 25th, 2008, 11:58 am EDT
I just today landed my second fish on a fly tied on a Gamakatsu C15-BV barbless emerger hook. It took the fly deep though not in the gills. I was so happy to be able to get it out with no difficulty. The first fish I hooked on this model threw the hook and I had my doubts, but the next two stayed on fine, and I'm had many a fish throw barbed hooks, so I'll continue to use this hook and try some of the other barbless models recommended.

And Andy, the Little Lehigh Fly Shop is trying to get Varivas hooks. The model numbers have changed, but Rod may be able to get you some in this or his next order. They are very pricey this way, though. I do wonder about finding a shop in Japan that has English speaking clerks. I love these hooks too.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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