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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Lateral view of a Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for this one.
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.

Davez
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
Davez on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 2:31 am EDT
How do you all feel about flies with tandem hooks? Like articulated sculpins, leeches, or Michigan flies with trailing hooks?

I have had excellent success with them- huge fish landed. however, I quit using them because of some nasty hookup damage to fish and fisherman. I find that often the second hook that is unhooked in the mouth may sometimes get hooked elsewhere.

Is there another way to fish 6" long flies with one hook and get a good hookup rate??? I've thought about breaking off the FRONT hook, and just leaving the trailer.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 2:56 am EDT
I don't have an answer to your question, but I am very glad to see it posted. I've been thinking about learning to tie some of Kelly Galloup's articulated streamers, and have seen photos of some very big fish taken locally on them, but the two hook idea gives me pause exactly for the reason you state. If you figure this out somewhere other than the forum, please let us know the solution.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Davez
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
Davez on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 3:35 am EDT
louis,

im actually "the happy trout" from the other forum....I recognize your name and know that JW is here to stay too. I am weaning off going there, you know the one, and you probably know why.....

well, I did manage to nail a monster brown (27") this spring on the Ausable- on a 7" long bunny streamer. A Bob Linsenman creation, that has the front hook clipped off. no chance of hooking yourself or the fish with the "other" hook, cause it is not there.

for the remaining flies I have in my box with dos hooks, MAKE sure they are barbless. I used a gamakatsu trailer hook this spring and it is SHARP. while landing a 23" brown, he got the front hook fair and square, but in landing him, i took the gamakatsu to the vein on my left hand. if there were sharks in the river, I'd be a dead man.

also, be aware that certain regulations only allow a single hook.

I'm still playing with the flies- coming up with new long streamers that hookup better and are safer for me and the fish. i have been trying them out on the local smallies.

I'll be sure to report my findings.
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 4:17 am EDT
Excellent thread. I just tied a few sculpins with two hooks for the first time. The reason was because I was fishing at night and had been missing fish recently on streamers due to short strikes. The two hooks worked pretty well - I only lost one fish, on a very violent strike. I was pretty disappointed, though, that every fish I caught was hooked on at least the front hook, and the ensuing damage was, in my opinion, excessive. I also foul-hooked more fish than usual, even for night fishing. I think I'm going to do what Davez suggests and just use a stinger hook with nothing else, effectively a jointed streamer with one free-swinging hook. I can't see any other logical solution.

By the way, if you're as cheap as I am and hate the idea of using two hooks for one fly (and even worse - cutting the hookpoint off one of them), just buy some longshank hooks and cut them in half before tying. By the way, using longshank hooks as is causes a lot of lost fish because they can get so much leverage against the shank and throw the hook so much more easily.

Also, ditto the barbless comments. Not only is it much better on the fish but also on you if you're fishing a fly with multiple hooks. The same is true when fishing a multiple-fly rig. Getting a hook stuck in you while you're trying to unhook a fish can be painful. I remember a few years back watching with wonder as my brother, while unhooking a large fish, dove headfirst into the river and started thrashing all around. Afterward, he explained as I laughed at him that the fish had wriggled free before he had unhooked it, and as it made a run for it it drove my brother's trailing fly deep into the webbing of his hand. To keep from snapping off his flies or tearing up his hand, he had dove into the river after the fish. All ended well, as he tackled the fish again and unhooked both it and his hand, but he's been more careful unhooking fish since then.

And you only need to get a hook buried in you past the barb once before you go barbless. Or, for those with a truly extraordinary intellect, you could be smart enough to go barbless before that happens.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 6:05 am EDT
Davez, I know exactly what you allude to at the opening of your post. It's good to have you on this board, which is tons of fun without getting stupid (well, they do make exceptions for me at times) and very informative. I too have experienced fish's revenge with a two fly rig. The very friendly guy I was fishing next to on the W. Branch was telling his buddy downstream about how scarred up some of the fish there were and I explained to him that the fish I'd just released from my dropper nymph had hooked me with the dry before I freed him. Fortunately he was in my net, so I didn't have to take a swim like Shawn's brother (Flatstick on the "other" forum, by the way) but the line between dry and dropper fly had slipped into a nick in his jaw after his hookset, and wouldn't come out. I had to clip it to get pressure off my hand, since I was trying to keep him immersed in the water and he was thrashing. Thank God for barbless.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 6:13 am EDT
Hi guys,
This is an interesting issue. I prefer to fish with a single hook most of the time. I'll use a multiple fly rig if I feel there's a compelling reason to do so--like to determine the fish's preference, if I haven't been able to do that through other means--but I'll usually eliminate the extra flies as soon as possible.

I don't like mutiple-hook flies for many of the reasons already mentioned. I also think that the "short-striking" response to streamers is often misinterpreted. I remember a day long ago when I had more than 30 hard strikes to a streamer without hooking more than a couple of trout. Sometimes the fly seems to trigger an aggressive or territorial response, but the fish doesn't intend to eat the intruder. I don't like hooking fish that didn't want to eat my fly. (Ask Louis; sometimes I don't even hook fish that do intend to eat my fly!) ;)

I also know a very good sculpin fisherman who claims that trout often strike to stun the little bottom dwellers, and then follow up with the big munch. (I can't confirm that, but I do know that trout will sometimes dismember a crayfish before eating it. I used to tie a very fussy and accurate crayfish, but the trout kept ripping the claws off of the darned thing without getting hooked!) This guy recommends using a strip strike so that the fly will remain in the general area for the fish's return engagement.

And I certainly agree with the sentiments expressed about barbless hooks. I've fished exclusively barbless (actually smashed barbs, which I prefer) for more than 40 years, so I can't really make an objective comparison. Perhaps some fish have been lost due to the lack of a barb, but there's also the argument that debarbed hooks penetrate easier and there is less chance of enlarging the hole during the fight. Whatever the case, there have been so many times when I was extremely grateful that the hook was barbless that I don't care if I lose a few on that account.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 6:45 am EDT
Davez,

Part of the fun for me with different fora has been figuring out who folks are who post elsewhere (though I make it pitifully easy for folks to figure me out due to my own lack of creativity). Take Caddisman for example, he's our own JAD. And Flatstick (I forget the final numbers) who I had the pleasure of meeting thanks to Shawn, is Shawnny3's brother. I think I'm on to you, but may be wrong. Are you the guy who fishes with jeepgurl sometimes?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Davez
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
Davez on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 7:02 am EDT
gonzo- you are 100% correct about the strip-strike.

hard to discipline yourself to do it, but once you get in the mindset you are gold. your friend is right about the ability of big trout to stun a bait then inhale it... I saw and did this exactly on the madison. chucking #2 buggers with bunny strips glued to their backs. you would think you "miss" the fish, but he then comes back around for it to eat it frontwards. im positive soem fish do this. Did it on the delaware this spring too.

I learned to strip strike tarpon fishing-there simply is no other way to get a solid hookset.

also, use the strip set at night. ive messed up a number of hookups and hooked trees by lifting to get a hookset.

back to the two hook fly- got to be barbless if you are gonna do it.

I also experimented with small trailer hooks. a #1/0 main body hook (yes, that big) and a trailer of only a #8 or at biggest a 6. you'd be suprised at how this makes a difference in the double hookup thing.

interesting point that you don;t want to catch fish that strike on impulse- the territorial strike you describe. I've done this on spring creek- those notoriuos bank holders that are literally everywhere. Casting to them with a streamer generates a territorial response, but I can assure you, I have caught hundreds of them- right in the corner of their mouth, like they wanted it. I don't know- did they want to eat it? not sure. but you are right- it sure isn't dry fly fishing.

I'm leaning towards only single hook flies- I have witnessed damage to both me and the fish- including a near knockout......another story...windy day- drift boat-i ended up with the fly in my right temple at about 80 mph.....my buddy felt so bad. I'm ok, but it could have been alot worse.

nonetheless, I think the must dos for a two hooker:

1. barbless (both hooks)
2. small trailer.

hmm, what else????

btw guys, good conversation here.

dave
Davez
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
Davez on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 7:04 am EDT
martinlf, no, not me with jeepgurl, but i wish it was! thats colin.

hahahha! im the happy trout. the loner in WPA that fishes the yough out of a wood drift boat and loves smallie fishing. i love streamer fishing and lousy weather that makes it so good.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 7:26 am EDT
I actually haven't looked at usernames on the other forum lately, and the connection to JW and the tandem hook big fish approach was what took me there. Yes, now I remember it is Colin who has turned many of us green with envy with his catches, and yes, I'm not just talking about the fish. Jeepgurl posted on another site I was sent to recently and I again momentarily thought, if I were younger, single, more good-looking, smarter, and a better fisherman, . . . I'd still probably not have had the nerve to track her down were she unattached. I've been amazed and pleased at the restraint and gentlemanly responses her posts and photos have elicited. As I remember, Colin is a big fan of the two hook fly, and very effective with them. Now I also remember your posts on the Yough. My brother-in-law from Johnstown fishes it some, and I recently directed him to the FFP thread (whoops, now I've said it) that discusses fishing that river. I've gone there with him a time or two, but that's another stream that mystifies me. It sounds like if you know what you're doing the Isos can lead to some fine trout fishing. I'm a big fan of smallies too myself, and believe it or not, have been very much a loner in my actual fishing until this year. This board has changed that some.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 7:57 am EDT
Dave, (Welcome, BTW!)
I'm pretty content that most of the time when I'm hooking fish in the mouth, they probably intended some harm to my innocent fly. However, when fish are consistently nipping at the tail of a streamer out of irritation, I don't feel justified in using some sort of stinger to snare them. I'm not trying to make some sort of ethical distinction; I've caught plenty of fish that clearly didn't intend to eat my fly. I just don't feel like I've accomplished anything by doing that.

Thanks for sharing your experience with the strip strike. It can be tough to shift gears into that mode of striking, but sometimes (especially with streamers) it can really pay off.
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 8:28 am EDT
Ah, Gonzo, you now raise an interesting philosophical question, even though I know you're not taking some kind of moral stance one way or the other. But if one were inclined to alter his fishing around it, he'd have to be able to satisfactorily answer the question: What triggers a strike in the first place? A hard question to answer, to be sure. After all, they're just fish. Forget streamers, we all know that strikes at dry flies can be for myriad reasons other than eating, and I'd be willing to bet that many fish take nymphs when not actively feeding, using their mouths to touch things out of curiosity (in much the same way a baby puts everything in his mouth). And could the fish itself even differentiate all those motives? I doubt it. I just wonder how much we can ever know about what the fish intends to do when it strikes.

As my uncle is wont to say when I get too analytical on the stream about why something is working the way it is: "Don't question it - just catch fish." That response doesn't appeal to my nature, but it definitely has the ring of truth much of the time on the stream.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 12:35 pm EDT
Shawn,
I realized that my response to this thread bordered on the philosophical, and that's why I tried to retreat a bit from that aspect. You're certainly right that we can only guess about the fish's motives.

My own feeling on the matter is not quite as matter-of-fact as your uncle's, but there is an element of philosophical whimsy to it (and, I hope, a touch of truth). Though I can't remember his name, I will always recall the response of a very witty "golden age" angler to the accusation that fishing was cruel. He said something to the effect that when he busied himself with drifting his fly innocently on the water, and a trout came up intent upon devouring it, it was pretty clear who had murder on his mind. For my part, as a catch-and-release angler, I am satisfied to think that my own motives remain at least a bit less greedy and less bloodthirsty than that of the fish themselves. This rather convoluted logic may not satisfy everyone, but I like to think that the fish, if they could, would understand. And that is the pact I have made with them--through fishing, to try to better understand their nature and my own.
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 1:52 pm EDT
Very nice response, Gonzo. I, too, have often used that logic myself, though I can't remember ever having used it to try to convince someone that fishing isn't cruel. The fish are, indeed, the predators - anyone questioning that has never seen a largemouth bass tear into a popper against the serene backdrop of the setting Sun and chirping crickets (and I'm sure there are much more vicious species outside of my experience). I like to tell people that I am merely an educator trying to teach fish the difference between real and fake food so they are never caught by someone less benevolent than I. Sometimes I even tell that softly to a fish if it's giving me a hard time as I'm trying to release it.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 2:18 pm EDT
Nice to know that someone else talks to the fish, Shawn. I know I'm a little crazy, but it's good to have company. Unfortunately, chubs and fallfish are the only ones that regularly talk back to me, and their grunts always sound like complaining. "Shut up, can't you see I'm trying to unhook you?" is how my side of the conversation usually goes. Somehow, I always talk more politely and reverently to trout, but they continue to ignore me anyway. Isn't that always the way?
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 6, 2007July 6th, 2007, 3:59 pm EDT
Yeah, I suppose they're like cats that way, too regal to associate with you, probably embarrassed by the indignity of the whole affair. What will the other trout think? I think that's why they sometimes hang around your boots after being released - they just don't want to have to go back and face their peers.

As for fallfish and chubs, I usually don't admit to having caught them. Same goes for suckers and panfish. You're a bigger man than I, Lloyd.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 7, 2007July 7th, 2007, 7:44 am EDT
I wouldn't know about that, Shawn. (I am about 6' 2".) It's just that anyone who has spent much time fishing the Yellow Breeches (at least, outside of the C&R section) and claimed not to have caught chubs and fallfish would have to be counted as a liar. :)
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Jul 8, 2007July 8th, 2007, 8:43 am EDT
Well, I really missed the boat on this one.

Dave welcome! I think you will find this site to be much closer to the good old days elsewhere.

Some housekeeping and then on to my thoughts. Jeepgurl is/was associated with Colin who is currently in the Steamboat area giving Arnies trout particular hell. If you think you have a fly that is good don't ever show it to that boy as he will tear it apart and then rebuild it even better and outfish you 10:1. As for Jeepgurl she is more intent and serious about fishing than "Scooter" is about dodging jail time. I have fished 10 hr days in pouring rain on Spring Creek with her and Colin and she was the last one to pack it in.

Now for the hook x2 thoughts.
The situations I have experienced them in were actually pretty limited and the streamer was being fished more like a big nymph so the hooking damage was limited. Loren Williams (aka Flyguy) from up in the Pulaski area introduced me to WADDINGTON SHANKS for tying articulated type streamers. These are essentially a hook shank sans bend and point and result in some great looking creations.
My personal preference is to locate the business part of the hook near the middle of the streamer that way a headhunter has just as much chance of getting stung as a tail slasher. This is very convienient when you big streamers go from cold to warm to salt water and back in the course of a season.

As a side note I have been experimenting with the Mustad C71S SS for my dedicated Salt/Smallmouth patterns. This circle streamer hook has some real potential for fish that strike and turn no hookset required just let the line come tight and they are on. Initial results prove promising however with the lack of "good smallmouth water" I have to work on some more distant field tests.
Dave our little trip will be the real test.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Davez
Pennsylvania

Posts: 59
Davez on Jul 9, 2007July 9th, 2007, 12:19 am EDT
good talk guys, and interesting perspectives.

JW, our little trip will be the tryouts of many a new creation. I have used those C71SS hooks you speak of and had decent success with them. whats best about them, you can carry those flies around in your shirt pocket and not get stuck!

Good to hear some of you guys are in contact with some of the acquaintances elsewhere.

martinlf, were you the guy that fishes the delaware often? I may be up there with the driftboat in Aug if the boss lets me.
Dave

Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 10, 2007July 10th, 2007, 10:34 am EDT
Dave, I try to get up once or twice a year, if they let me out of my cage here, but I missed the last couple of years, just too busy. So it was great to get back and get into a few fish. I fish locally mostly, near Harrisburg and around Happy Valley. With Tricos on yesterday morning found me at the Little Lehigh. I hope to get up to Hancock more next year, though, and may head up in August myself depending on some family plans. Night fishing sounds interesting; I was out in the gamelands after everyone else had headed in one night and it was beautiful with the stars and fireflies. I'm thinking about trying some night fishing on the Little J in the next few days.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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