Have you ever experienced difficulties hooking a fish on a small fly? There is an easy solution that works really well, use a larger hook.
When I’m talking about small hooks I mean hooks smaller than size 20. Some of the insects the fish feed on are that small, or even smaller, and sometimes the fish get selective and you have to use the smallest flies in your box. It is an exciting fishing, with the fish patrolling the shoreline for mosquitoes or other small insects. You put your fly where you think the fish will pass by, and then you wait. When the fish takes your fly you have to be awake and alert, but often you are not! You miss the strike and the fish can swim on.
One of my favorite patterns is the Palomino Midge, and I often tie it in size 18 to 22. The fish love it, and there is no problem to make the fish take the fly. But to hook it – big problem!
Even if your strike is right, the fish seldom get hooked. At least in my fishing, I don’t know about yours? The small hook is just too small! Together with the dressing the hook gape is almost nonexistent. I solved the problem by tying my flies on an over sized hook.
The fly on the picture is a size 22 Palomino Midge tied on a size 17 hook, a Tiemco TMC 212Y. When I use CdC-dubbing for the thorax and antennas the fly will float right in the surface, with the white CdC tuft helping you to see the fly. Of course the fly doesn’t float as good as if it was tied on a smaller hook, but the benefits are so many that you have to accept it.
Why use an over sized hook?
- Easier to hook the fish
- The hook is stronger
- You can use a thicker tippet
- The fly is easier to handle, both in the vise and by the water.
Why not use an over sized hook?
- A dry fly will sink/sink faster
- A very shy fish might balk for the hook
Palomino Midge CdC
Hook: TMC 212Y or TMC 2488
Thread: 8/0 or thinner
Tail: Veniard Easy Dub, Lureflash Micro Chenille or equally
Thorax: CdC dubbing
Antenna: CdC feather tips
Use a lighter and your fingers to taper the tail.