The hook is the backbone of the fly and can often make the difference between catching and losing a fish. Because of this, we take great care in selecting hooks for our many different patterns, using specific specialty hooks to enhance the effectiveness of each fly type (i.e. subsurface flies or emergers). In particular, we are proud to use Mustad Signature hooks for the majority of our patterns. Time and again, the Mustad brand has demonstrated the level of consistency and craftsmanship that we also strive for at Wild River Flies.
For larger nymphs, larvae and stimulator dry flies, we use the Mustad Signature (MS) “Curved Nymph Hook” (C53S). The MS “Grub Hook” (C67S) also serves well for larvae and for smaller curved variations of our standard nymphs (such as the Pheasant Tail or Gold-ribbed Hare’s Ear). Universal patterns such as these can be tied on all manner of nymph hooks (whether standard length, 3X length, or curved hooks).
By using different hook styles one is able to create varied looks with the same fly pattern and increase their versatility to the angler. One additional way that we provide a stronger fly without sacrificing the pattern integrity is by using “larger” variations of short-style hooks. Our short curved shank flies, for instance, are tied on MS C67S hooks which are a 3X length short hook, creating a heavier hook per fly size than longer shank hooks.
In general, lighter hooks (light wire) are used when tying patterns such as floating nymphs, emerging insects, or dry flies unless the specific patterns are heavily tackled, which is common in the Western U.S. or for certain patterns such as many of our hackled flies. Nymphs, emerging crippled flies, and several soft hackle flies – which are designed to be fished just under the surface, or in the surface film – are also typically tied on light wire hooks (C49S). There are also some patterns where the hook weight is determined by variations within the standard pattern itself. Our deep sparkle caddis flies, for instance, are tied on a heavy hook while our emerging sparkle caddis flies are tied on a light wire hook.
For our sinking varieties (our sinking nymphs, for example), we use non-lead wire, bead heads, or combination of the two. Some patterns (our emerging flies, for instance) are never weighted.
At this point, you may be overwhelmed by all of the variables there are to consider when selecting the correct hook. Fortunately for you, we know our stuff and have done the dirty work for you. So whether you are a fly fishing veteran or still in the early learning stages, rest assured that our flies are crafted with care and expertise for the very best fly fishing experience.
For more information on the Wild River Flies fly-tying methods, you can stay up to date on our informational posts by joining our mailing list (located in the sidebar). For any specific questions you may have, you are always welcome to contact us directly through the “Contact Us” page or via email at ContactUS@mywildriverflies.com.