Fly fishing hook sizes: how do you choose?

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Fly fishing hook sizes: how do you choose?

Choosing the right size fly fishing hook can be confusing and complex at first. If you are new to fly fishing, this article covers some basic points to consider when choosing fly hook sizes.

1. Understand the scale of hook sizes

The numbering system for hook size consists of two numeric formats. The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide best describes the size of fly fishing hooks as follows:

Hook sizes used for flies range from less than 1/8 inch in length for the smallest to 3 inches for the largest. In the smaller trout-sized hook we use even numbers 2 through 28; The larger the number, the smaller the fly. Hooks larger than size 2 use a numbering system that increases with size. A slash / zero is used after the number to distinguish it.

2. Consider the size of the fish

For small brown trout, smaller fly fishing hook sizes such as 6 or 10 may be sufficient. For medium-sized species like salmon or redfish, you can use a size of 4, 2 or 1/0. For larger species, you can try a 2/0 to 4/0.

3. Consider the type and size of the bait

For the most realistic presentation possible, your fly pattern should resemble something that the fish wants to eat. These can be families of insects such as mayflies or nymphs, shrimp patterns or baitfish patterns that resemble minnows or finger barbs. In this case, the size of the hook is determined by the size of the fly.

4. Use the smallest fly hook sizes

Use the small fly hook sizes needed for the job. Fish are smart and can sense if something is wrong with a bait. Fly hooks are mostly hidden by the fly material, which helps protect the hook from a cautious fish.

5. Look at the surroundings

Cloudy or deeper water results in less visibility for fish, so a larger fly (and hook) may be required for the fish to see the bait. If the water is clear and shallow, use a smaller size hook.

6. If all else fails, turn it up

If the fish don’t bite, turn them on until you find something they like. Try a smaller or larger bow tie and change the colors.

Learn about the anatomy of a hook to better understand the “why” behind the different parts. There are also different types of fly hooks for different fly patterns. Do not be afraid of being overwhelmed by the options; You will learn how to walk which is what makes the challenge of fishing so rewarding!