Photograph by Steve Barnett

Friday, 17 August 2012


Here is a traitor!

I thought I had weeded out all the soft hooks from a bad batch I bought a decade ago.  I used to love these arrow pointed barbless hooks but now my confidence in them is at an all time low.  This one cost Henry and I an encounter with a magnificent grayling this evening.  Sturdy's Fancy was the right pattern, but I'd chosen the wrong hook.

Oh well, never mind!  A fresh fly on a stronger hook might get us one of the other handsome grayling Henry...

And it came to pass that is exactly what happened.  A splendid, if moist, evening with the grayling and some plump, but rapid, wild rainbow trout. 

Nowt as big as that first fish on the first cast that easily straightened out my bent little traitor though!

Regular Rod


  1. bummer dude... at least you weren't skunked. time to adapt to some new hooks. you can read all the studies you want on hooks, such as how a straight eye may put more "puncture" power on the hooks point vs. a downward/upward eye, which will actually put more force/bend in the shank first.... one might even get into a barb/barbless argument on advantages for each.. its all crap. you can't tell that fish how to sip your fly, you can't tell him where to run, how hard to fight, etc. in the end sometimes terminal tackle dies. hooks bend under certain forces.. maybe that fish turned hard with your tippet over his head, putting forces on that hook that have never been tested in 'hook laboratories' hah. I just started using some different hooks.. Gamakatsu c12-bm, c16-b, and varivas 2120wb. all barbless, thin wire. havent lost one yet, but i'm sure i will. $#it happens .... TL

  2. Sorry about the loss, I've had similar things happen.
    Also that fly, I just checked your tutorial. A good looking bug. It's similar to the brown hackle peacock that's a favorite of mine. I'm going to tie a few of Sturdy's Fancy and test them on some wild brookies.

  3. Sturdy's Fancy, awesome fly!! Re the hooks, they were a bad lot, I still have some!! Nothing to do with how the trout rise or fight etc, just bad hooks, and RR has thousands to choose from!!

    Great post RR, keep it up!