Keep the hook side down (or up)

Some flies are designed to let the hook ride point down. Others want it riding point up. Regardless of the preference, there are a couple of ways to make sure the fly rides true on the swing. This is important with your fly, we don’t want spinning or a hook riding sideways. We only get a few shots at winter fish on a swung fly, so every detail counts.

  • Tie dumbbell eyes on the side of the hook you want pointing down. When the fly hits the water, the heavy eyes go down first and determine the position of everything else.
  • Tie directly onto a large hook (Alec Jackson steelhead hooks) They might be considered the old-school way to keep a fly upright, but Harry Lemire caught steelhead long before people were blogging about it. There’s a fine line between the right amount of wing to do the job and so much material that the fly doesn’t sink. Experiment with different amounts to find that balance, and you can always buy a pattern and inspect it to get a feel for proportion.
  • Throw a wing on it. Yup, put some material opposite of weight and desired hook direction and give her a keel! (see the video of Mr. Berry’s fly swimming true).

Dry Flies – the basics to have in your box


Part I: The fly box – The main problem with dry fly storage is damaging the hackles (squishing or flattening your fly). If you put them into foam incorrectly you risk bending the hackles and altering how the fly floats. The safest way to go is a compartment box – but you have to keep in mind that a windy day can eat a lot of flies. The other boxes that work well are slit foam style from Umpqua – UPG and Scientific Anglers that are built to hold tall dry flies.

10: Royal Wulff

Might be too low for this classic, but it’s on the list. I use this fly in a size 20 during the Deschutes caddis hatch and size 12 on the Blitzen in the fall.

Continue Reading “Dry Flies – the basics to have in your box”

Hook Review: Tiemco 2499 SPBL size 6


trout/steelhead nymphs and stinger/tube fly hooks


  • The Super Point is extremely sharp
  • Light wire doesn’t sink fly to the bottom when fishing soft inside seams
  • Did we mention that SP = SUPER SHARP
  • To date, it has one of the best hook-up rates out of any hook
  • When winter takes are light and your B-10s doesn’t stick, these will
  • It’s one durable little hook


  • It’s barbless, and sometimes you want a barb
  • It doesn’t sharpen well
  • It’s light wire and doesn’t sink well (yes, this is a pro and a con)

Something to think about…

When fishing the salmonfly hatch next spring your size 4 or 6 dry fly can do some serious damage on the smaller fish you catch. THINK about tying your big bugs on tubes and fishing size 10 and 8 2499 SPBLs out the back. Your hook-up rate will be great and your damage to the fish will be minimized.

Hook and bead organization – it’s the little things


There are quite a few things out there that make life easier, but not everyone knows about them. Today’s easy button solution comes in the form of rounded bead/hook/accessory compartment boxes. These boxes have rounded bottoms on the front to allow you to easily slide out one or two of what you need, no more beads getting stuck in corners or hooks catching your fingers. Most fly tyers have plano boxes to organize their beads and cones, but without the rounded edge, your tying accessories can be tough to get at.