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Ronan's report

Saturday August 17th 2013

I've been pike fishing lately, and actually managed to discover a few new locations with good pike fishing. I must admit to having completely forgotten the excitement of fishing a completely new location. The anticipation of the first take, and then the excitement to discover whether it's a bog fish or a small.

Anyway, this lead to some discussion amongst a few friends of which hook is the best for pike flies. It is of course a futile discussion as there are as many opinions as there are fishermen. And as I argued against one hook, my friend, who catches much more pike than I, argued against my favourite etc.

FYI, I have to current favourites - the Tiemco 8089 #2 (it doesn't come any larger, unfortunately) and the newer Partridge Universal Predator, which comes in a light and heavy version. The nice thing about the Partridge Universal Predator is that it comes in many (and large) sizes, and the heavy and light wire makes the hook choice for poppers and wet flies easy.

My criteria for a good pike hook are these: Large gape, long shank, long point, preferably barbless - otherwise barb must crush wetland finally, large eye to accept wire trace. Wire gauge is not that important. For instance, the Tiemco 8089 is quite light and yet, I've never bent one out.

Then I started thinking about all the different hook styles and hook bends that are available, both now and historically. I did some reading and ended up in a book that I bought a while ago, but never really got around to reading, and now I've been reading for a week. And I want to recommend it to anyone with an interest in the history of flyfishing: Andrew Herd's "The History of Fly Fishing" (clever title for a book on that subject, eh? :-), published by Medlar Press.

It's a solid and well researched book and you'll find a bibliography and notes to chapters, which I find crucial.

There's a section on hook making, which is interesting. The different styles of bends that many makers today make, were a signature of the many hook makers that arose after the turn of the 19th Century. Kirby, Limerick, Pennell, O'Shaughnessy and more.

Today, very few fly tiers have an opinion on the style of the bend. Today, we are more concerned with point and angle of point in relation to hook eye, which, to be honest, are more important factors, I think. But let's not forget history - and if you're interested in it, Andrew Herd's book is a great.

I've been neglecting the camera lately, so I'm reusing an old PoD!

That's how you come from pike fishing to fly fishing history. Only on Sexyloops :-).

Have a great weekend!


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