Martyn White | Thursday, 13 October 2022
I've been tying some seatrout flies for an old friend this week. Nothing earth shattering, just the standard stuff like squirrel blue and silver, yellow perils, sunk lures and a few waddingtons.
This year is the third year I've tied these flies for him with only single hooks, previously there had always been trebles on the waddingtons, "secret weapon" style flying trebles on the bigger wets and doubles on the sunk lures. The reason? a new, relatively young committee in his club. It's fly only water and they've banned treble hooks, the concession to the old seatrout boys is to allow 2 hookpoints on a fly so they can still have doubles or tandems. At the time this change was apparently unpopular with several members, including the guy I'm tying for. The expectation was for a far lower hook up ratio than they were used to, and more lost fish.
This year after 2 seasons (admittedly somewhat curtailed by the pandemic) according to Steve, the broad consensus is fairly positive. No discernable increase in lost fish or missed takes, with a couple of people anecdotally saying they thought the singles were better hookers. Of course, there are a few grumblers but that's to be expected with change. I'm quite pleased to hear about this, I hate trebles and I've long suspected they don't hook better or hold better than a wider gape single but when they do hook up they'e harder to remove than a single, especially in small sizes. Doubles bother me less than trebles, and I think there are fewer problems with them than trebles, but I certainly wouldn't worry about never using another fly tied on a double either. I definitely think these kinds of changes are progress and should be welcomed, but unfortunately our sport has an ageing demographic so they're generally resisted, but I can't remember anything like this that I've experinced negatively impacting my fishing. Maybe someday we'll abandon line-class records too....