Monday, September 14, 2015

A novel dimension of the Klinkhamer hook

A few years back I somehow acquired a package of #10 Partridge Klinkhamer hooks. These hooks are meant for the famous Klinkhåmer special fly by Hans van Klinken.

I fish the "klink" style flies gladly and often, but I yet have to travel to the famous Scandinavian waters for which the original Klinkhåmer was designed. The grayling in the Arctic regions are supposed to take a size #6 dry fly freely... Those on the rivers I normaly fish will frown on any dry flies bigger than #16 (perhaps taking an occasional #14 in the high summer, but firmly focusing on size #18 or so flies in the grayling season proper).

However, having decided that the hooks are too big for a decent dry fly and abandoning them for some time, I was struck with an idea: why not use them for a nymph? Grayling can be picky about big dries, but they do appreciate a juicy nymph or two. With this revelation I tried them on the most simple fly pattern I know: The Bloodworm.

A simple fly it may be - the dressing consists of only two materials (a thread and a floss) + some lacquer - but it is one of the most deadly subsurface grayling flies that I know.

The tie:
#10 Partridge 15BN Klinkhamer hook
red tying thread of unknown origin (looks about 10/0 but I have no idea of its brand)
red flexi floss
a single layer of Sall Hansen Hard as Nails

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hook Size Blues

A recent discussion on a respected fly dressing forum made me think hard about the unconscious choices I make when selecting hooks for my imitations.

I like my flies to be roughly equal to the size of the insect being imitated, or slightly above (I subscribe to the supernormal stimuli school of imitation). In river fishing it usually means tying mayfly imitations on sizes # 14 - #18, and caddisfly ones somewhat larger.

On the other hand I am really fond of Kamasan B160 hooks in size #10. They are sharp, reliable and can be had in a handy & economical package of 100 hooks. Size #10 should be a tad big for regular river fishing though.

The trick is that the B160's are 3x short hooks, which means that they are about the size of regular #14 hooks. About right for most river fishing.

The picture shows a #14 Hanák H130 BL hook (my favorite dry fly hook), a fly tied on a Kamasan B160 in size #10 and a regular size #10 dry fly hook - a Hanák H100 BL, as I could not find a properly sized H130 BL fast enough.

The moral of the story is that while manufacturer labels of hook sizes and shapes and whatever are important you should not trust them too much - your own judgement matters much more!