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Bend back fly


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I was interested in tying some of these flies for smallmouth in our local rivers. Does anyone have any suggestions on what hook to use? I am trying to avoid using the heavy saltwater hooks that some recipes call for. Any hep or suggestions would be appreciated.

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I have the same Lefty DVD and the patterns he suggests work really well, especially the baby bass color scheme. I read an article in the May/June edition of the American Angler. There was a pattern that was used for Stripers on the East coast, pretty wild coloration with chartreuse, pink, purple and white. Although these may be a bit bright for clearer water rivers (I fish the DuPage alot) it's nice because you get a very wide gap for hooking up effectively and like the bend back the material used acts as a a weed guard, which is why the name Snag Free Delight is self explanatory. Anyway, the Snag Free Delight as it was referred to uses a worm hook like our plastic worm throwing brethren use for L/M bass. I tried it in more muted colors (olive, white and brown deer hair, although synthetics work well too) and it really works. I have tied these in a 1/0, 2/0 as well as smaller sizes. The important thing when choosing the correct hook is a longer neck than some of the typical worm hooks you see. As an example the Owner 5110 has a much longer neck, which allows you tie on material without crowding too much. For pictures of what I am taking about google "snag free delight fly pattern" and it will give you the details or pick up the magazine (I prefer that so I can add to my some of my reference materials). Lotsa luck.

 

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The heavy Saltwater hook (long shank version) is good, because it has more weight to allow it to ride on an even keel when tied in this fashion. If you use a light/lighter wire hook, you could have problems with it twisting in faster current. I sometimes go so far as to add (wrap) three, or four turns of .025 lead-free wire weight to the bottom of the bend to keep it on keel.

You will need to bend the front 1/4" (approx.) to use as the tie in point.

 

P.S.- To get our terminologies right, "riding keel", or "keel style" means riding top side up, bottom side down...as tied. It does not necessarily mean hook point down. Certainly, not in the case of this pattern. In either case, you don't get much luck with a pattern that rides on it's side.

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Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions. I actually found a few ring eye straight shank hooks in my tackle box that seem about right. They are size 2 and were offset, but that was an easy fix with the pliers. I hope to have a few done by this weekend. Good luck to all.

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