Playing Tag ...
Last summer I decided to finally start fishing flies without hooks...
... and / or tied on hooks without points ...
Fishing flies tied on straight pins is cheaper, which is not the reason to do it, and can lead to a lot more action on the crick, which is a good reason to do it, depending on your priorities. Any number of times it seemed very likely that the same fish were coming back two or more times to try to catch the fly because they had not been knicked the first time they hit it. I suspect in nature a lot of naturals that get hit don't get eaten and fish are accustomed to immediately looking for another shot at a treat. Another possibility is that fish in the immediate vicinity are not put down by the process of an angler landing and releasing one of their buddies.
Fishing flies tied on hooks with the point broken off creates a really interesting challenge - landing fish that would normally be well hooked and easily landed, given decent skills in that aspect of angling. As it turns out, with a good number of fish "caught" with pointless flies, I never could land one. Got close a few times, but just about any slack at any point in the tussle means the fishy is gonna go bye-bye. Perhaps someone using a net would have a better chance of landing a fish caught on one of these hooks, but why spoil the fun.
Last summer, I got away from fishing these flies because I had a shot at catching a steelhead on my regular flies. A bull trout would have been another treat if that happened while fishing dry flies, which is pretty rare, at least that is my impression.
Over the winter, it's mostly a nymphing game around here. And there is no point to fishing nymphs tied on straight pins or pointless hooks. But now that I have caught one mature steelhead ( last summer ) and one good size bull trout ( this spring ), it's time to get back to playing tag with dry flies.
I figure to split my dry fly fishing this year about half and half between the two versions, assuming that I can tie smaller flies that will present properly without the "keel" effect provided by the hook.
Anyone else doing this ??
The fish are always right.