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Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies

Joined:
2016/4/1 14:01
From SE PA
Posts: 393
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I’ve been struggling catching fish on zebra midges and smaller flies so far this year! I’ve been hooking Into a lot of fish just only for 1-2 seconds. Any tips on increasing my hookup ratio? Thanks!!

Posted on: 4/6 21:48


Re: Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies

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2010/8/4 11:18
Posts: 744
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With small hooks you really need to set the hook as hard as you can... just kidding. Small hooks are tough, the best advice I have is when you see/feel a hit get the line tight as fast as you can and keep it tight while you fight the fish.

Posted on: 4/6 22:07


Re: Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 925
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Also helps to fish upstream with small flies.
That way, the hook gets pulled back into their mouth. And improves hook sets IMO

Posted on: 4/6 22:20


Re: Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies

Joined:
2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1588
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Quote:

dryflyguy wrote:
Also helps to fish upstream with small flies.
That way, the hook gets pulled back into their mouth. And improves hook sets IMO


Im with you, once I get my 2x through my zebra midge I can really pound that hook home.

Posted on: 4/6 22:53


Re: Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies
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2016/1/24 14:30
From Gettysburg
Posts: 2661
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Quote:

dryflyguy wrote:
Also helps to fish upstream with small flies.
That way, the hook gets pulled back into their mouth. And improves hook sets IMO


This^

With hooks of about #22 and smaller, I like to slightly bend open and turn outward the hook point (don't overdo this). Also, with Zebra Midges, keep your beads small. Too many guys use beads that are way too big for the hook and this will reduce hooking percentage.

Also, back in my itty bitty trico days, I had become convinced that straight eye or turned up hooks worked better at sticking fish than turned down.

Since you're sticking fish and then losing them, I wonder if you are not getting a hook set? I almost never fish 7X. Go up to a tippet with at least 3lbs of tensile strength; four is better. I presume you're fishing the Zebra Midge down low as a nymph - next time you think you detect a strike, make a gentle but broad hook set sweep with your rod but make the sweep downstream and keep the rod low and parallel to the water. This may help get a better "purchase" and keep those fish "buttoned."

Posted on: 4/7 8:55


Re: Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 3142
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The smaller the hook, the less bite it has to hook a fish.

One thing that has worked for me is my choice of hooks for smaller flies. Try using a shorter shank hook with a wider gape to get more bite in the same size fly.

Hooks like the TMC 2487 for small sinking flies and 2488 with fine wire for floating flies work well. 2x short (A size #20 ties the body length of a #22) and 2x wide (a size #20 has the hook gape of a size #18).

A 2487/2488 size #20 has a shank length size #22, and a gape of a size #18. So a size #22 fly has the hooking ability of a size 18.

https://www.amazon.com/Umpqua-Tiemco-2488-Tying-Hooks/dp/B005KU7QUC

Posted on: 4/7 9:10

Edited by afishinado on 2018/4/8 12:54:52


Re: Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies

Joined:
2016/4/1 14:01
From SE PA
Posts: 393
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I appreciate it guys! I think I was using 5x or 4x. And I was fishing a flat with about 2 feet of water and was getting strikes as my fly was across from me!

Posted on: 4/8 12:48


Re: Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies

Joined:
2016/2/7 11:59
Posts: 28
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Remember that not all hooks are created equal. I like to use hooks with a wide gap to improve my odds.

Posted on: 4/20 12:21


Re: Hooksets on zebra midges and small flies

Joined:
2006/9/13 18:28
From chester ct
Posts: 280
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Yo Jes - this is a bit late, but the one thing that makes a huge difference is keeping the hooks super sharp. I always carefully sharpen new hooks after debarbing them when tying flies. On the stream I carry a diamond nail file, which is thin enough to get under the hook point of a #22, or even a #32. Just a light stroke or two to freshen the 3 sided point makes a much easier hookset. I hardly even strike with flies smaller than #18. To sink these tiny points requires only 1 or 2 mm, so heroic hooksetting doesn't seem useful.

Posted on: 8/2 14:36
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