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Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Does anybody have any experience with this system or a similar setup? The "Moffitt System" is advertised in FFing publications as a new, supposedly safer, set-up for catch and release FFing. What it involves essentially, is multiple hookless nymph or egg flies on the tippet with a bare circle hook trailing several inches below the flies at the end of the tippet. When the trout inhales the fly, the fisherman sets the hook, pulling the fly out of the fish's mouth and embedding the trailing circle hook in the outside corner of the fish's jaw. While this technique has been around (using J hooks) for awhile among western steelhead guys and folks who fish rainbows in Alaska with egg flies - using a bare circle hook and small nymphs for stream trout is unusual. I thought maybe some of you steelhead guys may be familiar with this. I am skeptical. While I like circles for bait fishing saltwater and have a lot of confidence in their holding abilities, whether they would work in the tiny sizes typical of PA trout fishing is unclear to me. I'm going to try something like this in the future, both on trout and bass/sunfish and see how it turns out.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 9:15


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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From Bozeman
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My friend uses "trout beads" for steelies and some trout fishing with his centerpin. It's just a small, brightly colored bead toothpicked on the line about 2 inches above a hook. All of his fish are hooked right in the corner of the mouth. He does not use circle hooks though.

Isn't the idea of a circle hook that you aren't supposed to "snatch" it? Wouldn't this be required with such a rig?

Posted on: 2008/12/10 9:36


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?
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Jay,
You're correct. Traditionally, circles are used with bait - when the fish swallows the bait the angler merely reels tight rather than setting the hook. This tightening of the line pulls the hook back out into the front of the mouth and the hook catches the outer edge or corner of the mouth. In the "Moffitt" system, the angler apparently "sets the hook" to actually pull the fly out of the fish's mouth. How the circle then finds purchase, I find hard to figure out - but maybe it works.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 9:47


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
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though I have no experience in this technique, it seems very similar to "tube flies". Where the fly is tied on a small piece of tubing ad the line fed through it and a hook attached to that. When the fly is taken, the hook is embedded and the fly has less damage due to it being farther up on the line. I've thought about trying this before, but am hesitant to the effect that it will have on the fly and its life-likeness.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 9:52
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Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?
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For what it is worth, it sounds like someone going overboard on fish-hugging. If I kill a couple dozen trout a year in 50-70 outings by having my hook ON the fly, the fish, PETA and C & R fanaticals will just need to get over it.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 10:08
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Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?
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My sense is that this Moffitt System is just another sales gimmick meant to make bucks off of sucker FFers looking to burn money on the latest fad or gimmick. The Moffitt System costs $60 for the "starter" packet. I can buy the hooks and tie the flies for a fraction of this. Heck, just take some pliers and cut the hooks off some old, worn out flies. While this system does interest me from the technique standpoint and I intend to try my own version of it - $60 to buy the set-up seems ridiculous to me.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 10:42


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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2008/5/5 11:06
From King Of Prussia, Pa
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I'd have to agree with Jack on this. This seems unnecessary. While I only started fly fishing back in May of this year, I can honestly say that of the 100's of trout I've caught on the fly I've never gut hooked one or got one in the gills. Granted my sample size is rather small, so maybe I've just been lucky that hasn't happened yet.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 10:42


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Sounds more like a great way to not catch fish. When I use droppers even if the fish takes the upper fly I'll sometimes hook the dorsal area with the dropper. Circle hooks were made to "lodge" in the corner of the mouth but whether they have anything on them, bait or fly is irrelevant.

I tied some salt flies on year on them because I couldn't find the hooks I wanted locally. I asked a guy at the shop at the beach and all he said was "just don;t set the kook"

If the fish takes it, when he turns or dives the hook most times ends up in the corner of his jaw. If he swallows it, because there is not protruding point or barb, it usually slides right back up.

I think they'd be great for bait fishing but this should more like snagging than fishing. Especially if the fish doesn't actually TAKE the hook.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 11:02


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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If I hook one badly, I simply cut the tippet as close to the fly as possible and let him keep my fly as a souvenir.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 11:56


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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And a few days later you'd see JackM wading up stream a brisk pace trying to recover that fly...

Posted on: 2008/12/10 12:50


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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I saw JayL's buddy use the egg flies on the line, with unadorned J hook at the end, last weekend on Elk Creek. Seemed to work, he hooked and landed more than us fly guys did that day. Maybe the centerpin, or the spot he was in, was the cause for the better success, but he certainly hooked fish just fine.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 13:05


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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I would be afraid this technique might be considered "snagging" by an un-enlightened WCO.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 13:32
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Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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2008/5/5 11:06
From King Of Prussia, Pa
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Why shouldn't it be considered snagging? If my understanding is correct an angler using this technique is intentionally trying to hook a fish on the outside of it's mouth. To be honest I don't know what the legal definition of snagging is, does the fish have to be hooked on the outside below the head for it to be considered an illegal catch, or just anywhere outside of the mouth?

Posted on: 2008/12/10 13:51


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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From Bozeman
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I don't see why it would be considered snagging. In my eyes, snagging is an unethical, negative act, and one that gives an advantage to the perpetrator. The method my buddy uses produces zero advantage to catching fish, from what I've seen. I've used the beads on the fly rod and caught no more than I did on a globug. I think the pin is the key.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 14:31


Re: Moffitt System (trailing circle hooks)?

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Actually guys, its not considered snagging by the PFBC b/c the fish is still hooked pretty close to the corner of the mouth and it is legal. I called the SE PA office last year out of curiousty b/c my friends dad was pegging a bead(egg) with a bare hook about an inch down in Erie for steelhead. Thepfbc said it was legal and not considered snagging. However,my friend's dad's friend was fishing the DHALO section of the Brandywine using the same method(which is illegal)...it is illegal on spec. regs. b/c you can't possess any bare hooks on them.

I have used this method and don't really see any advantages to catching the fish...however, it is easier getting the hook out.

As far as circle hooks go and the moffit rig seems more trouble then it's worth. I have never gut hooked a fish on a fly ever. I just don't see the advantage to it.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 16:38
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