More and more fly anglers are turning to jig style nymphs these days. Amongst the Euro Nymphing groups, competition anglers have their boxes full of these flies. Many articles have been written on this subject here on the web, so for those who are not as familiar with their benefits they include 1) jig hooks ride up, which should mean fewer snags, 2) Generally with a jig hook you will stick the fish in the top of the mouth or top side of the jaw, not in the bottom near their gills which means better for the fish, and 3) the direction of the eye of the hood leads to a better hook setting angle which will lead to more hooked fish, and fewer fish lost (I believe this is why the competition folks prefer these hooks). There is also debate of the profile a jig hook gives off while drifting in the current that some anglers feel to be beneficial, amongst countless other theories that have convinced serious anglers to switch over their fly tying to this style of hook.
Derek and I have been on the lookout for a strong, sharp, affordable jig hook for quite some time. We have tried nearly every brand of jig hook imaginable. Most have a nice appearance but suffer from being weak. The last thing any angler wants is to hook into a decent fish and have the hook straighten out. For this reason we have struggled with finding a sufficiently strong jig hook, to put it simply most seem to bend out to easily for our liking.
Just this past year we stumbled across an american company (Syndicate Fly Fishing) that offers a very nice looking jig hook with a unique design. Like most brands before it, we tied up a dozen and took them to a stream full of bruisers to test their strength, and to see how well they hold fish.
We were surprised with the fish we were catching on these hooks, and the pressure they withstood. So much so that after a few emails we decided we wanted to offer these hooks to other anglers that may be on similar quests for the right jig hook. The good news is we now sell them here at Fly Tying 123 HERE!
To pair with the Syndicate jig style hooks we have also procured slotted tungsten beads to accompany these hooks. We have been fishing both all summer and into the fall, and have been very satisfied with the quality of both.
We hope that our journey will simplify yours. We are starting with size 14 and a 7/64″ gold tungsten bead, and if others in our community find them useful we will soon pick up a greater variety of sizes and colors. Try these hooks out for yourself, we are confident you won’t be disappointed, and don’t hesitate to let us know of your success!
If you aren’t familiar with this product already, it is similar to Thin Skin, but with a unique pattern that allows for creating awesome segmented bodies, and wing pads. Every nymph tyer should have this fly tying material at their desk.
The Rowley Stone is a good example of a pattern that uses this material. Learn to tie it here
There is an age old adage amongst fly anglers that our hook up rate increases proportionate to our fly becoming more and more chewed up. I’m confident many of us have experienced this – as the day goes on, and if we are fortunate enough not to loose that single fly that’s been catching all the fish, our success rate increases. Instead of attributing this to an increase in insect activity, or the rust of our skills haven been shaken off early in the day, we give credit to our tattered fly pattern that continues to catch more and more fish as the day goes on. And once again last Saturday while Euro Nymphing a small stream, whether or not it truly was my fly, I had a magical day on the water catching more and more fish as my fly became more and more mangled.
Here is what the Mayday Mayfly pattern looks like fresh off the vise.
Early in the day this particular fly looks and fishes great. However… a few dozen fish later…
…a mangled Mayday Mayfly that can’t seem to keep the fish off. Once again the myth of the tattered fly has proven to be true!