Tag Archives: barbless flies

Barbless Hooks

Barbless Hooks Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Thirty years ago Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries closed the South Fork of the Shenandoah River to keeping fish for human consumption.  This is after DuPont revealed they dumped mercury into the river. Many anglers believed that the river  was closed to fishing. That was not true! Basically, I had the whole river almost to myself. The fishing was outstanding! This invited me to do a great deal of experimentation. Some of this included comparing the number of bass I landed on barbless hooks with the number I landed on barbed hooks.

After a summer of testing I came away convinced that I landed 30% more bass on the barbless hooks. I believe that many of the bass that got off were not hooked solidly with the barb penetrating their hard lips. Basically I suspected they were just hanging on the point of the hook. A slight flip during the fight set them free. Today I use all barbless hooks from size 24 midges up to size 4/0 saltwater hooks.

Quick Fly Fishing Tip: De-barbing your Fly

Quick Tip: De-barbing a Fly from Murray’s Fly Shop on Vimeo.
Quick Fly Fishing Tip: De-barbing your Fly – Learn to De-barb your flies.  Many streams and regions throughout fishing country require the use of Barbless Flies.  This is a simple process and when done correctly will aid in reducing the mortality of released fish.  Barbless flies decrease the amount of time a fish needs to be handled before being returned to the water.  Along with shorter return to water times, the amount of trauma caused by properly or foul hooked fish is greatly diminished with Barbless Flies.  And alas, when you accidentally drop your backcast in the wind, that impaled object (aka. “your fly”) comes out of your fishing buddy, or you, much easier.  An often asked question: Why don’t we just tie flies on barbless hooks?  Many of the barbless hooks available on the market today are a bit on the weak side.  We, along with much of the industry, tie our flies on strong hooks which tend to come barbed.