“The virtues of one style of hook or another is a fairly common topic of conversation among anglers. When you get around anglers whose passion is pursuing steelhead and other hard-to-come-by anadromous fish, those discussions can get downright serious! The thing they seem to discuss the most is the landing rate for any particular hook- i.e. how well a particular hook stays in a fish once hooked. With an ‘anadromous’ rate of hook-ups, you want to put the odds of landing a hooked fish as much in your favor as possible.
Over the past several years more and more anglers have moved to tube or stinger hook style flies. This style of fly allows you to use a short shank, wide gap hook while still having a fly of whatever size you choose. The belief is that the short shank prevents a lot of the levering action that occurs during the fight due to the hook mass and length of traditional long shanked hooks. The fact that Dean River steelhead and Chinook have a tendency to come completely unsprung when hooked puts even more significance on a short shanked hook’s ability to stay put!
Though no one has ever been able to watch what is happening at the far end of of a flyline while battling a fish, I have noticed that my landing percentages have increased over the last several years since I have made the switch.
Give them a try and see for yourself. All the major hook manufacturers offer hooks that will fit the bill. Some of the most popular are offered by Owner and Gamakatsu.
An added benefit is that when you inevitably damage the hook point beyond repair, you are just out the hook and not the beautiful fly you spent hours tying or shelled out $5 to $14 dollars to add to your box!”