Quite recently I posted a brief answer regarding articulated patterns and hook location / number of hook points to a general fly fishing forum. In hindsight I felt it should be repeated here for visitors to this page.
I use both trailing hooks (stashed in the flowing materials) and tube flies with the hook tucked in an extension tube which is the same concept but the tube keeps the hook stationary.
If I were to give advice for using a trailing hook pattern it may sound like this; when you feel a fish tapping or doing anything except slamming the fly, do not react. The do not react part will take some self control but I believe you’ll find out that what I’m saying is true. When you feel a fish tapping away at the fly, that fish is not hooked. It is doing exactly what it feels like, tapping at the fly. If you react by instinctively striking back with the rod you may not hook anything. What you may very well do is to rip the fly away from a very interested fish. In ripping it away there are 2 negative possibilities; number one is you prick the fish not solidly hooking it. This usually results in the fish returning to it’s holding spot or lair and ignoring any further appearances made by artificial flies. Number two negative possibility is that you do not prick them but the rocket like reaction of the fly to their curious taps and experimenting with the strange item swimming in their environment will sufficiently startle & alarm the fish to produce the same result as number one did.
When the fly is swinging and you feel the fish you do nothing, the fish taps and taps until it gets hooked. You will know when one has gotten the hook, and doing the Bass Master’s hook-set will not be necessary. You will catch way more fish this way because those who do not hook themselves will come after subsequent casts and swings of the same fly.
Does that make sense? I offer this based on some thirty years of streamer fishing focus. I have “missed” some very fine trout due to my lack of control. Likewise, once I figured things out I have caught more trout – salmon and steelhead by using self control than I ever did by chance of the strike. When you feel a player you get to know that if you rest that fish then come back to cast and swing its area again in ten minutes you may very well catch it or at least get a second chance. I’ve heard these fish called ‘come back fish’. I like to think that it is me who comes back as well as the fish. Whether you wade to shore and find a seat or just move upstream and then work back down to the fishes location, giving them some time before showing the fly again is often helpful. I’ve had many hit and get hooked on a follow up cats after they were playing with the fly ‘tapping’ but I’ve learned to limit the immediate follow up casts to one or two. Repeated casts can spook them so we could think of pounding the area as negative number three………… I like to rest them for 5 or ten minutes then show it again. If I have any inclination that I an dealing with a large fish I give a ten minute break at minimum.
These are all come back fish from last season.
There were many more but those should help in making my case for patience and thoughtful self control. Once I know where the players are at what’s the hurry?