Fly-Tying Hooks

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FAQS

To choose the correct fly-fishing hook, consider the size of your fly imitation and target species and use the smallest hook feasible. Remember that different types of flies require specific hooks, so choose a streamer hook for tying streamers, a nymph hook for nymph patterns, saltwater hooks for saltwater flies, and so forth. Fly-fishing hooks also come with different sized hook gaps (a larger gap between the bend and the point gives you better chances of hooking the fish) and shank lengths. You’ll use fly-fishing hooks made to fit standard wet flies, standard dry flies, terrestrials, grubs, longshanks for larger flies, and egg hooks. In fly fishing, hooks are designed specifically for purpose, so there’s no one-size-fits-all option.

For fly tying, you’ll determine the hook size based on the pattern you’re tying. The recipe includes the size hook you’ll need. Hook sizes for fly fishing range from less than 1/8 of an inch in length for the smallest to 3 inches for the largest. In the smaller trout-sized hooks, anglers use numbers 2 through 28; the larger the number, the smaller the fly. Orvis offers high-quality hooks from reputable brands for all your fly-tying patterns.

For tying flies, you’ll need proper hooks for the patterns you want to make. The recipe includes the hook size for the pattern as well as the materials you’ll need. For example, if you’re tying a basic ant dry fly, the recipe calls for a standard size 14–20 dry fly hook. You can determine the size you need based on what you’re fishing for and what size most closely mimics the ants that live where you’ll be fishing.

For wet trout flies, the best hooks will be sized 4–10. Some of the smaller dry flies will require hooks in sizes between 10 and 20. For streamer patterns choose hooks sized from 2–8, and for trout nymphs, choose hooks sized from 10–18. 

Some fly-fishing hooks are barbless. If you’re practicing catch-and-release and want to tie your patterns onto barbless hooks, Orvis gives you plenty of options. If your hooks are not barbless, you can crush the barb in your vise before you start tying to ensure all the flies you produce are barbless.

We don’t recommend using a nymph hook for a dry fly primarily because it will be too heavy. A dry fly hook needs to be lighter than a nymph fly hook to keep the fly on the water’s surface.

Fly-Fishing Hooks for Tying Flies

Orvis fly hooks are reliably strong and sharp; whether you're tying scud, shrimp, worm, or caddis emerger imitations, our selection of nymph and wet fly hooks includes every variation you need to tie the most durable and lifelike patterns. Choose from barbless tactical hooks, classic extra-fine hooks, 2X hooks, and many others. Our versatile streamer hooks are designed to handle even the most aggressive species of fish. From straight-eye streamer hooks to specialized pike and muskie hooks, ours are razor sharp and impressively sturdy. Add some lifelike action to large fly patterns with the Fish Skull Articulated Fish Spine. It’s an innovative shank that combines with a hook to create a jointed fish spine, and comes in a pack of 24. By contrast, eggs are among the smallest flies to use for targeting these species; use our short-shank, wide-gap egg hooks to tie effective patterns. Saltwater flies need to stand up to the harshest conditions and some of the most aggressive, hard-fighting fish on the planet. Our saltwater hooks are designed to withstand the demands of saltwater fishing. From specialized bonefish and tarpon hooks to pre-sharpened saltwater hooks, we have what you need to hook and land big game species. Whether you’re pursuing small brook trout in mountain streams or giant tarpon in the Florida Keys, Orvis has the fly-tying hooks you need to maximize your time on the vise and increase your success rates on the water.