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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Articulated Flies - The Importance of a Back Hook

Streamer fish have short man's syndrome

This Brown swiped the back half of the Mongrel Meat

Barely pinned on the back of a 7" prototype fly
I really didn't get on the articulated bandwagon until about 4 years ago when I started messing around with the Cheech Leech.  Admittedly, I tied the Cheech Leech in tandem because of a certain swimming motion that I was looking for, but I didn't think too much about how effective the back hook would be.  I think we have all heard people say "But... predatory fish will eat from the head first right?"  Logical, and I agree with this, BUT, this is definitely not a reason to omit a hook in the back of the fly.

Front hook!  He was hungry
Here is my logic, and it's nothing new, but something to think about specially if you are considering a fly that is long enough to warrant a back hook.  I always tell people that streamer eating fish are feisty...  More specifically, they are the short guy at the bar who has had a few and has something to prove (like the fact that he can drink BEER damnit- even if he's only 5'2" and uses a New York yellow pages book to see over the steering wheel of his F-350 dually).  Suppose you walk by that guy and bump into him accidentally - in his short guy syndrome brain, it's go time and fists are thrown...  He doesn't necessarily want to kill you, but he wants you to learn a lesson to never come over in short-guy land EVER again.  Ok. Ok. Point proven there Poindexter.  I regress - streamer fish are feisty, but they don't have fists to duke it out like shorty.  They have mouths, and tend to bite stuff to tell it to "get the hell out of here." (Wouldn't it be entertaining to see a bar fight where 5'2" dudes just bit each other?)  Anyway, this is why the back hook is so important.  When a fish is merely "enforcing" as opposed to eating, they will bite any part of the intruder that is available, and when a smaller fish flees from a bigger fish, there is a good chance that he's going to get bit in the tail.

So I wrote all that to write this.  Tie on good, sharp, and exposed back hooks to your articulated flies to catch more fish.

~ Cheech

If it's pink.. all bets are off.  They try to swallow the whole thing!

Back Hook Rainbow Swiper


  1. Good point and I hope there are more comments to come. I've considered how much actual benefit there is with 2 hooks vs. articulated with one hook. What has been your experience with having the fish get foul hooked but the hook that didn't end up at the mouth? Being a CNR person I don't want to risk extra damage to the fish.

    1. Thanks for the comments guys. I have been fishing articulated flies for several years, and really don't remember foul hooking a fish. If you hook the fish with one, the other hook is so close to the other, it doesn't have enough leverage to foul the fish. I have even been fishing triple hooked flies and I haven't fouled any. I guess you could always just de-barb the hooks to minimize damage.

  2. Good question, Twitch. I just tied some Cheech Leeches recently and also have been wondering about collateral damage from the 2nd hook, never having used a tandem before.

  3. I've fished for bass as well as trout with articulated double hook flies like this one and have yet to foul hook any fish.

  4. Nice to read the comments. Of course I've used point and droppers and have the occasional foul hook but not too much. Friends of mine fish for musky and use articulated 2-hooks quite a lot. Never liked the thought of working a foul hook from a musky so I've avoided tying my flies in this manner. Friend gave me some of his (very nice) 2 hook flies so I now have better desire to use them.