Video spotlight

Video spotlight: Hook sizes

I’m loving this new series that Tim Flagler and Orvis are doing on hooks and hook sizes. This lessens the curve for new fly tiers and for new fly fishers who can find the verbiage surrounding hooks a bit intimidating. To make it simple, Tim offers the best explainer: The higher the number, the smaller the hook.

The smallest hook available? A size 32. Most of us will never tie with a hook that small. As the numbers get smaller, the hooks get bigger.

Above Tim explains it all about as well as anyone, and in a way that takes the intimidation factor away. For most new tiers, the hook sizes you’ll need will range from a size 6 for a traditional Woolly Bugger to maybe a size 20 to match the small Blue-winged Olives that hatch on cool, cloudy days in the spring and fall. It’s also about as small as my aging eyesight will permit to me to tie, and I’m not alone. Smaller hooks require precision, dexterity and patience—all virtues I’m losing the older I get.

Check it out, and if you’re an experienced tier or angler, share this with your new fly fishing friends. Maybe they’ll get good enough to tie flies for you one day.

— Chris Hunt