I’m a big fan of barbless hooks, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Experience has taught me that fish are easier to release when you use a barbless hook, and science has taught me that we kill fewer fish when we go barbless.
But you have to wonder why we continue to buy flies tied on barbed hooks (or worse yet – tie flies on barbed hooks) only to pinch the barbs off anyway.
Enter my friend Richard Fieldhouse. While rigging up to fish a small river in Wiltshire in late 2010, Richard prepared to de-barb his fly only to find that the forceps he typically used to pinch the barb were missing. Being significantly smarter than yours truly, he realized that buying ready-made barbless flies could be a thing. But being human, he promptly forgot about it. Then it happened again in 2012.
In his words: “I decided that if other retailers were not going to address the market, then I would have a go at doing it myself, and Barbless Flies was formed.”
Barbless Flies is one of a handful of international TU Business members. They’re great promoters of ethical fish handling and the work of Trout Unlimited.
They’re located in North Yorkshire, but a substantial percentage of their sales come from fly anglers in the United States. After researching with various guides and customers in the U.S., Richard published an online almanac for river fly anglers on this side of the pond. In fact, he’s done two—one for western rivers and one for eastern rivers. Each is an all-inclusive guide to fishing by month: fly selection, water conditions, and everything else you need to know to be successful on the river of your choice.
Both almanacs are currently available at https://learn.flyfish.media under their FlyFishMedia brand in the U.S. They’re only available in digital format and the content is released and updated monthly.
TU members can use the discount code TU2022 for a 25 percent discount on the “early adopter” price of $19.95 for lifetime access.
We’re grateful to Barbless Flies for their support for TU. We’re especially grateful for their commitment to conservation and ethical fishing. Check them out.
Barbless Flies & FlyFishMedia