I know some anglers that don't fish the large 3/0 alec jackson's because they are concerned about fish mortality. I had a friend who said he was fishing with an Alec Jackson 3/0 hook and when the fish took the fly the hook penetrated far enough back on the base of the tongue to kill the fish due to blood loss. I think the area is called the vomer. Same thing applies for Partridge and Tiemco hooks larger than 2/0.
Speaking of 2 cents, i feel the best way to apply marabou on these alaska patterns is to set a good bunch of marabou on top of the hook like a wing and make one 1/2 snug wrap, back it off and then wrap again, it will roll the marabou around the hook giving it a fuller look, in case you didn't already know this.
Mike, how do you normally tie your popscicles? I palmer them. Mine turn out pretty nice and full. Usually only takes a couple feathers to do it.
Dave, never had a problem with the bigger hooks. Rarely used up to 3/0 (usually old mustads), but used 1/0 and 2/0's quite a bit. Especially on OP streams. Never had a problem releasing bleeding fish. In fact, had a friend who had posted pics of a fish who had most of it's lower jaw ripped off in a net (whole body was net scarred too). Had lived long enough to hit his swung lure. Usually with flies though (and most non scented lures) I never have that deep of a hookset anyways. Most are usually well within the jaw line. My biggest worry on some of these bigger hooks is going up through the eye or lobotomizing a fish. Never had much of a problem though, even hooking some small dollies and cutts on my bigger swing flies.
I take a marabou feather, pull out about an inch worth of the stem tip, line the rest of the feather up on top of the hook, the length that i want, make a 1/2 wrap with the thread kind of tight, unwrap that wrap and then start to wrap again and the marabou will roll around the hook. a long time ago when i was looking up these patterns, i found a site and this guy was describing this technique for wrapping marabou on the alskabou patterns. it seems to come out better for me.
I tie them as Bob does. Would be interesting to take a look at the technique. I know sometimes I'll cheat and put just a base feather color wrapped down on the hook. Then palmer the next 2 colors. But usually with palmer it. Sounds interesting, would like to hear more myself.
Original GP dresses great on the 3/0.Ah,yes! the fish mortality issue of large irons.I have had several people concerned with this that know I use large flys often.(And believe me, they have voiced their concerns to me)IMHO and personally I have had no issue with it--as in NEVER.However,given the concerns I try to not ever use anything larger than the 3/0 and usually 2/0 or in AJ's 1 1/2's.Maybe a 3/0 and larger pattern without the big tail may have a higher chance of killing but never on the GP-atleast not my fishing- maybe I have been lucky but have caught and released a lot of late Sky and Skagit fish unharmed for years on my favorite which is the old 4 or 5/0 Bartleets.Funny this came up, I released a small unclipped buck this morning on the Snohomish on a 3/0 GP.Anyway- I am not a biologist,or a student of this issue or an anything really,and I do appreciate the concerns people have,just an old tyer and I am gonna keep tying my big stuff- until the fish police pry my old vice out of my cold dead hands.
I can see your point that with a long tailed fly like the GP mortality might not be as great because the hook is so much forward of the end of the fly. I went through a Bill McMillan phase a few years ago and have a Wheatley full of 5/0 General Practitioners and Winter Hopes. Never was able to hook a fish on a floating line and 5/0 hook and went back to the old reliable sink tip and smaller flies.
Fascinated to hear that you caught a fish on the Snohomish. If I had world enough and time I'd do some serious research on the possibilities of the Snohomish for steelhead and searuns. I remember reading a Pete Soveral piece a few years ago in Wild Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon about skating dries for small steelhead on the Snohomish in the fall.
Dave, I'm in that boat now. Have a wallet full now of McMillan classics. Had read all about his techs, and figured I may try it this year. If I can get released to fish before the season shuts down. LOL. I do have a few slots though where the tech would work great. We'll see though. If not, I'll have a flywallet full of them too.
At the Seattle Sportsman's Exhibition in the 80's I asked McMillian what rod he fished with the big flies. He hold me a 10 foot 8 weight so that's what I used. It was before two handed rods really took off. The flies are a little much for my 10 foot 8 weight but work fine with a two handed rod. I bring them with on my Spring trips to the Queets.
I find it difficult to keep a keen point on the 5/0 Partridge M heavy irons. The Bartleet or the Partridge N have a sharper point but you sacrifice weight. McMillan also tied flies on the 1/0 Partridge Carrie Stevens 10x long hooks. They aren't as elegant as the up eye hooks but the long shank carries a lot of weight.
Yeah, I don't know, just a theory.The Snohomish when it gets cold and clear can be wonderful,gotta get to the bars when the gears guys ain't though.Used to be the boaters din't bother you but alot of plunkers are now boating up the river to get away from the crowded popular plunking bars and then beaching thier boats and plunking on the bars I used to fish--really screws things up.Nice thing is its only 10 minutes drive for me.