When learning to tie atlantic/steelhead patterns,
I've found that the most difficult thing to swallow
is the price of elegant bartleet style hooks. It's
fine to drop a bit of money on good quality hooks
when you're an experienced tyer, but for the novice
it can get fairly expensive. My solution is to practice
on inexpensive Mustad 36890 hooks that have been modified
using a simple technique.
Using a pair of half round jeweler's pliers* (ones
that have a flat jaw on one side and a rounded jaw on
the other) clamp the hook shaft just above or even a
little above and ahead of the point so that the half
round is on the lower side. Using only your thumb,
push the forward part of the shaft down until you
have a nice gentle slope to the shaft. With a little
experiment you can end up with a hook that has a nice
profile (and one that still fishes well) for about a
tenth the price of a comparable Partridge or Daiichi
bartleet heavy wire hook.
*Note: Inexpensive half round jeweler's pliers can be
found at any jewelry supply house, and sometimes at
well-stocked craft stores. ~ Aaron Laing
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board, here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to