While I am not new to fly tying, I am new to jig hooks. When I started fly fishing and fly tying I primarily focused on classic dry flies. As I matured I expanded my arsenal of flies and styles I fish. With the rise in popularity of competitive fly fishing and European nymphing, I thought it might be time to dive in.
I was introduced to European Nymphing around the time I was learning to Fly Fish in 2012, the person who got me into fly fishing was Czech Nymphing and showed me how with his 11 foot rod. It was interesting but wasn’t for me at that time. I partnered with Hazard Fly Fishing, who specializes in high quality competition style tungsten beads and jig hooks, so I decided to give their specialty a try.
Hazard Fly Fishing produces HEAVY tungsten beads, this is my first time working with tungsten and you can believe I felt a difference in previous bead. I purchased 100 of the 3.5mm slotted metallic black beads, which fit perfectly on the hook. Jig hooks due to the nature of their design require a slotted bead to accurately seat near the eye of the hook. HFF makes their beads of 97% to 98% tungsten depending on the design.
I was just as impressed with the hooks as I was the beads. As I stated, this is my first dealings with jig hooks but not my first rodeo in comparison to other hooks. Flat black, barbless hooks, with an extra sharp point. The hook point and the strength of these hooks is unbelievable and shows me why they are a force to be reckoned with in the competition world.
The flies you can tie on these hooks are the same as any nymph pattern the main advantage however is it rides hook point up. According to Jeff of HFF this prevents snagging and breaking off flies, which will cost you valuable time in a competition setting. The flies tied for competitions are simple, with simple materials. However you can get as fancy as you would like.
In preparation for writing this blog I asked Jeff a few questions to get more information.
Why did you start Hazard Fly Fishing?
Jeff: I was using another companies hooks and beads, they decide to step away from the fly tying aspect of it to focus on rods and reels. Since I am a comp angler I go through a ton of hooks and beads. SO I figured why not see what it would take. I did talk to the company I was using since they were gonna get back into it at some point, I really didn’t want to burn bridges since I do consider them great friends. They gave me their “blessing” and after several months of emails and receiving samples we now have Hazard Fly Fishing!!!!
Whats your favorite fly to tie on these hooks?
Jeff: Since I live in South Carolina one my go to fly is the “Sexy Waltz Worm” tied on the HH11. I have a Tacky box full of them from a size 12 all the way down to a size 20 HH2. It is super easy to tie and I can knock out a handful in no time.