When nymphing, I tend to use barbless jig hooks.
I first heard about them from competitive fly fishing anglers, who incorporate them with slotted tungsten beads into anchor flies in a Euro-nymphing set-up. So, I bought some and fished them. I caught fish. So, I bought more sizes.
I really like this style of a hook:
- Is incredibly sharp
- Has a wide gape and is barbless, both of which allow for a better hook set
- Hooks fish in the upper jaw. I’ve noticed that I almost never have a fish fall off after it takes a jig-hook nymph. Maybe the upper jaw is a better locus for hooks?
- Rides point up, which means fewer snags and the hooks stay sharp for longer
I also use the jig-style anchor flies when indicator nymphing. They’re the bottom fly, and about 20″ above that, I attach a dropper fly.
These are really good hooks.