Fly setup (hooks and leaders)

Below, I've laid out some basics for rigging of Tube and 'Shank' flies for those who may be new to this crazy game. As with all things related to this pastime, it is all a matter of personal preference and will change depending on the quarry you are targeting. The below guidelines will get you on the water for Salmon and Steelhead.

Tube fly setup

Tube flies have a lot of pros, not least of which is ease of setup. The beauty of these flies is that when a fish takes, the fly will tend to slide up the leader, while the hook stays with the fish! Whilst the shank is more structurally sound, you will find that you'll get a bit more longevity out of your tubes.

Shank (Intruder) hook setup

All of my intruder style flies are tied on shanks and use intruder wire for the hook attachment. Some tiers use braid for this but I've found nothing more robust than wire. Over time, braids can lose their form and can become so soft that you'll fish a run through without seeing your hook wrapped around the body of your fly - which can be somewhat frustrating...! 

When setting my hooks, I choose to have the hook point facing up to avoid fouling on rocks when fishing heavy sinks for Chinook. Again, this is a personal preference thing and there are various schools of thought and arguments for both orientations.

So, first thing is to attach the hook:


Now that the hook is seated, time to attach the fly to your leader (nylon). The knot I show is a great one for intruders and really allows them to swim freely. Sometimes, if you were to use a clinch knot, you can find the knot working round the eye causing unnatural movement on the fly.

So, now that you know how to set up, you'll need some flies! 

Tubes -

Intruders -

As always, if you have any queries please feel free to get in touch and most importantly "tight lines"!


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