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Tinyfly

Pinched barbs on 20s

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Out casting dry 20s the other night around 8:30 on the Crow (for me really  nothing more fun than 20” fish on size 20 dries on that river and there’s been some fun this summer) and as I was tying a new fly on I went to pinch the barb and gave up in the smoky low light. Had to get my lamp out to do it which took more precious time so  I asked my buddy if he always pinched the barb on 20s.  Casting to 18” + fish I’m not sure  the barb on a hook that small is much harm.  I usually do it anyway b/c I just like to follow the rules  (usually in daylight right after purchasing).  But got me thinking  should it be optional on smaller hooks especially 20s?  End up breaking some when I pinch them.  On the other hand some of these fish are caught many times a season so maybe that tiny barb does take a cumulative toll even on a small hook?  They are beautiful healthy  fish (especially browns seeing many more big browns this year) and I certainly want them to stay that way. Like to hear from anyone your honest practice and knowledgeable input...

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It was only a couple years ago that I was finally convinced to go 100% barbless.  It is not that sz20 does notable damage to the fish, but sz20 are already hard enough to locate (which causes stress to the fish) and remove without ruining the fly.  If I am up for the challenge of casting a sz20, I can probably accept the additional challenge of barbless.

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Echo what scel said.  Especially in cold water when your hands become useless bats. Really tough taking small flies out that still have their barbs.

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Problem is you also catch small fish on small flies. You will tear up a lot of little mouths if you don't de-barb your hooks no matter how small they are.

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11 hours ago, Tinyfly said:

  I usually do it anyway b/c I just like to follow the rules  

Just a point of clarification... "Legally", you do NOT have to pinch the barbs in Alberta!

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8 hours ago, ÜberFly said:

Just a point of clarification... "Legally", you do NOT have to pinch the barbs in Alberta!

Didn’t occur to me!  I seem to remember now there was only one? barbless year and Ive fished barbless for 20 +yrs anyway so never bothered to check on that again. Eyes just getting old now thus the query.  But in my mind it’s always been a good  “ rule “ for fish health so I make it my practice.  Plus in the end you save time to catch more fish as we know...

Some great posted replies thanks all! Nice point scel about saving the flies too, never considered that.  I’ll continue 100% barbless and maybe invest in a special tool rather than just nn pliers...

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33 minutes ago, Tinyfly said:

  I’ll continue 100% barbless 

Me too! 

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or do like I did for a few hours. Fishing away, fish slashing the fly, no hook ups only to realize later on the hook broke at some point and the fly still in tact., had to laugh at myself. Now that's catch and release.

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I keep the barbs on my hook until usage.

I have 4 big boat boxes and without the barb, I find a big surprise of loose flies when I open the box.

I also have great pliers and a file for de barbing..

Barbless is much better especially if you have to dig them out of your clients heads etc

..Much easier on Fish too..

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I always debarb my flies at the vise as I am tying them.  The only issue with this is when I am gifted a fly or if I purchase some.  I have found myself fishing one of those flies and suddenly realize it still has a barb, as I seldom check my fly for a barb before tying it on, as 99.9% of what I fish I tie.

p.s. I fish mostly in BC where barbed flies aren't allowed in most streams.  

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As Doc said, pinch the barbs when tying.  I know this isn't an option when buying flies but to avoid the frustration of trying to properly pinch the barb on the river or in the dark, do it at home when you buy them before putting them in your boxes.

I had the debate with a friend who asked why I pinch the barb before tying the fly at the bench.  It was a simple answer that I'd rather not tie the fly, then pinch the barb and break the tip, I'd rather break the tip if it happens before spending the time...

 

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On 2018-09-10 at 9:54 AM, professori said:

I always debarb my flies at the vise as I am tying them.  The only issue with this is when I am gifted a fly or if I purchase some.  I have found myself fishing one of those flies and suddenly realize it still has a barb, as I seldom check my fly for a barb before tying it on, as 99.9% of what I fish I tie.

p.s. I fish mostly in BC where barbed flies aren't allowed in most streams.  

 So anyone know where we are at with a barbless regulation for AB streams? I seem to remember it was in a year and then out.   Sz 18 barbed flies are one thing.  Makes me want to cry when I see a spincaster on the Bow hoping to rip into  a big brown with a sz8 barbed treble hook.  If the fishery rumoured to be in decline maybe time to push barbless or fly fishing only for the Bow Crow etc.  Probably old news and a tired topic so forgive my ignorance but I don’t understand why we don’t have these regs in Alberta especially where streams are release only.

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On ‎03‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 4:50 PM, lakerman said:

or do like I did for a few hours. Fishing away, fish slashing the fly, no hook ups only to realize later on the hook broke at some point and the fly still in tact., had to laugh at myself. Now that's catch and release.

I have had that experience, kept hooking fish and losing them. But they were rising so aggressively I kept casting. Finally checked the hook after I lost a particularly nice fish and no hook, just the shank of the humpy.

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I de-barb all my hooks before I tie them. That way I’m not struggling streamside to get it done. More time with a fly on the water and all that.

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