About four years ago, fly-fishing innovator Fox Statler started tying flies on the extra-wide-gap (EWG) and worm hooks that are often used in fresh water. Tying in this style kept the fly hook-point-up, which decreased hang-ups. However, because the point of the hook was still exposed, hang-ups could still occur.
After I stared at a rubber worm on an EWG hook long enough, it dawned on me that I could tie a fly on a stiff piece of hard mono instead of a hook shank. I tied a few prototypes of the Hook Point Up Weedless Fly you see here and went fishing for snook in the mangroves of southwest Florida and caught the biggest snook of my life. I could cast this fly into cover and under and into mangroves, watch it sink and not need to withdraw it for fear of hanging up.
**From the Top **
To start, you will need to buy some offset worm or EWG hooks and a small spool of heavy, hard monofilament. You can tie a pattern of your own in this style, but you probably have the tying materials in your collection already for the fly described in this column. I use 80-pound hard Mason monofilament for the base of the fly. The strength-to-diameter ratio is not important, but the stiffness of the monofilament is. A longer distance between the point and the base of the hook requires a stiffer mono, while smaller hooks need a less-stiff mono.
For the tail of this pattern, I use marabou. When I push the fly down over the point of the hook, marabou passes through without any hesitation. I have used a variety of synthetic fibers and found that most of them tend to hang up slightly when passing over the point. Perhaps this does not matter with more powerful bites, but I am a fly-fisherman, so I want to increase my odds whenever I can. If I need longer fibers on top for greater length, I use a clump of marabou and tie the other material to either side so it does not pass through the hook point. Compressing or removing the barb is also helpful in getting materials to pass through freely.
For the body of the fly, I use specific materials that absorb the least amount of water in order to control the sink rate. Another option for this pattern is to use a hackle on the body portion of the fly to slow the sink rate even more. Or if you would like to keep it from sinking, you can even add foam to the monofilament to make the fly float.
As for the head of the fly, I originally used oval 3-D eyes of various holographic colors, which added a little more realism to the pattern. However, these type of eyes do have a slight disadvantage. The extra bulk of the 3-D eyes made the fly descended headfirst and more rapidly than it did when I used flat stick-on eyes, which are considerably lighter in weight.
A great thing about this fly is that it’s easy to alter it to suit just about any fishing scenario in which you don’t want the fly to get hung up. Unbind yourself from traditional hooks and designs, and you will find new ways to be creative with your tying!
HOOK: Extra-wide-gap or standard worm hook
SHAFT: 80-pound hard monofilament
TAIL: White marabou
FLASH: Pearl holo flash
BODY: Pearl crystal chenille
EYES: 3-D or 2-D holographic eyes
ADHESIVE: Zap-A-Gap, plus Zap-A-Gap Gel or Aquaseal
Practically impossible to snag
Getting used to tying on monofilament