Thursday, August 16, 2007

Movin' to Geekistan

We here at Neil Creek dig geeking out on gear, and if it is gear that improves our ratio of Time Spent Battling Big Fish to Time Spend Standin' There Suckin', we are all the more geeky about it.

However, once we weed through the many brands, types, and styles of whatever piece of gear that attracted our geekery in the first place, we tend to settle on one or two brands, types, or styles that suit our needs, then move on to the next piece of geekishness.

One piece of gear that we geek out on quite a bit is the hook.

"A hook is a hook".

Damn, if I had a dime for every time I've heard someone say that, well, I wouldn't need to dig for coffee change in my truck ashtray every morning. I seem to hear that a lot from folks that catch as many fish as they can, but not as many as they want.

The hook is really all that matters. Sure, fly material and dressing style and all that stuff play a role, but I would much rather fish a chicken drumstick on a good n' proper hook than the most immaculately tied fly on, oh, say a Mustad 34007.

For years the beadin' Hook-Of-Choice was the Daiichi 1150, sz 8, for 8mm beads. A great bead hook for many reasons, first and foremost being Daiichi steel and it's springiness that would allow the hook to pull out of errant salmon. The up-eye is a plus, and the bend is functional.

Two weeks ago, the last 100-pak went dry, and no one in town (read: the only flyshop) could get their hands on a fresh supply.

Phone-tag with a few southern vendors proved fruitless, so we here at the Chronicle put on our geekin' shoes and started the search for a replacement hook.

A nice outfit in California seemed to be our saviors by appearing to have the last stash of Tiemco 206 BL in sz 6 in the western hemisphere, but after internetting my order for every damn one they could find, an obsequious salesrep emailed me the horrible truth: They were sold out of both #6 and #8 206 BL's, and Tiemco had discontinued those sizes.

Our search continued...and led us to a friendly Canadian shop that sells Kamasan hooks, the Eurotrash equivalent of Daiichi. After much haggling over shipping charges ($45 US for 3.6 oz. of hooks? getthafuggouddahea), said retailer is sending us some new geek supplies, including the Kamasan B983, with it's oh-so-sexah bend:

Reason #574 to run out of gear: you get to see what you have left behind.

Laying undisturbed in a dark corner of an overworked flybench for several years, only recently being called into service, is the old workhorse Owner Mosquito, sz 6:

This would be the pimp-daddy go-to king-bitchin' hook of all time, except for one minor problem that they share with every Mustad hook ever made...They don't bend, they break. Minor problem, but one that can lead to looong srtings of expletives and other broken things when they do their little "break-at-the-beak" trick on a big honker.

Will the Kamasans be all that, and a bag of chips? Will we break any more rods after losing huge fish to great hooks with erratic idiosyncrasies? Stay tuned for more on HookGeek '07

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