NOTE:Hook size is determined by the hook gap, not by the length of the shank. Hooks will come in different bend styles, shank lengths, wire thickness and eye shapes. The styles above will do for over 90% of flies tied for trout fishing.


4xlong streamer hook:Woollybuggers, Muddlers, Clouser Minnows, Bucktails,etc.

2xlong nymph hook:Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail, Wet Flies,Pupa, Mayfly Nymph etc.

Standard dry fly hook:Caddis, Cahills, Adams, Thorax, Terrestrials, Parachutes, etc.


1. Hook size #: Hook sizes range start from size 32 to 0 with the higher the number, the smaller the hook gape. However, when you go over size 0 (1/0 to 10/0), the higher the number the bigger the hook gap. For example, a 2 is bigger than 6, but a 2/0 is smaller than a 6/0. Crazy ain't it?

2. 4x long: Refers to length of hook shank. A 4x long size14 would be a hook with a size 14 hook gap and the shank length of a standard size 10.

3. 2x fine wire: Refers to thickness of the hook. For example, a 2x fine wire size 14 would have the same thickness as a standard size 16. Conversely, a 2x heavy wire size 14 would have the thickness of a standard size 12.

Note: These three variables are the most important to consider in selecting the proper hook. There are many other differences (eye style,bend style,barbs,metal coatings and alloys) but it would take my entire hard drive to file them all and discuss their uses.

Note: When it comes to bass hair bugs, my all time favorite is Gamakatsu B10S. It is strong and scary sharp and expensive but if you put 20 minutes into a hair bug, why not use a the best hook? They are awesome.


There are hundreds of hook styles available from dozens of manufactures. It can get confusing sometimes,just keep it simple if you are starting out. You can literally tie up hundreds of dollars to have on hand all styles and sizes. In my commercial tying, I only stock four hook styles in the most popular sizes and find they cover about everything. For trout flies, I use a standard dry fly hook (size 18 to 10), 3x long fine wire dry fly hook (size 14 to 10), 2x long nymph hook (size 18 to 8), and a 4x long streamer hook (size 12 to 4) .


Light Cahill, Adams Dry,ElkHair Caddis, Wooly Bugger, Pheasant Tail
Hare's Ear,BWO Parachute, Prince, Red Quill, Royal Wullf, Irresistable