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Rigging Stinger Hooks – The Twisted Hitch

Posted on August 03 2016

Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Jerry’s Dirty Hoh (clearly abused by some fish) rigged with a twisted hitch.

Today we present you with some rigging wizardry courtesy of Alaska West  guide, Jerry French. You may recognize Jerry’s name as part of the original brain trust behind the Intruder. However, intruder style patterns are hardly the only flies Jerry fishes..

In fact, he’d be the first to tell you that great anglers evolve, constantly pushing the envelope to try new things. That’s the driving force behind his latest ‘evolution’ of fly patterns, including the ever popular ‘dirty hoh’ which utilizes a leech-like bunny strip (amongst some super unique techniques which is a topic for another post).

It’s hard to argue with the sheer fishiness of bunny strips in the water. Although the downside to most leech-style flies incorporating a bunny strip and a stinger-style hook is that they’re most often tied with the rabbit strip attached directly to the stinger hook (see an example by clicking right here). This provides great action to the fly, allowing the hook and tail and swim together in a natural manner, but doesn’t allow for an easy hook change should your hook become dull. That means more flies that get tossed before they’ve reached their full shelf life, and that’s no bueno.

Instead, when fixing a stinger hook to a bunny tail style fly, Jerry utilizes a super clever way he refers to as the twisted hitch that allows for easy hook changes with unhindered movement of the tail and hook of the fly. It works pretty darn well, and here’s how he does it.

Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 1: Draw your stinger loop tight to allow the loop to be pushed through the eye of the stinger hook. Jerry likes to use as limp a braid as possible here to produce the most action as possible to the fly.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 2: Pass the stinger loop up through the eye of the hook. This will allow for the hook to ride up in relation to the bunny tail.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 3: Pass the loop over the bend of the hook.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 4: Twist the loop clockwise a half turn.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 5: Pass the loop back over the bend of the hook so the loop is now on top of the shank of the stinger hook as shown.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 6: Twist the loop a half turn again, this time in the opposite direction (counter clockwise).
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 7: Pass the loop back over the bend of the hook positioning the loop on the underside of the stinger hook shank as shown.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 8: Wet the tip of your bunny tail for easy handling and slide it through the stinger loop.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 9: Slide the bunny tail through into position until straight.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 10: Pull on the head of the fly and the stinger hook to tighten down the loop, trapping the bunny tail.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 11: Pull the loop tight.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 12: Pick out any fibers that may have been trapped between the braid and the hide of the rabbit strip.
Rigging stinger hook style flies.
Step 13: Trim the tail to just shy of the bend of the stinger hook and get fishing! The hook is now fixed directly to the tail for killer movement, while still allowing the hook to be changed.. Brilliant!

More Rigging Tips

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