This week’s post is about my experience testing new hooks from Daiichi as well as highlighting a few fly pattern sheets I’ve recently added to RiverKeeper Flies. Even if you aren’t a fly tyer, be sure to check out the fly pictures to see if it’s something to be added to your fly box.

Oh, and don’t forget about the FREE DRAWING in a couple of weeks! It’s your chance to win 1 dozen Custom River or Lake flies. (Read how you can win below.)

I’ve been testing new hooks from Daiichi in the last few of weeks. Well, they aren’t really NEW hooks, just new to me.

Daiichi Sample Hooks |

Several of my fly tying friends have expressed how good the Daiichi hooks are. I’ve used them a few times, but mainly have tied my flies with Dai Riki and Tiemco hooks the past few years. But decades ago, I used Mustad hooks as they were about the only game in town. I have to say the quality of hooks these days vs. 40+ years ago is astounding! The newer hooks are sharper and not as brittle. And occasionally, several of the Dai Riki hook eyes are missing…just a curved wire.

So far, I’m impressed with the quality of Daiichi hooks I’ve experimented with. The hooks are VERY SHARP out of the package! Many times, I’ll sharpen hooks after they come out of the vise with a Arkansas stone my friend Philip gave me. I don’t think I’ll have to do that with the Daiichi hooks.

Test the sharpness of the hooks you use by dragging them across your thumbnail. A sharp hook will dig into the nail immediately while one not as sharp will slide across the nail. How about the hooking power of the “dull” hook. You think it might be harder to hook up a fish with them? How many times, especially fishing nymphs, do you feel a tug and then nothing? Well, the fish has taken the fly in it’s mouth and figured out it isn’t real and spits it out. Don’t know how they can do that so well, but they do.

Now think about dragging two hooks across your thumbnail. Perhaps the sharper hook has a better chance of catching in the fishes mouth. FISH ON!!! 

That’s what we’re all waiting for, isn’t it?

As I’m testing new hooks, it reminds me how confusing the different hook model numbers were when I began tying flies. It’s second nature these days because I’m used to the numbers…100…oh yea, it’s the Tiemco 100 dry fly hook. Or the 305…yup, a Dai Riki 305 dry fly hook. I could go on and on as I’ve memorized the numbers over time from tying thousands of flies.

Then along comes Daiichi hooks and I start the learning process all over again. I’m sure it won’t take very long, but it reminded me how I used to rely on fly pattern sheets and I had to have the exact hook mentioned on it. 

Well, that isn’t necessarily true, which is why I created the Fly Tying Hook Conversion Table in the Resources tab at the top of every page. Sure, others have created them as well…I didn’t invent it, but it’s the one I use. Just click on Resources.

I think I might be using my own Fly Tying Hook Conversion Table page for awhile to get used to the Daiichi hook model numbers! And it may need a little revision as I keep using Daiichi hooks.

In the long run, I think it will be worth it…so far, I like the Daiichi hooks I’ve tied with.

I wanted to keep you up-to-date with a few fly patterns I’ve added recently. Hope you like them!

WD 40 – You’ll find this fly in the Mayfly and Midge category. The fly imitates a Blue Wing Olive nymph or a midge in smaller sizes.

WD-40 |

Mighty Midget Emerger – Another Blue Ribbon Flies pattern. You’ll find it in the Midge category.

Mighty Midget Emerger |

Micro Madison Midge – And yet again…from Blue Ribbon Flies. Find it in the Midge category.

Micro Madison Midge - Pearl |

Janssens Damsel Nymph – You’ll find this fly in the Lake category.

Janssen's Damsel Nymph |

Lastly, here are a couple of Steelhead fly patterns.

Green Ant

Green Ant - Ribbed |

Purple Skunk 

Purple Skunk |

Well, there you have it. A few more fly patterns added to the collection.

As promised, I wanted to remind you about the Free Drawing. You may have seen this already, but in case you haven’t…read on…

Free RiverKeeper Flies – Here’s your chance to win one dozen flies of your very own. I plan to hold a drawing in mid-December for all my SUBSCRIBERS and mail a dozen flies to the winner! You’ll be able to choose between the Custom River Flies or Lake Flies.

Already a SUBSCRIBER? Then you’re in the drawing. Not a SUBSCRIBER? Just fill in the info located at the top right of every page to SUBSCRIBE. As a SUBSCRIBER, you’ll receive an email notification and link to the latest blog post from RiverKeeper Flies. And be in the running to win one dozen flies. I’ll use a random generator to pick the winner and post the winner’s name.

Now back to the vise. I have another order to complete and mail.

Then there’s a few more fly patterns I need to tie up with the sample Daiichi hooks.

Enjoy…go fish!

Similar Posts


  1. John,
    Thanks for the hook conversion table. As a relative novice, it’s extremely helpful. Hope to see you again on the river this winter.

  2. John,
    I’m glad that we met at Ali’s grad party in Missoula last May. I really enjoy your blog and appreciate your “turning me on” to it. Now that I’ve finished my six month long building project, I’m looking forward to some fly fishing next season after about a 35 year hiatus and maybe even digging out my fly tying gear. All the best, Jeff

    1. Jeff

      Thanks for the comment. Nice to know RiverKeeper Flies is useful to you. There’s certainly enough fly patterns for you to try! Check out Beetle Bailey and Beetle Betty (really good for cutthroat) as they are fairly straightforward to tie.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.