Here’s a photo of one of my favorite streamer patterns, the “Meat Whistle” by John Barr.

It was originally designed as a bass fly. The brown/orange color helps it represent a crayfish. And, since it is tied on a jig hook with the off-set eye, it can be twitched very slowly in still water to create enticing action.

Thing is, it’s also a great trout fly, and I fish this pattern in different sizes and colors in rivers all the time. So here’s my question: Does the off-set eye of the jig hook matter in the least when we’re talking about moving water? Is there any advantage to be had, whatsoever, with this type of hook, or, if you were to tie these up yourself, would you do just as well to use straight streamer hooks (in which case this fly would be a lot like a simple conehead bugger)?

I have mixed opinions on this and other flies that use novelty materials, especially hooks. On the one hand, I love the versatility to be able to use the same pattern in a bass pond or on a trout river. I have no doubt that the jig hook makes this a more effective bass fly. On the other hand, I tend to tangle this fly on my leader a little more often than I do flies on straight hooks, and I think that’s just the result of the fly spinning around in turbid water. Not a design flaw by any means, just something I notice.

And then there’s the question of breakage. I don’t think I break off more flies tied on jig hooks, and I don’t think there’s any advantage or disadvantage as far as actually hooking fish and keeping them pinned on. But that’s just my opinion.

What is yours?