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Discussion Starter #1
My usual practice when fishing is to use barb'd hooks until I catch my first one. After that I go barbless. That way I minimize my odds of a skunk. Well, today I couldn't shake the skunk. See this post: http://www.coloradofisherman.com/forum/index.php?topic=3700.0

Anyway, tward the end of our trip I caught my hook on a branch and had to pull it hard. I thought I snapped the hook off, and looking at the line I only saw some split shot. As I went to put a new fly on, I held the line in one hand and pulled with the other-- in order to find the end. Ouch! Looking at my now painful finger I saw a small nymph along with my split shot. Apparently the split shot slid down next to the nymph, and I didn't notice it when I looked at it earlier.

So here I was with a nymph embedded in my finger. I spent quite a while trying to back that hook out without causing a lot of pain. In the end I failed. I went to a small medical clinic and had them take it out. The Doctor was also a fisherman and he has taken hooks out of his own fingers.

Here's what I learned from my experience, and from the doctor. Go barbless! Not for the fishes sake, but for your own. If you get a barbed hook in your finger there are many ways to get it out but they all hurt and they all do additional tissue damage. If you try to remove the hook yourself you risk breaking the barb off in your finger, especally if it's a really small hook. And most important of all, if you are anywhere near medical help (as in, within several hours drive) then seek professional medical help in removing the hook.

As I lie there on the table, and the Dr and Nurse are setting up to do their thing, another nurse stops by to see my hooked finger. Then another. Then another. In all, about 10 people stop by just to see the guy who put a fish hook in his finger! I should have charged admission. It might have offset the cost of this proceedure.

They _almost_ had to take X-Rays of my finger. If it was in a different part of the finger, or there was some question on how the hook was lodged in there, then they would have taken them.

So the Dr shot some numbing stuff into my finger (hurt more than the fish hook did). He then, essentially, cut the hook out. For a while he considered just running the hook all the way through, but he cut it out instead. Trying to yank it out could have broken the barb off (requiring X-Rays and stuff) and caused a torn wound. Cutting it out caused a more clean wound that would heal faster. My finger was all doped up, so I didn't care what he did.

The doctor also commented that the hemostats that were in the clinic were not as good as the ones in his fly fishing vest. Hmmmm....

In the end, avoid all of this and go with barbless hooks!
 

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man that sucks i hope some of those looky loo nurses where cute attleast!

must be hard to type i feel bad for my cheep shot at your other post now
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's not too bad to type. Right now my finger feels fine. I just have a bandaid on it. By the way, it was my index finger on my left hand, right on the pad. Probably the most pain sensitive area on a finger.

Don't worry 'bout the previous "cheap shot". We've all learned to expect that from you! jk ;D

Even though the nurses weren't "ugly", but I still needed some pain killers.

At least they put the tetnis (sp?) shot in my arm and not in my rear.
 

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Same thing happened to me earlier this year. I have been fishing for 60 years and never hooked myself. Then I was out fishing and tried to swat at a pesky bee that was buzzing in my face. You guessed it -- I missed the bee and swatted my fishing lure instead. This was a lure with treble hooks, quite a bit bigger than a fly hook. One point and barb were buried deep in my finger.

After working on the lure one-handed with long nose pliers for a while I managed to separate the lure from the hook, then wrapped a band-aid around the hook so I wouldn't catch it in the truck seat upholstery on the way to town. If that happened, I would really have been in a pickle!

When I got to the E.R. the doctor wrapped some stout cord around the bend of the hook, then just gave a sudden YANK and jerked the hook out backwards! He told me that was the way they usually do it nowadays, unless it's in your eyelid or something, because it actually causes the least damage.

Now, I am not a doctor, but I think I would have liked to hear a second opinion on that!!!

They put a band-aid on it, it healed up in a couple of days with no problems.

I now see the point about barbless hooks and I agree completely!

W. E.
 

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I had to remove a hook from my son's finger this season and it was no fun. I used ice to numb his finger and then pushed the hook through. He was a good sport and the little guy barely cried, but he does not want to fish with any treble hooks anymore!

Here is a link to several ways to remove hooks:

http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010601/2231.html

probably a good thing to keep in the tackle box, eh? I learned that the hard way. :-[
 
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I have used the "String Yank Technique" referred to in work2fish's link a couple of times on friends. It works pretty well for most embedded hooks. Even used it on a friend's dog one day. Quick and painless. The keys are to push down firmly on the eye of the hook and to yank quickly and with authority.

I would recommend it for most situations streamside.
 

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I have a small pair of snips in my tackle box to cut hooks for easy removal. Growing up me and my sister somehow always managed to hook each other on our casts, I learned awefully early that barbed hooks sucked trying to back out.
 

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Real men don't go to a doctor to get hooks removed. ::) The few that I've had over the years, I just get out my needlenose fishing plyers and rip it out. The quicker the better.
 

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kirbydog said:
Real men don't go to a doctor to get hooks removed. ::)  The few that I've had over the years, I just get out my needlenose fishing plyers and rip it out.  The quicker the better.
The old bandaid method... just squint your eyes and yank. I dont know if thats the prefered method or not.
 

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kirbydog said:
Real men don't go to a doctor to get hooks removed. ::) The few that I've had over the years, I just get out my needlenose fishing plyers and rip it out. The quicker the better.
its not always wise to be real!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The problem with "just yanking it out" (and anything else that resembles just pulling it out) is that the barb might break off-- particularly if it's a small hook. And you don't want the barb left in your finger.

The other problem with any "streamside remidy" is that it'll likely be painful. In my case it was in the pad of my index finger where there is a high concentration of nerves (however, I still might be a wimp!). It was nice to have lots of pain killer when the Dr. took my hook out.

So, it's best to avoid the whole mess by using barbless hooks if at all possible.
 

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i'd rather be a wimp than deal with a nasty infection
 

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I hooked myself pike fishing in Northern Minnesota when I was about 17. I was removing a fish from the line when the fish shook free and the hook stabbed into the pad at the base of my left index finger. It was a big hook and I couldn't back it out or push it through. I even tried to do some "surgery" with a pocket knife (hey, I was 17) but no dice.

I ended up having to drive myself 50 miles (hook still in hand) to the nearest clinic only to have the rookie 'doctor' who was on duty tell me that he couldn't take it out. So I drove back to the resort I worked at, slept with the hook in my hand, and then went back to the clinic the next morning to have it removed. I still have a pretty wild scar from it.

Moral of the Story: Dont attempt to remove a fish from your line with tension on the line...if the fish shakes off, the hook slingshots into your hand.
 

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farmer ted said:
Moral of the Story: Dont attempt to remove a fish from your line with tension on the line...if the fish shakes off, the hook slingshots into your hand.
Thats a very good moral... might also want to watch out for those snags flying straight back at you.
 

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ePiC said:
farmer ted said:
Moral of the Story: Dont attempt to remove a fish from your line with tension on the line...if the fish shakes off, the hook slingshots into your hand.
Thats a very good moral... might also want to watch out for those snags flying straight back at you.
yeah those snags can be nasty a buddy of mine almost nocked him self out with a 1 ounce sinker when he snaged a bush on the far shore when the line broke below the wieght it cam back like a shot and hit him in the fore head left him light headed for about an hour and a big welt for most of the week he tried to wear a cap to school to hide it but the brim made it hurt to much he got a lotta laughs in jym that week
 

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roadkill said:
yeah those snags can be nasty a buddy of mine almost nocked him self out with a 1 ounce sinker when he snaged a bush on the far shore when the line broke below the wieght it cam back like a shot and hit him in the fore head left him light headed for about an hour and a big welt for most of the week he tried to wear a cap to school to hide it but the brim made it hurt to much he got a lotta laughs in jym that week
Hahah, We always make fun of who ever this happens too... just have to worry about the karma and fish on.
 

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yeah that was a good laugh i think i shot pepsi out my nose on that one
 

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I fish barbless, mainly because its easier to unhook myself when my poorly executed cast hits me in the head.  This seems to happen quite a bit with me, perhaps all my years fly casting hasnt paid off.  my best "hookings" have been while nymphing with splitshot, and also while throwing larger streamers.  i always de barb my larger flies now, so getting the hook out is easy...and if you do it quickly while you are still numb from getting hit with a streamer at 90mph its not too bad....but i seem to remember a winter day on the platte when i hooked my ear with a small scud---that took awhile to get out, i had to numb my ear with some snow before finally just yanking it out.  yeah, that hurt, and it was a small fly.

oh yeah...de barbed hooks are easier to get out of a fish...but thats not as important to me as it being easier to get out of my head.
 
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I snagged a panther martin into a tree earlier this year on the big t ...while pulling as hard as I could to get the snagout ...the hook that was burried into the tree broke and the panther martin came shooting out at me really fast ...stuck me in my inner thigh ....Thank god I was wearing good jeans but it did leave a welt for a couple weeks
 
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