26) Steelhead on Nuke Minnow Pattern. Dec 10, 2020

Tippy Dam was not crowded Thursday morning.  I Started with the Nuke Minnow.  In the process of loosing my 3 prototypes, I caught 2 steelhead and hooked 4 Brown Trout.  During this time, I also tried 4 other good jigs and 2 yarn egg colors.  All hits were on the Nuke Minnow.  The concept is a small transparent minnow and will apply to any fly fishing presentation for a very small minnow pattern.  The best color is an off white, Glo-Bugs color "Egg", so that will be confusing.  Chartreuse or bright White will have their times and places for steelhead or other species.  

  • Nuke Minnow Pattern
  • Hook        #6 or 8 Glow Silver Jig Head here
  • Bead        Silver for Bead Head version
  • Thread     Chartreuse Yellow
  • Tail           Center tied Egg Yarn, a minnow color, Tapered to 1 shank length
  • Tail Flash   One strand Opal Mirage, folded to each side of tail
  • Body          Opal Flash wrapped over Chartreuse Thread Base
  • Over Body  A veil of Egg Yarn, tied forward, spread evenly around the head
  • Gills           Dub a bit of Pink "BubbleGum" Egg Yarn over veil thread wraps
  • Knot    Whip finish right behind small Gill Dubbing

Taper the tail before tying it in.  If the body veil needs tapering do a little off the top and the bottom after it is all tied in and finished.

Make a Sack Fry Pattern by adding a little orange yarn belly under the veil.

This pattern in the off white "Egg" color may be representing the transparent Mysis shrimp also. 

This is also a tiny Flesh Fly.  Native Rainbow Trout and the ancestors of most trout, shared their rivers with spawning salmon.  They presumably have an instinct to exploit rotting Salmon flesh as a food source.

For the rest of the day, after the Nuke  Minnows were gone, I struggled to get bites, I got 4 more Browns on Small White Opal Minnow bucktail jigs and another Good Steelhead on the Leggy Fox Jig that worked so well last week.  

The water temperature was down to just under 38 F.  All the steelhead took on short or medium distance casts where a more natural drift is easier fishing bobbers.  The second steelhead took the Nuke Minnow Jig set 8 extra inches higher off the bottom and on a completely smooth drift.  I had an egg pattern tied to the jig hook bend about 3 feet behind it and wanted to fish the egg naturally. Normally I always fish jigs with single tap the jig every 3 or 4 feet.

The last steelhead took the Rubber Leg Fox Jig at the warmest time of the day.  She made two late runs with arial leaps at the end, not so fast or so high as when the water is warmer.


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