White Minnow Jigs Take Steelhead and Brown Trout. November 5, 2021

Steelhead Jigs

Started at Tippy Dam at noon.  Fishing was very slow, fishermen were leaving.  Kings are all dead, few Coho jumping.  A the tail out and another easy spot I like, no bites.  When fishing is bad, I don't experiment much but stick with the few flies I think are best.  Yellow beads, and lately the Nuke Minnow Jig.   At 1:30 I moved upstream to the fast snaggy water.  Its hard to wade and hard to follow fish downstream. I was dialing in the depth to try get close to the bottom without snagging. On the 8th drift the bobber went down.  The hook set was met big violent head shakes for 2 seconds.  What had to be a big steelhead ripped off 3 high velocity runs with each change in direction punctuated with a high slashing leaps.  A Steelhead but only 5 pounds.  I eventually beached him 80 yards down stream. 

Same Nuke Minnow jig, same spot, different drift got a 12 inch Brown Trout.  After the Nuke Minnow had become futile, a White MopWorm Jig quickly got 3 out of 4 Brown Trout Hooked in the same drifts.  A yellow bead run as a trailer behind that jig got zero hits.

Toward evening, back down stream, a White opal Minnow Jig got 3 more Browns.

I have been wondering why the Nuke Minnow Jig has been so good. The very translucent Egg White Glow Bug yarn is very translucent, fluorescent white but looks dull white to the eye.  The opal tinsel over a chartreuse base makes a great minnow attractor pattern.  The UV pink collar shows through the white viel yarn to look like gills under a small minnows transparent gill plates.

But, that subtle flash and pink under the transparent white veil might engage a Mysis Shrimp instinct in Steelhead.  They have been wild and evolving in the great lakes for a long time.  Their Pacific ancestors likely had an instinct to prey on krill. 



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