The Opal Minnow is a simple and effective minnow pattern that could be applied to many fishing situations such as: Balanced Steelhead Jig, Clouser or Jiggy style for many fresh or salt water species, Unweighted streamer also for many species. I have been using 3 balanced jig versions under a float targeting steelhead and salmon and caught lots of Steelhead and Brown Trout and a big Walleye and Coho
There are only 2 ingredients not counting a Bead and a thread change.
- Hook: 90 Jig, Down Eye Wet or whatever is needed
- Bead: Silver
- Body Thread: Chartreuse Yellow 210D or 140D
- Tail: Chartreuse Tread & 2 strands of Opal Mirage Flash
- Body: Opal Flashabou wrapped over Chartreuse Thread Base
- Wing: Sparse Bucktail tied in the gap
- Wing Flash One Opal Flash Strand folded to each side of the wing
- Hot Spot Fire Orange Thread Collar to tie in wing materials
You could tie this for everything from #8 for Crappie to 5/0 for Musky. For larger versions I might add a sparse tail of bucktail or saddle hackle, a throat or topping of sparse angel hair flash.
Opal Mirage Flashabou is some Magical blend of Pearl with a touch of Silver that is much brighter than other flash material. I comes in Micro 1/100, Regular, Magnum and Salt Water sizes. Original Opalescent is recommended here but it comes in Dyed Opal shades also.
#2 Opal Minnow for November River Mouth Lakers, Atlantics or Steelhhead
Tie the precut wing butts in a little longer than the available room. The extra length will get folded back or sideways and make the wing extra secure.
This will fish Hook Up and hook fish securely in the upper jaw. The short shank, longish point proportions of this hook will hold well even with the barb broken off. A slightly jagged broken off barb holds fish better than a smooth bent down barb.
I just found out the cool InstaJig Head I tied some small Opal Minnows on is apparently discontinued at the wholesale level. I have used the InstaJig Opal Minnow to quickly catch a coho, lots of brown trout and hook a brute of a steelhead. Not counting the broke off Steelhead, I landed 100% of these on small Barbless (broken barb) hooks. The new Insta Jig 2.0 is a just an expensive swinging bead on a wire insert. It would work the same as any swinging bead tied into a loop knot. This swinging bead is tied into the loop knot to an unweighted fly oriented to fish hook up. It works for me as a balanced jig hanging under a float or for fly casting.