Welcome to our "Ask The Pros" page two.
This Page is for our readers. We get lots of E-Mails each month with some terrific fish tales, quotes and questions on all sorts
of different topics which include but are not limited to; hunting questions, spoon and spinner fishing, float fishing, bank fishing spots in the area,
and techniques and tackle. These questions have been so good we've decided to add a couple of pages for them.
Be sure to check in often for updated recent questions and answers. Send your questions to us at:firstname.lastname@example.org
You may direct your questions to either myself, "John", outdoor writer and photographer, "Dave Vedder", outdoor writer and avid fisherman, "Bill Herzog",
Or you can also just send your question as, "General Question" and there's no telling what outdoor Pro might answer your question, you may be suprised by one of our many celebrity guest Pros.
"Genera Question" Jig and Yarn Profiles Question:
I'm happy for anyone of you pros to answer this question, but since Dave is the only confessed yarn-and-float, plus jig guy
among you three I'm directing it as him in the first instance. It has to do with profile that fish see, and whether big
is bad. Let me explain. I fish a lot of yarn flies for steelhead, very successfully in faster water. I trim the yarn
down savagely -- maybe 6mm to 12mm (max), and drift fish these 'dots'. To
show the fish something different, esp. in deeper pools, in recent years
I've begun to drift jigs under floats. This works well, too. Last fall I
was in BC fishing for steelhead and I couldn't get bit on either yarn or
the 1/4 oz jigs I was using. The day was bright and the water clear-ish so
I tied on a black and red model and cut the feathers off at around the hook
bend. That version caught three in forty minutes.
Recently I read in STS an
article by Dave that talked about how he most often fishes yarn flies under
a float so I'm planning on giving that a go. So here comes the question.
Given that am fishing essentially the same thing -- colored yarn or
feathers -- with vastly different sizes (from 6mm up to whatever a 1/4 oz
marabou jig blossoms out to as it backs down the river) when do you use
which size? I know that clearer water and spookier fish equals smaller
presentations, but I'm thinking along the Jed Davis "threshold of
attraction" angle. Are those high profile, high viz jigs spooking fish or
calling them in from a greater distance?
Maybe another way of getting
inside your heads is to ask the question differently. Under a variety of
conditions, what do you start with small yarn flies, medium yarn flies or
I realize that there's no answer, but before I end up drifting #12
black nymphs under a float I wanted some professional advice!
Answer from Dave Vedder:
Wow! I wonder if this answer will be as long as your question - which was a very
good one. I must admit that I lean more toward small profiles than largely. I
feel that jig, or yarn flies do not work well in dirty water. I feel three feet
of vis is minimum for decent fishing of either.
That said I do believe many
times the smaller presentation will out fish everything else. Here's my
thinking. If the fish are in medium vis to fairly clear water I will usually
stick with a jig. But when the water is gin clear I'm gonna back off to a small
yarn tie, or another favorite presentation - a single Jensen egg. I think
aggressive fish will eat any jig as long as it is not too big. For example I
seem to do much better overall on 1/8 ounce jigs VS 1/4 ounce. They will eat any
jig that doesn't threaten them, but all things being equal the small jig tends
to do best. You may know that in the Midwest they often use jig weighing 1/32
ounce. Maybe we should be looking even more at small is better.
I dunno if that
answered your question, but it is an assemblage of my thoughts.
"General Question" Float and Jig Fishing Question:
I am a winter Steelhead fisherman devoted to drift fishing, but in recent
times I have seen the explosion of bobber and jig fisherman to the rivers in
the Pacific NW. So I am trying to better myself in the Steelhead world by
fishing these little furry baits, when I can muster up the confidence.
my Question is....Is it acceptable to add a small slinky 18-30 inches above
the jig to help the jig get down in reasonably deep fast water, not white
water but good Steelhead holding water, when fishing a jig on a sliding
bobber set up.
Question 2 Is fishing jigs on a sliding bobber set up ok in the bobber and
jig fishing world.
Question 3 What type of bobbers do you prefer Clear,white foam,balsa
Hope these questions are not to corny for you...good fishing!
Answer from Dave Vedder:
Great questions! Here are my answers. No one in the Northwest is fishing with bobbers, except for the kids using those red and white plastic things they use for perch. Many of the West's best steelheaders are fishing with floats, which some folks insist on calling "bobbers." here is the way to become confident with floats:
1. Take only your float rod next time you go steelheading. That way you wont be tempted to have a relapse back into bottom bouncing.
2. Remember that almost all the top steelheaders in the west now use floats. The list includes, Nick Amato, Bill Herzog, Dave Vedder, John Koenig, Bob Kratzer, J.D... Love and many others.
3. Don't make the mistake of thinking that jigs are the only thing you can fish under your float. Eggs, sand shrimp, pink worms, Gooey Bobs, and yarn ties all work great under a float.
4. Give the float a decent test - say three full days - and you too will be a believer.
Yes it is fine to add any weight you want between your float and lure. Just remember too use enough weight so that your float has only about 1" above the water. I prefer the foam "dink" floats, but the Thill balsa floats are fine too.
I NEVER use a slip float for several reasons. Most important is the fact that you will often want to hold back on the float a bit - for example when you are swinging your float across a tailout. A slip float will slip under those conditions, allowing the float to move way too close to the lure. Instead of trying to use a slip float get a 10 1/2 foot rod which will eliminate the need for slip floats.
Lastly go buy my book "Float Fishing for Steelhead" from Amato Publications. It costs less than a half dozen boxes of sand shrimp, and I guarantee that if you read it and practice what you learn, your catch rate will increase dramatically.
Good luck and best fishes!