Double Up When Conditions Change

Extremists Threaten Idaho Steelhead Fishery
February 8, 2019
Landmark Legislation Offers Hope for Columbia River Salmon
February 8, 2019
Show all

Double Up When Conditions Change

Double Up When Conditions Change
By Tyler Comeau

When water conditions begin to drop and winter steelhead start to settle into deeper holes and troughs, sometimes having a little variety in your rig can pay off. Fly anglers have utilized droppers for years to give themselves two flies for the fish to choose from instead of one. I like to do the same thing when fishing beads under floats for winter steelhead.

Using your chosen float fishing bobber rig (fixed or sliding), utilize a typical all-season sized bead (10-12mm) in your most proven colors as the first bead in your rig. I like to peg my beads, and will peg it two-three finger lengths above an egg looped octopus circle hook in size 4.

From the hook, tie on 18 to 22 inches of 8- to 10-pound leader material (fluorocarbon if you prefer, though I think a quality monofilament is fine) using a clinch knot to the bend of the upper (point) hook. Now, add a smaller bead (6-8mm) and feel free to experiment with colors) before you add another octopus circle hook in the same size, or perhaps go smaller with a size 6 hook.

Your finished dropper leader shouldn’t be longer than 18” as longer lengths can cause more hang-ups and can make detecting a bite harder. Be sure to peg your second bead like you did the first, and you’re ready to fish.

Using a smaller dropper bead gives the fish another reason to strike, and it allows you to fish more thoroughly on each pass through the run. I particularly like these rigs when bobber doggin’ out of a boat, and many folks have taken to using small bead droppers while jig fishing as well. Don’t be afraid to fish a Yarnie with a small bait of eggs on the point hook, with a dropper bead below.

Leave a Reply