When presented properly, Steelhead pay more mind to the color of your offering above anything else. Whether you choose to float or drift (yarn balls, jigs or bait), the Chrome Ghosts are more visually attuned more than you or I can ever comprehend. Yes, a third of their brain is dedicated to olfactory sensor receptors (smell), but, the proper combination of color and scent will ensure a sure fire bite from any cooperative fish.
I've had the great privilege of raising many Steelhead anglers, and have experimented with my approach to helping them land their first Steelhead. Some have accosted their first on the spoon, others have punched number one using jigs, and yet others on bait and yarn balls. Hands down, there is nothing more rewarding than watching one of my students enjoy the fullness of taking their first fish on something they made with their own hands. Powerful, provocative and shaking the inner being. For you latent anglers or weathered folk alike, today you'll be learning how to tie Bead Jigs with Reel Priorities.
First, we lay out our materials: predrilled First Bite Beads, 1/8th ounce Aerojig heads, Hareline Dubbin Ultraviolet Krystal Flash, 15 pound Maxima Ultragreen Monofilament, Glo Bug Yarn and Singer Scissors. Make sure not to cheap out on the yarn or the scissors, as both are imperative and crucial components of any craft Steelhead related that you take to.
About my 20th Steelhead along during season one of Steelheading, I decided the time had come to catch something crafted by my own hand. She was a small, compactly built Hatchery Hen, one that fought it's way into my heart, for the time to come. There's something scared about successfully enticing Steelhead by an offering of your own craft, something that I believe is imperative to pursue, as it positively impacts the personal growth and development of the upper echelon Steelhead angler.
One thing I find that affects the number of floats taken under the surface each outing is not the weight of the jig head, but rather the size of the jig body along with the approach and angle of the presentation, in relation to where you believe a particular Steelhead to be sitting. Furthermore, it does help to scent your jigs naturally with Shrimp, otherwise make certain to pack along a bottle of ProCure, to mask the scent of the jig; thoroughly coat the head of the jig along with the monofilament of fluorocarbon leader material it is clinched to (thank you, Timothy Kusherets for this invaluable information).
Depending on the time of day and location of your river approach, remember to work the water close, far, fast and slow; I guarantee you'll increase the amount of fish you hook, with the jigs you tie at home.
Rock to rock. Cast by cast.