Mad River Steelhead Worms
By Terry Wiest
An assortment of Mad River Steelhead Worms ready for action
I've been fishing "pink" worms now for several years with great success. I first started fishing them the "traditional" way, a 6" pink worm with a single hook threaded through. Casting near or even on the bank and drifting the worm along the edges can proove deadly. This was mostly for native fish, but then I started thinking about hatchery brats... why wouldn't it work? Well as we all know it does, and works very well. But when fishing for hatchery fish I generally only use a 3" or 4" worm on a jig head, and yes, it's killer.
Always looking for that edge when it comes to big, wild fish, I recently talked with Bob Kratzer, after all, who's caught more trophy fish then him? He told me it's not just the worm, but the whole worm package - length, girth, action and scent. In his mind, and now in mine, there's one name when it comes to the perfect balance - Mad River!
You'll notice that all of Mad River worms have a paddle tail. This is crucial when it comes to the action - and the size of the tail does make a difference. Those 6" worms with a paddle tail are native calling wigglers that the big boys just can't pass up. Fishing cut banks you can't go wrong throwing these beauties in and letting them get down to business. I prefer fishing the worms under a float still and the 3" worms are perfect for the hatchery fish, 4" for the wild ones. Mad River makes it easy with pre-rigged worm jigs so you know it's already threaded correctly and ready to fish.
Mad River has also come up with the perfect shrimp scent and injected most their worms with this. This is a proven steelhead attracting scent and nothing else is needed. But, on those occasional days when the steelhead don't seem to be interested, they've also come up with unscented worms where all you have to do is add some of your own scent to the ziplock bag that it comes in and you can create your own.
Jig hooks have always been a key componant to hooking fish, Mad River thinks so too - all Mad River pre-rigged worm jigs have Owner hooks.
Another thing you'll notice about Mad River worms is color - not just pink anymore. Now there's multiple shades of pink, orange, peach, red, and even chartruese. Pink is still by far my favorite color and seems to produce most my fish from worms - but - in clear water I've found a new favorite, a Nightmare worm! We all know how effective a nightmare jig can be in clear water, now imagine what a worm in that pattern will do to wild fish...
All the rivers should be filling with the big wild fish about now - make sure you have your Mad River Steelhead Worms in your arsenal.