G. Loomis Rods

The Jig Dropper

Running a dropper off of a jig has been around for quite a while and has proven itself ultra effective for taking both summer and winter steelhead in low, clear water. The theory behind the dropper is simple. Show them something different! If they don't want the jig maybe the dropper will entice them into biting. Until recently running a dropper meant tying a section of leader material directly onto the hook of the jig, which then turned the jig into the "weakest link" when a fish was hooked or when tension was put on the rig. While this method of running a dropper certainly works it can pose some problems, especially when fishing thin wire hooks.

Over the Edge Tackle (www.otetackle.com), formerly known as Osprey Tackle, has come up with an ingenius cure for this dilemma. They've added a second eye to the bottom of the jig head. Duh! Why didn't I think of that! Obviously, the second eye adds a convenient place for attaching a dropper and under tension doesn't put undue stress on the jig hook.

Along with the double-eyed jig head Over the Edge Tackle has also introduced a slick drifter called the Lite Brite. The Lite Brite is tyed on a small tube that slides onto a steelhead leader, making it the perfect dropper rig. Not only has it proven itself useful as a dropper, we've also had success both drift and float fishing the Lite Brite on it's own. On several occasions this past winter during low water conditions the Lite Brite fished with a small corky and a dab of Pautske's Krill paste produced our only fish. The materials used in the Lite Brite give it a slight shimmer in the water and the same material gives the drifter some movement in the rivers current, making it enticing for a steelhead to pick up.

In addition to the Lite Brite other excellent droppers to run off of a jig include Jensen Eggs, small shrimp tails, roe, egg patterns, and pink worms. When fishing high traffic areas such as those around some of the major steelhead hatcheries in the Northwest the dropper rig can produce when nothing else seems to be working. This is when the "show them something different" approach can really pay off!

Brady Martin with a wild February steelhead that picked up a Lite Brite drifter fished with a size 10 Corky.

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