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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