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Old 12-25-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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Default Corky and Yarn question

New guy on the boards, I've quietly lurked and gained some valuable insight. So with my new membership I wanted to see what advice was available for my new Corky and Yarn addiction. I've grown tired of losing lures and spending time making valant efforts to get them unstuck, I've tinkered with bobber and jig, no results, and now Corky and Yarn.

Most of my steelhead fishing is on the Deschutes. I had good success with gear, but my wallet did not. This season I officially went all Corky and Yarn. I've had a few hook ups with this method, I feel confident, but I have no idea how many I'm missing. I'm told this for a gear guy is the most difficult, it seems easy enough, so again maybe I'm ignorant, but it's bliss right? So tips would be great, colors, leader length, techniques, etc. Any of you fish this method on the Lower D?

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Old 12-25-2011, 04:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

Years ago we fished the island just south of the freeway bridge. Most of the time we were the ONLY people there.

Egg Fluorescent with either orange or white yarn.
Pearelscent pink with pink or white yarn.

That was about 90% of what we used.

Leader length was normally around 2'.

Always on a noodle rod.
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

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Originally Posted by Hook and Book View Post
New guy on the boards, I've quietly lurked and gained some valuable insight. So with my new membership I wanted to see what advice was available for my new Corky and Yarn addiction. I've grown tired of losing lures and spending time making valant efforts to get them unstuck, I've tinkered with bobber and jig, no results, and now Corky and Yarn.

Most of my steelhead fishing is on the Deschutes. I had good success with gear, but my wallet did not. This season I officially went all Corky and Yarn. I've had a few hook ups with this method, I feel confident, but I have no idea how many I'm missing. I'm told this for a gear guy is the most difficult, it seems easy enough, so again maybe I'm ignorant, but it's bliss right? So tips would be great, colors, leader length, techniques, etc. Any of you fish this method on the Lower D?
Something I have been using for years is the "Doublecross".
Saw it on a video and they work really well. Usually a size 10 or 12 Corkie. Flame orange or glow Sunrise (peach) are my favorites both with UV yarn in either white or chartreuse. CAREFULLY drill a 5/64" hole in the Corkie perpendicular to the factory hole. Put your leader through the factory hole NOW with the hook pre-tied. Use a loop of leader through the drilled hole to suck a chunk of your favorite yarn back through the drilled hole. Cut the yarn to about 3/8" so the rig has sideburns. Your favorite scent on the Doublecross will stir up some interest. The yarn pulsates in the water and puts off a great scent trail. Used with an egg loop and shrimp or eggs this is a killer drifter. Works even better with a slinkie with scent on the weight and the line too!
Good luck!
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

interesting set up...the video you watched for tying it, was that something available on youtube? I definitely think there's something to the yarn pulsing in the water, I've tried to make yarn balls that do that, but so far I'm not too successful. Thanks for the info!

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Something I have been using for years is the "Doublecross".
Saw it on a video and they work really well. Usually a size 10 or 12 Corkie. Flame orange or glow Sunrise (peach) are my favorites both with UV yarn in either white or chartreuse. CAREFULLY drill a 5/64" hole in the Corkie perpendicular to the factory hole. Put your leader through the factory hole NOW with the hook pre-tied. Use a loop of leader through the drilled hole to suck a chunk of your favorite yarn back through the drilled hole. Cut the yarn to about 3/8" so the rig has sideburns. Your favorite scent on the Doublecross will stir up some interest. The yarn pulsates in the water and puts off a great scent trail. Used with an egg loop and shrimp or eggs this is a killer drifter. Works even better with a slinkie with scent on the weight and the line too!
Good luck!
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pensacola View Post
Something I have been using for years is the "Doublecross".
Saw it on a video and they work really well. Usually a size 10 or 12 Corkie. Flame orange or glow Sunrise (peach) are my favorites both with UV yarn in either white or chartreuse. CAREFULLY drill a 5/64" hole in the Corkie perpendicular to the factory hole. Put your leader through the factory hole NOW with the hook pre-tied. Use a loop of leader through the drilled hole to suck a chunk of your favorite yarn back through the drilled hole. Cut the yarn to about 3/8" so the rig has sideburns. Your favorite scent on the Doublecross will stir up some interest. The yarn pulsates in the water and puts off a great scent trail. Used with an egg loop and shrimp or eggs this is a killer drifter. Works even better with a slinkie with scent on the weight and the line too!
Good luck!
Thats like rigging up steelhead rags, which are unusually effective and a very old design. Drilling a hole in a corkie is a novel approach and worth a shot.

To offer a more general answer to the original post, spoons cover a lot more ground in a single pass. I would say the spoon is more effective in most flat water. If its really snaggy, drift gear will be lost more often than jig and float.

The poster didnt mention how he presents the lure or how its cast or fished. It might be worth trying some weedless siwash hooks. You can find them in the bass gear center. Dont use lead ahead of the lures and dont cast too far upstream and wait for the lure to hit bottom and then retrieve it. Its a guessing game, but thats just part of the game.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

Marc Davis is the one who put out the video. He also has books out there. He did a write up on the doublecross in an issue of STS a few years ago as well.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

My Drift rig on the Big -D is Pea sized dark Orange corky , slid down on a single hook with a tuft of yarn. I use several different colors ( not all at once) but do use 2 colors at the same time quite often.

For Steelies I prefer brass and copper.

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Old 12-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

The double cross meathod of rigging corkies is my favorite way to rig them.... one piece of advice when pulling the yarn through the drilled hole is to not pull it completly through the corkie. just pull it enough to get the fold of the yarn to the top of the corky. This makes the yarn a lot harder to pull out when taken by a fish and allows it to be used longer....because once that yarn gets pulled out that corkie will slip right over the hook with it's bigger drilled hole.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

Another thing you may want to consider is to go only with yarn, ditch the corkie all together. Many years ago I met an old timer on the Sandy. He was using nothing more than a couple pieces of yarn snugged up inside the egg loop. He tells me he can imitate any color corkie you could buy, and yarn is much cheaper than corkies. He proceeds to catch about a half dozen steelhead that day (this was in the old days on the Sandy), while I managed only one on my pink pearl. I started using nothing but yarn soon after that, and now am a firm believer.



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Old 12-26-2011, 08:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

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Originally Posted by Radke View Post
Another thing you may want to consider is to go only with yarn, ditch the corkie all together. Many years ago I met an old timer on the Sandy. He was using nothing more than a couple pieces of yarn snugged up inside the egg loop. He tells me he can imitate any color corkie you could buy, and yarn is much cheaper than corkies. He proceeds to catch about a half dozen steelhead that day (this was in the old days on the Sandy), while I managed only one on my pink pearl. I started using nothing but yarn soon after that, and now am a firm believer.



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Add a" little " bit of eggs to this and you can pretty well catch any steelhead on the planet. Add a bobber to this setup and it gets even better in the right water. This method works just as good today for me as it did 40 years ago. Just have a little better gear than I did then. If you think about it Bobber fisher is just another method of drift fishing. It allows you to fish slow water that you could not otherwise fish effectively. Using these two methods in the right water you will catch fish. Simplicty is a wonderful thing. A lot of people have forgotten that. Just my
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

I appreciate the feedback and suggestions. I've tossed lures for the most part. Using 10 o'clock/11 o'clock up river as a guide and retrieve at 2 or 3 o'clock, usually where most my hook ups occured. I love this method in terms of immediate feedback on a strike, but man on the Deschutes it's not unusual to lose a half dozen or dozen lures or more depending on the location or duration of the trip. I was originally taught to let the lure bounce the bottom with no or limit retrieval. Wierd based on the fact when I was using using rooster tails for trout, we casted and retrieved immediately, so I'm geussing not the same with chromers.

So over the years, I've committed to the fact you need to make a few donations, before you land a reward. As for jig/bobber, I've tried and tried, but simply no results. This style looks like a blast, but based on the fact I've yet to get even a bite, my confidence is not as high using that method.

As for Corky and Yarn, I've only had a few hook ups, but the ones I have experienced, were very large fish. So based on the size of fish I was getting, the fact it's a little easier to drift without the casualties, I've grown more favorable for this method. However I am concerned for how many I'm missing or could be missing and not even know it. I'll also add that I enjoy tying these up at night, sort of a spin gear guys way of fly tying, if you will. But when I do talk to some more experienced Corky and Yarn folks, they remind me how difficult the method is and how many fish you can easily miss. So I'm hoping to improve my indication of strikes, improve my presentation, and make sure I'm even using the right method fo my main fishing hole the deschutes. As most fly fish or lure fish.






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Originally Posted by SturgeonKing50 View Post
Add a" little " bit of eggs to this and you can pretty well catch any steelhead on the planet. Add a bobber to this setup and it gets even better in the right water. This method works just as good today for me as it did 40 years ago. Just have a little better gear than I did then. If you think about it Bobber fisher is just another method of drift fishing. It allows you to fish slow water that you could not otherwise fish effectively. Using these two methods in the right water you will catch fish. Simplicty is a wonderful thing. A lot of people have forgotten that. Just my
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:27 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Re: Corky and Yarn question

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Originally Posted by Hook and Book View Post
I appreciate the feedback and suggestions. I've tossed lures for the most part. Using 10 o'clock/11 o'clock up river as a guide and retrieve at 2 or 3 o'clock, usually where most my hook ups occured. I love this method in terms of immediate feedback on a strike, but man on the Deschutes it's not unusual to lose a half dozen or dozen lures or more depending on the location or duration of the trip........
Use a heavier mainline and siwash hooks when fishing spoons or spinners. Personally, I find that I lose a lot less spinners with 12 or 15# test than when I'm using 10#. If a fish is going to hit a big shiny obnoxious lure, it probably isn't going to be shying away from a little heavier line......

If you still plan on using corky and yarn, use brighter shades (fluorescent) when the water is dirty, and use muted or softer colors when the water clears. I like oranges,pinks,reds and blacks for my colors,regardless of where I'm fishing for steelhead.

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Old 12-26-2011, 10:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

As for fishing spinners if you aren't loosing spinners your not fishing them right... you want them bouncing along the bottom during most of your drift with a spinner or spoon. Also make sure that you let your spinner swing all the way through the hole and sit at the tail end of the drift for a couple seconds as on the D this can be very productive.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

Leader length is determined by water clarity, the clearer the water the longer the leader you should consider. In very clear water that may mean a leader that’s 30 inches long as compared to the more normal 18-to-22 inch leader. Fluorocarbon leaders add considerable stealth to your presentation. Fluorocarbon is virtually invisible in the water making it an ideal leader material for steelhead. Because of this quality you can bump up in leader weight making 10-to-20 pound test the preferred range for fluorocarbon leaders.

Single hook size can range from as small as a 6 up to a size 3/0, but most anglers prefer to rig a size 1 or 1/0 combined with a size 10 or 8 Lil Corky for average river conditions. You’ll want to match your hook size to the drift bobber size you’re using being careful not to combine too small a hook with too large a drift bobber. If you do, the result will be missed fish as the hook will be overshadowed by the drift bobber making hook-ups difficult at best.

The “egg loop,” is the standard knot used in attaching your hook to your leader. This snell creates a “loop” that can be easily opened and closed by pushing the line back through the eye of the hook and used to attach bait, like an egg cluster or spawn bag to your offering. You can tie your own or purchase pre-tied leaders at most sporting goods stores that service steelhead fisheries.

Lil Corky and Spin-N-Glo make excellent drift bobbers, often imitating egg cluster or other forage. The round egg image the Lil Corky provides is a proven fish catcher, while the sonic vibration produced by Spin-N-Glo is what makes this buoyant spinner so enticing to fish. Their buoyancy resists the current so they float within easy reach of steelhead and keep your hook just above bottom resulting in fewer hang ups. When rivers are running turbid you may increase your odds of success by giving the fish a larger offering; for example, something they can see, by stacking two Lil Corky in tandem or stepping up to a larger 6 or 4 Lil Corky size and corresponding larger hook. Likewise, when rivers are running clear a size 14 or 12 Lil Corky may be all you need to trigger strikes.

Lil Corky Hook Size Chart
Size 14 #6 single hook
Size 12 #4 or 6 single hook
Size 10 #2 or 1 single hook
Size 8 #1 or 1/0 single hook
Size 6 #1/0 or 2/0 single hook
Size 4 #3/0 single hook
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

Great advice Buzz! Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts on this topic. Always appreciated .
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

Wow...I'm incredibly humbled by your advice, as I've been by the other perils of wisdom dropped, thanks so much. Funny you happened across this thread and provided insight. I just read an article on this very subject matter where you were cited, along with a photo of one of your suggested set ups; STS (this months issue). I was completely suprised by the simplicity, which gave me more enthusiasm to attempt the set up, man how I wish there was a river system close to me right now in shape with a prayer for fish to test this! The set up example was a barrel swivle and a clamped lead weight at the back or front of the swivle to cut down on line twists; depending on the reel/rod set up. Brilliant and cured my next delimia, line tangles!

I'm very encouraged by this method of fishing yet intimidated to some degree. My only intimidation at this point is what I've consistently heard in terms of the difficulty associated with this method feeling fish bump your gear or the ability to actually hook them. Hell I've even considered going to "fly fishing", since this method in some minor fashions seems to be similar.

Funny how such a subtle set up can be so tough to master is what I continually tell myself. I appreciate the advice on line type, tests, and leader length. I'm definitely going to make these adjustments, as well as the suggestion for how to attach the lead weight from STS. I'm feeling more confident since reading that article that I'll not only prevent line twists, but also feel bites more readily versus the standard sliding slinky weight system I had been using? At any rate your response and the recent STS articles have helped to further my passion for this method over many others, not saying it's the best or I won't try others, I just happen to feel more confidence (blind or not) with this method.


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Leader length is determined by water clarity, the clearer the water the longer the leader you should consider. In very clear water that may mean a leader that’s 30 inches long as compared to the more normal 18-to-22 inch leader. Fluorocarbon leaders add considerable stealth to your presentation. Fluorocarbon is virtually invisible in the water making it an ideal leader material for steelhead. Because of this quality you can bump up in leader weight making 10-to-20 pound test the preferred range for fluorocarbon leaders.

Single hook size can range from as small as a 6 up to a size 3/0, but most anglers prefer to rig a size 1 or 1/0 combined with a size 10 or 8 Lil Corky for average river conditions. You’ll want to match your hook size to the drift bobber size you’re using being careful not to combine too small a hook with too large a drift bobber. If you do, the result will be missed fish as the hook will be overshadowed by the drift bobber making hook-ups difficult at best.

The “egg loop,” is the standard knot used in attaching your hook to your leader. This snell creates a “loop” that can be easily opened and closed by pushing the line back through the eye of the hook and used to attach bait, like an egg cluster or spawn bag to your offering. You can tie your own or purchase pre-tied leaders at most sporting goods stores that service steelhead fisheries.

Lil Corky and Spin-N-Glo make excellent drift bobbers, often imitating egg cluster or other forage. The round egg image the Lil Corky provides is a proven fish catcher, while the sonic vibration produced by Spin-N-Glo is what makes this buoyant spinner so enticing to fish. Their buoyancy resists the current so they float within easy reach of steelhead and keep your hook just above bottom resulting in fewer hang ups. When rivers are running turbid you may increase your odds of success by giving the fish a larger offering; for example, something they can see, by stacking two Lil Corky in tandem or stepping up to a larger 6 or 4 Lil Corky size and corresponding larger hook. Likewise, when rivers are running clear a size 14 or 12 Lil Corky may be all you need to trigger strikes.

Lil Corky Hook Size Chart
Size 14 #6 single hook
Size 12 #4 or 6 single hook
Size 10 #2 or 1 single hook
Size 8 #1 or 1/0 single hook
Size 6 #1/0 or 2/0 single hook
Size 4 #3/0 single hook
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

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I'm definitely going to make these adjustments, as well as the suggestion for how to attach the lead weight from STS. I'm feeling more confident since reading that article that I'll not only prevent line twists, but also feel bites more readily versus the standard sliding slinky weight system I had been using?
what exactly is this "new" way of attaching weights? id be interested to see what they came up with now.
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

I caught my first steelhead 51 years ago on a red and green yarnie, no bait. For many years after that, there were only three rigs available to me at least: 1) okie; 2) eggs; and 3) okie with eggs.

At one point, corkies became popular, and I made a fairly significant switch, although I did keep a supply of okies on hand and now use them sparingly. The "standard" way to rig was a corkie with a tuft of yarn on the hook for added attraction, to hold scent, and to keep fish on the line a little longer by catching the fish's teeth in the yarn. Has worked great for many years, BUT...

There are times...when a plain, naked corkie will outfish anything, including bait, yarnies, etc. The corkie needs to be perfectly matched with the hook size so it "bounces" along through the drift and it is very important to make sure you keep the belly and slack out of your line as much as possible so you can set the hook quickly when you get a strike. Many times, I have gotten a hard, jolting strike on a plain corkie in a drift that had been already been fished thoroughly with bait, and various corkie and yarn combos. Go figure!
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

This may be a really basic point to make but when I started drift fishing, I was doing it with a spin casting rod. It wasnt until a few of my buddies brow beat me into purchasing a bait casting setup that I really started finding drift fishing success. I cant tell you how many fish I have hooked by being able to extend my drift with the "proper" setup.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: Corky and Yarn question

Tell me a little more about the bait casting set up and how that works differently than the typical spinning set up, if you don't mind. I'm currently using a spinning reel, I fish from the bank as I've stated most/all my fishing is on the deschutes, which excludes fishing from a boat. I only add that due to the fact I'm not sure if that makes a difference for why you would select or fish with a bait casting set up or spinning gear?

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This may be a really basic point to make but when I started drift fishing, I was doing it with a spin casting rod. It wasnt until a few of my buddies brow beat me into purchasing a bait casting setup that I really started finding drift fishing success. I cant tell you how many fish I have hooked by being able to extend my drift with the "proper" setup.
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