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I read this.... When the rivers start dropping to their summer levels, this can be the best time for sight fishing for summer steelhead. Wear darker color clothing and use polarized glasses to spot resting fish. Once you spot a fish cast your offering 20-25 feet in front of the fish and let it drift naturally towards the fish. Keep your slack line to a minimum and if you're lucky, you can watch the fish take your jig. Red, black and purple combinations work great this time of the year.

...and have questions (thanks mark-first cast, and all you folks who post your tips, though your post addresses sight fishing, using jigs to do it is new to me.)

Ive never really studied jig fishing, and have tried it only a few times side drifting seams. I try to make a mental note of different set ups I see on the river, (Zaq, Boedy, etc.) need some more detail on jigging summer fish.

Leader lenghts and weight specificly. Where is the best position for the jig relative to the distance from the bottom (or top) of the water. Summer time brings shallows that seem impossible to fish anything suspended under a bobber without dragging the bottom. Im guessing this isnt the prefered presentation for a jig?.

Also, does anyone modify the colors on the first cast jig heads? Painted eyes or ??
Does anyone cut the jig bodies to a specific shape or size? Prefered scent?? Mark, Ill definately be buying more when I think I can use them properly.

Post what works for you folks!

Thanks in advance.

[ 07-07-2003, 07:08 AM: Message edited by: cirrhosis-of-the-river ]
 

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is summer steelie jig fishing a first light/last light affair or can you do well closer to the middle? i love jig fishing but am somewhat averse to getting up at 2am to go fishing. also, i don't particularly care for dealing with the splashers that show up around 10:30am so i won't be fishing high noon either.
 

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I just started jig fishing this winter. Didn't do anything. I was discouraged, but after seeing a lot of posts about successful summer steelhead jig fisherman, I was ready to make the commitment. I bought a longer rod and another reel. When May rolled around my first trip out to the river, first time ever really attempting to fish jigs correctly, I was rewarded with two fish! I didn't know if it was a fluke. The next weekend I got another one on jigs. Well, to make a long story short, I've been doing quite well this year, and I've only hooked one fish on anything but a jig.
Leader - take a look at the situation. I usually have between a 1-3 foot leader. I've caught fish on all of these lengths. Deeper slots and pools, longer leader. White water, fast moving water, shorter leader. You don't want the jig to be dragging on the bottom, but sometimes slots change depths from beginning to end, so adjust your length a number of times, and try that.
I don't modify anything aspect of my jigs. I have some that have different colored heads, but when the color comes off, I don't worry about it. The fish don't care, either. I don't use scent, although Mark suggested to me in an e-mail that using scent was a good thing. Maybe next weekend we can get together and I can show you a thing or two! :cool:
 

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Originally posted by ampersat:
is summer steelie jig fishing a first light/last light affair or can you do well closer to the middle? i love jig fishing but am somewhat averse to getting up at 2am to go fishing. also, i don't particularly care for dealing with the splashers that show up around 10:30am so i won't be fishing high noon either.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Got a nice steelie on a jig last weekend at high noon with the sun shining right down on the water.
 

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cirrhosis

My set-up for summer steelhead jig fishing is as simple as you can get. I usually run 8# test and use a fixed float. My preference is the small round corks. I've floated these directly over fish and they don't get spooked. The 1 1/4" cork works great for the smaller jigs. Run your line through the cork and tie directly to the jig. Slide your mainline up or down according to the depth you want to fish. Summer steelhead will often be suspended several feet off of the bottom so you don't have to be hugging the bottom of the river.

As the summer progresses and the water temperature rises, the more aggressive fish will be holding in the riffles that lead into a drift. You can still find biters in deeper holes but the majority of the aggressive biting fish will be tucked in the faster water that has cover. This can be as shallow as one foot. To fish water like this simply shorten the distance between the jig and your float.

In June the majority of the fish I caught were by site fishing. That is I spotted the resting fish and watched them take the bait. In cases like this you don't need to wait for the float to go under because you can see the fish take your offering.

I've never had a reason to paint the nickel-plated jig heads. Even in the lowest summer levels the fish don't seem to care. On my small jigs the feathers don't need to be altered at all. You can add scent and the feathers will be fine. Anise has been one of my favorite scents. Shrimp/anise scent from TBC to be exact.

Mark
 

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A little different twist to the sight fishing with jigs.......Try a jig heavy enough to sit down on the bottom where you are fishing. Use no bobber. Cast the jig about 10 - 15 feet up river from the steelhead and hop the jig about six inches at a time. As you hop the jig the current will move the jig towards the fish. The fish cant resist this more than a couple of passes. You may see the fish move out of the way of the jig but be persistant. May take a couple of drifts. Hang on, this will be one of the best strikes you have had. Works extremly well on the Mckenzie (very clear water) with a black jig. I have found this to work better than the bobber drift. Good luck.
 

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They'll take the jigs all day long, bright days, dark days, doesn't matter.

I like a sliding bobber, and I use much bigger jigs than a lot of folks. I tie up my own, and they're about 3 inches long!!! I prefer dark jigs if the water is warm, and then lighter jigs once the water cools in september.
 
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