Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Double Ugly Rig

Trout I caught on a jig/fly tandem rig last week were about
evenly divided between taking the jig and the fly.
Fly-fishermen commonly use dropper flies, drifting a nymph beneath a bushy dry fly, a pair of nymphs or some other combination, and I've recently found good pond fishing success with by trailing a No. 10 or 12 Hare's Ear or other nymph behind an Ugly Bug, which is my name for any hair jig I tie. The idea of the rig is have something a bit smaller and freer moving trailing the Ugly Bug. When a fish turns on the bigger bug but resists hitting, the smaller offering behind it provides a second chance at an easier target.

Knowing I'd be fishing mountain streams last week, I tied up a handful if "Ugly Nymphs," creating buggy offerings from fur, feathers and No. 8 (the smallest size I had at the time) Daiichi Bleeding Bait octopus-style hooks. I didn't try them at the Nantahala because the stream was high and somewhat stained, so the fish were already in reaction mode. Big Snowbird was super clear, though, so after we'd fished a while I decided to tie a bit of 4-pound leader to the bend of my Ugly Bug hook and tie an Ugly Nymph to the terminal end. The one I chose was all peacock, with a narrow, peacock wrapped body and a few short strands of peacock hurl creating a tail. It looked buggy to me, but I'm not a trout.

Some fish agreed. Whether I caught more fish than I would have without it I really don't know, but my catch was split about half and half between the jig and the fly from the time I added the trailer, so I tend to think that at least a couple of those fish would not have hit the jig alone.

I've since gotten some smaller hooks of the same style, and I have some specific bugs in mind that I want to tie and try. In other words, the Double Ugly experiment has only just begun!

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