Yarn Assortment for Tying Yarn Flies:
“Spools, strips and packets of nylon fishing yarn are available in a wide range of colors, including the fluorescent oranges, reds, pinks, purples and greens that most steelhead anglers prefer. Some of it is tightly braided into cords of various diameters, some packaged in unbraided lengths that can be pulled from the package and cut to size. Yarn Assortment for Tying Yarn Flies Yarn Assortment for Tying Yarn Flies
All these variations in color and texture help to give yarn nearly limitless versatility. You may choose to add a big ball of bright-red yarn behind a large steelhead bobber for added visibility when the water is high and dirty, or to use only two or three strands of pale-pink yarn on a hook all by itself for a subtle approach when looking for spooky fishy in low, clear water. Yarn can be-and often is-used with roe, shrimp and other baits to give them a little more color and visibility.
Most fishing yarn isn’t treated with anything to make it water-resistant, so it quickly absorbs water and is neutrally buoyant. The various steelhead bobbers made of plastic, cork or foam float well up in the water column, so if you fish them on a long leader they may be ignored by bottom-hugging winter steelies. Spoons and spinners, on the other hand, sink quickly to the bottom, where they hang in the rocks if fished too slowly along the bottom. A neutrally buoyant tuft of yarn, though, stays down near where the sinker takes it as it drifts through the water. Fished on an 18- to 24-inch leader below a sinker of the appropriate weight for the river conditions, yarn drifts along just off the bottom, right in the strike zone.
Yarn also has the natural texture and feel of bait, so biting fish tend to hold it longer than other artificials. Cautious steelhead often reject a plastic lure or metal spinner quickly upon sensing that it’s a fake, but inhale a small wad of yarn as if it were a full-meal deal. A fish that holds a bait or lure in its mouth a second longer is a fish that’s more likely to be hooked.
Yarn also has something going for it that no other steelhead offering-bait or lure-has. First, you have to understand that each tooth in a steelhead’s mouth has a barb at the end of it so tiny that most anglers aren’t even aware of it, but it’s big enough to catch the hundreds of fine filaments comprising a tuft of yarn. What happens is the yarn actually gets tangled in a steelhead’s teeth, making it difficult for the fish to expel the lure once it’s in the mouth. Even if a wary fish feels the line tension or otherwise suspects a fraud, it may not be able to spit out a yarn-covered hook as fast as it wants to.
There’s even an economic benefit to using yarn for steelhead. For five dollars a steelheader might be able to afford one good diving plug, a couple of weighted spinners or a three-pack of bobber rigs, all of which may catch their share of fish if they’re not lost to the bottom of some snag-filled river the first morning they’re used. Five dollars’ worth of yarn may get you through an entire season of hard fishing. The hook to which it’s attached and the sinker holding it near the bottom will cost much more than the actual lure.” Yarn Assortment for Tying Yarn Flies Yarn Assortment for Tying Yarn Flies
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