This ‘fly’ fishing is close to jigging

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In the last couple of years there’s been considerable buzz in the freshwater fly fishing world concerning, so-called, “balanced flies.”

Tied on a jig hook, balanced flies are almost exclusively fished below a bobber (er, I mean ‘strike indicator)’ and are designed to rest horizontal in the water.

When the bobber is pulled, the fly rises and moves forward, then settles back down.

This action is no doubt enticing to many species of fish, including trout, perch, bass, pike and walleye.

Spin fishers have been dragging jigs behind bobbers, probably for centuries, so the recent hype among fly fishers seems, in many cases, to be unwarranted.

Longer rod. Floating line. Single action reel.

Adding a beadhead, in place of a leadhead, helps the fly drop quickly.

As the photo shows, a beadhead can be added to the fly by threading it onto a brass brad and securing the brad to the anterior part of the hook.

Another, much less expensive, option is to shorten a beadhead pin. Brightly colored beadhead pins are available at hobby stores.

If you want a beadheaded fly to drop faster, wrap a few turns of lead behind the eye.

Two years ago, during early season fishing on Mission Lake, balanced flies fished over shoreline drop-offs were fooling lots of fish.

You can tie just about any favorite pattern on jig hooks and take advantage of the jigging action.

My two favorite balanced fly patterns are a small pheasant-tail clawed crayfish and a generic streamer tied with Arizona Simi-Seal.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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