In rivers and streams that allow bait fishing for steelhead, using cured roe is without doubt the single most effective method. However, there are some problems associated with using eggs. Pike Minnows (AKA Squaw Fish), smolts, turbulent water, rocks, weak or improper cures, and even your target fish can knock the eggs off and you're left with just a bare hook, and you sure won't catch many steelhead that way.
An answer to these problems are the always fishing rigs that combine attractive non-bait yarn with egg loops into a single offering that keeps you fishing 100% of the time.
With either the “Stuffed Corkie Fly” or the “Egg Loop Yarnie ” you really are always fishing. Even when your eggs get knocked off the hook the Glo Bug yarn used in these rigs will entice steelies to bite, hold scents, catch in a steelhead's teeth, keep egg loops tight and offers endless color combinations for all water conditions.
The two always fishing rigs covered in this article are easy to make, effective and inexpensive. The Stuffed Corkie Fly and the Egg Loop Yarnie have been used for steelhead with great results on the Rogue, Umpqua, Chetco, Elk and Sixes rivers and both rigs work well without eggs in areas where bait is not allowed.
STUFFED CORKIE FLY: Stuffed Corkie Flies are easy to make and offer unlimited color combinations.
Items needed: a # 2 hook tied with a 36” leader and egg loop, a Corkie, Glo Bug yarn, 15 inches of 30 lb or 50 lb test braided line, and a good pair of sharp scissors.
How to make: Stuffed Corkie Flies
- Cut a four-inch piece of Glo Bug yarn and separate it in half (length wise) into two equally sized four-inchv long sections. You can also mix yarns colors (i.e. purple & pink) at this point.
- Run the leader up through a corkie and slide the corkie down towards the hook.
- While holding both the corkie and the leader thread the 15” length of braid down (to the hook) through the center hole in the top of the corkie and pull half of the braid through the bottom of the corkie.
- Make a “U-Turn” with the braid and thread it back up through the bottom hole of the corkie leaving an open loop of braid about the size of your finger at the bottom of the corkie.
- Thread one of the divided four-inch long sections of yarn into the loop of braid at the bottom of the corkie. Center the yarn in the loop with equal lengths on both sides.
- Holding the corkie securely with the fingers of one hand, use your other hand to carefully draw the yarn back up through the corkie. Pull the two pieces of braid slowly and evenly and the yarn will slide up through the Corkie. Note; to keep from getting line cuts on your fingers, wrap the braid around the handle of your scissors several times and then pull the yarn through the corkie.
- Once the tip of the yarn pokes through the top of the Corkie stop pulling, release one end of the braid and draw the braid out of the exposed tip of yarn.
- Trim the hook-side end of the Glo Bug yarn as desired and slide the Stuffed Corkie down to the hook.
The Stuffed Corkie is now ready to use and will grip your leader much like a nail knot does. Simply slide the Stuffed Corkie up the leader, open your egg loop and put the eggs on your hook, draw the egg loop tight and then slide the Stuffed Corkie back down the leader to the eye of the hook. The Stuffed Corkie will now keep your egg loop tight, hold scent, catch in the teeth of a steelhead and work like a yarn fly.
Stuffed Corkie Fly with eggs.
EGG LOOP YARNIE: If you can tie a traditional egg loop you can tie the EGG LOOP YARNIE.
Items needed: # 2 hook, fluorocarbon leader and Glo Bug yarn and a good pair of sharp scissors.
How to make: “Egg Loop Yarnies”
- Thread the leader through the eye of the hook and along the shank.
- Extend the leader tip along the shank until it's about four inches past the bend in your hook.
- Make a “U Turn” with the leader tip and bring it back through the eye of the hook so that at least two inches of leader extends past the eye of the hook.
- Leave a loop of leader, about the size of you finger, extended past the bend in the hook.
- Finish tying a “Traditional” egg loop knot. Be careful not to tangle the extra loop in your egg loop knot.
- You now have a traditional egg loop with an extra loop that extends past the bend in the hook.
- Thread and center three 2.5 ” long pieces of Glow Bug Yarn into the loop at the bend in the hook.
- Holding the bend of the hook tightly with a pair of needle nose or vise grip pliers, carefully pull the short section of leader, extending through the eye of the hook, as tight as you can without breaking the leader.
- The yarnie is now ready for shaping. Use a small pair of sharp scissors to trim the Glo Bug yarn into a small ball about the size of your thumb nail.
The Egg Loop Yarnie is now ready to use. Simply open the egg loop that's in front of the yarnie and place your eggs on the hook and tighten. As with the Stuffed Corkie the Egg Loop Yarnie will hold scent, catch in a steelhead's teeth and entice fish to bite even when the eggs get knocked off your hook.
These combos can be pre-tied in an assortment of colors and work well with or without eggs.
- written by Chuck Closterman