Trout Shoot

Try a drop-shot rig on the stream this spring.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Drop-shotting was developed in Japan as a "finesse" technique for fishing the heavily pressured bass waters there. Although normally associated with bass fishing, the presentation also has great potential for trout streams.

The Basics
In its simplest form, a drop-shot rig consists of a lure or hook attached to the main line using a Palomar knot, with a 10- to 18-inch tag end to which a weight is tied. In use, the rig is cast near a likely holding area, where the weight holds it in place. Maintaining a tight line, the rod is jiggled slightly to impart a quivering action to the bait or lure.

1. Instead of using a Palomar knot to attach the lure, blood-knot a piece of leader material to the main line. 2. Leave a 4- to 6-inch tag of the main line to attach the lure.

3. For weight, use removable split shot, attaching as many as necessary to hold bottom in the current. Split shot allows quick adjustment and prevents snags, since it can slide off easily.

4. Initial drop-shot rigs involved streamers, which tend to produce very well. Drop-shot rigs tied with marabou are especially effective because of the lifelike breathing action they display when given a shivering motion. In New England, consider the Grey Ghost, Black Ghost and Green Ghost, all tied with marabou. Dark-colored Woolly Buggers are great for this method, too.

Working the Rig
When the rig comes to rest on the bottom, barely jiggle the rod. If you don't feel a strike after a minute or so, raise the rod tip enough to dislodge the weight, let it drift several feet downstream and jiggle again.