Jig style flies are nothing new and have taken the industry by storm over the last few years, from the Kilowatt steelhead pattern to the Balanced Leech and a host of old standbys being adapted to smaller versions of these oddly configured hooks. The jig ain't up by any means. Chum salmon are a worthy adversary on a fly rod by all accounts and will take various presentations and patterns on their upstream journey home.
One of the best tactics we've found is to dead drift a fly slightly above their level in the stream and pulse the rod tip occasionally, imparting a twitching action. The easiest way to achieve this presentation is by using a strike indicator (aka bobber). We really like the big buoyant Air Lock indicators. You can be really precise about setting your depth and wonderful byproduct of fishing this way is that you'll rarely if ever foul hook salmon. Few conundrums in life are as troublesome as a chum hooked in the bum, for both parties involved.
The Jiggler takes its name from a funny little character with lots of wiggly waving appendages featured in the kids' series Adventuretime. The pink/purple version tied here is a definite hit for chum, but varieties in pink/orange, chartreuse/pink and black/purple work well at times too. Don't be surprised if you hook a big late season hook-nose coho or two on the Jiggler. They like this one too!
The Jiggler Recipe:
Hook: #1 Gamakatsu 60 Degree Jig Hook
Thread: 140 Denier Purple Ultra Thread
Eyes: Medium Nickel Plated Lead Eyes
Tail: 2 Strips of Purple/Hot Pink Two Toned Rabbit
Flash: Fuschia Flashabou #6914
Body: Opal Purple Estaz Grande
Head: Fl. Red/Pearl Speckled Chenille wound around eyes
Legs: Purple Medium Round Rubber Legs (2 per side)
Collar: Purple Schlappen
The Confluence Beer Pairing: Drink Chuckanut Brewery's fabulous Dunkel Lager when you tie the Jiggler. We certainly did at last month's Confluence Tying Night that they were kind enough to host. It's a rich mahogany-toned elixir with malty, chocolatey notes, the essence of fall in a cold glass. If the 7 prominent medals it's won since 2009 in various beer festivals and tastings isn't enough for you, the word of two esteemed beer infused fly shop monkeys should be. Drink up and jiggle away!