(photo: Trevor Johnson taking a break from college to jig the mighty Missouri a few years ago)
While I sit here after a long weekend of manning the jig engine, watching Jeremy Wade (River Monsters) catch huge fish around the world is quite unnerving. Especially after dad I and had planned to take a short trip east to Fort Peck for the weekend to chase pre-spawn walleye on the full moon.
As we were getting ready to make the final preparations for our trip the forecast changed and not for the best…like I’ve said before, the DAMN wind!! We have learned one to many times it’s not worth driving upwards of five hundred miles one way to sit on shore and watch white caps roar. But golly gee whitefish pie, we sure could use a break from paint fumes and thread bobbins. I’m sure if any of my vendors are ready this they are pleased to know their orders will be filled one week sooner now!!
Content with the decision to stay and work due to weather conditions, I took a short break and visited one of my local fishing spots that stole my heart at a young age. The stretch of river below Hauser Lake is known to many as “The land of the Giants” due to its big rainbows and brown trout. In the springtime, the rainbows make a huge migration from Holter Lake up to their spawning grounds in the river. If you’re a jig fisherman…or want to be…THIS IS THE TIME AND PLACE to become a good stick!!
When I was a child, dad and I spent countless hours on this stretch of river. Rivers, unlike lakes, have a haunting alliance of swirls and eddies that will bring even the most greenhorn fisherman to complete dreamy wonder. It is almost as if time stops, and all back noise becomes distant, while the river, even the very current break your fishing becomes the most important thing in the world. Then, KAPOW!! Your rod gets hit so hard you think there must be Blue Marlin in the Missouri river and then starts the sequence of acrobatic stunts from a super chunky 24” rainbow on the end of your line.
This my friends, is in-fact, what I call “Jiggin the Dream”
A few tips and tricks:
(post by Trevor Johnson of Kit’s Tackle)
- Light jigs work best in this stretch of river for spawning rainbows…I carry 1/8 oz only!!
- Remember, most rainbows have spawning on their minds. You will induce more wild strikes with brighter colored jigs!! Save the crayfish and sculpin patterns for another month or so.
- Cast your jig upriver and work it back to you so there is no line drag against the current imparting unnatural action on the jig. Face the river head on and cast your jig at 9:00 or 3:00 (depending on river side) and work it back directly in front of you then recast.
- Bring a camera…you will need it!!