Welcome to episode 11 of the Deadly White Jig Fishing Challenge. Everything comes full circle in this round as I’m back in my original home state of Missouri fishing the Deadly White Jig on the fish that got it all started, the rainbow trout. As I covered in my first couple of videos about the Deadly White Jig, I discovered this incredibly productive fly pattern many years ago while trying to catch more and bigger trout. I first learned about this highly effective jig from researching the trout fishing tactics of the legendary White River system of southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas, of which I fish often. In particular, I came across a great book entitled Ozark Trout Tales that really opened my eyes to this simple but deadly fishing lure, of which I eventually designed my own versions of and have used almost exclusively while fly fishing all over North America.
To give a little overview of the rainbow trout, they’re one of the most sought after sport fish in the country as they’re a beautiful fish that typically live in beautiful places, they can be quite challenging to catch, and they’re also fantastic to eat. Rainbows are a native fish of many western states, but for areas east of the Rocky Mountains, such as Missouri, they were initially an introduced species which now has both wild and hatchery-raised populations.
The rainbow trout is a member of the salmonidae family of fish and on average is about 10 – 15 inches long and weighs around 1 ½ pounds. However, they can and do get much larger than that, with the current world record weighing in at 48 pounds.
Just like salmon, arctic char, Dolly Varden, and smallmouth bass, the rainbow trout is a cold-water species of fish. Rainbows require water that is below 70°F, which in many states limits them to cold, spring-fed rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs.
Rainbow trout eat many different things but mostly focus on aquatic and terrestrial insects, small crustaceans, and baitfish. While fishing tackle that imitates these food items are most effective, many a big rainbow trout have been caught on the popular prepared trout fishing baits that are on the market, and some, including a former state record, was even caught on a cheese fry.
As I shared in the original first couple of videos I did about the Deadly White Jig, this little white fly is indeed especially deadly on trout and it’s lots of fun to fish on a lightweight fly rod and tippet. Check out the video below to see more…