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Tying Jigs and Wolf River Rigs

I have tied about everything - from musky flies to Spey flies to dainty Catskill dry flies to size 32 midges. Tying is a creative endeavor, using hair, feathers, and synthetics to build something that looks like something living. Most of my tying is rather "delicate" - tying for spring creek trout. I enjoy tying streamers, probably more than I enjoy fishing them (though that's pretty fun too!). Tying jigs and other spin / bait casting lures is really no different. Yet is it rather refreshing to tie something else for a change.

Black over purple bucktail fly
A fly for a Wolf River rig for the Mississippi River - basically a simple bucktail fly.

Recently a former student asked me to tie some flies for Wolf River rigs for fishing Walleye on the Mississippi River. So I tied a mess of simple flies meant to be fished on a 3-way rig for the dark waters of the Big Muddy. I have tied commercially, a bit, and it is not my favorite thing. My commercial tying experiences are tying some CDC and Elk and some crickets for the Driftless Angler in exchange for store credit. I have not really sought out more opportunities because it is not my favorite thing to do. Tying dozens of the same flies, tying to get them all to look as similar as possible is, well, boring. I prefer tying to be more creative and have a great bit of respect for those that can sit down and crank our dozens of the same thing. To tie a few of these, then a couple of those. Not sitting down and tying ten dozen of the same fly. No doubt, it makes you a better tier but it is anything but creative.

Flies for Mississippi River Walleye.
A mess of bucktail flies destined for the Mississipp River's dark waters and its Walleyes.

The same creativity to tie flies goes into tying jigs, trailer hooks for crankbaits and topwaters, and flies for Wolf River rigs. Many of the same ties you have use for flies will make good jigs. A woolly bugger on a jig will make for a good Walleye jig. Lefty's deceiver on a swim jig hook will make for a great presentation.

I don't know that I have a lot to write about in this post other than, give it a try. Mostly just a bunch of photos of flies, errr, jigs below...

Pile of jigs.
A mess of jig and swim jigs tied up to be sent off to a friend.
Bucktail is probably my favorite tying material - a little bucktail and flash makes for a nice jig.
Swim jig deceiver
A deceiver on a swim jig head.

And a couple of shots of a crayfish jig.

Give it a go for yourself. It's a fun bit of tying and a way to catch fish on your own creations, much like fly fishing. Let us know in the comments how it goes!

Some other places to look for some inspiration:

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Geoff Roznak
Geoff Roznak
Mar 08, 2022

It is fun to fiddle around and try different's how I learn. Good post, thanks!

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