Tying Twitching Jigs for Salmon
by George Krumm
Twitching Jigs have become one of the most popular river salmon-fishing techniques over the past several years. It’s a technique that is hands-on, can be employed in streams big and small, works for Chinook, coho, pink and chum salmon, and is flat-out fun!
Twitching jigs will cost you $4 or $5 apiece if you buy them. If you tie your own jigs, you can probably cut the price down to about $1 per jig and have a fun hobby to pursue in the winter months.
The chassis of a twitching jig is a lead-head jig. Common weights range from ¼ ounce all the way up to an ounce. The light ones are used in small, relatively shallow rivers while the heavier ones are used in bigger water. Stout 3/0 or 4/0 hooks are used for twitching jig lead-heads for salmon fishing. You can buy lead-heads for twitching jigs from a number of companies. Some are already painted, or you can paint your own. The lead-heads in the video were “painted” with Pro-Tec Powder Paint, then baked in the oven to produce an extremely durable finish.
One of the advantages of tying your own jigs is that you have a nearly unlimited palette of colors you could make. You can also tie them to be more durable than most store-bought twitching jigs.
All the materials to tie twitching jigs are available in your local fly shop, with the exception of the lead-heads. For those, you’ll probably have to order online. As for tying materials, a heavy tying thread like Danville 210 denier flat waxed nylon works well. You can use rabbit strips, marabou, flash, chenille, cactus chenille, rubber legs…The variety of materials and colors is limited only by your imagination.
Twitching jigs don’t need to be complex. Simple ones, like the one tied in the video, produce as well as the most elaborate ones. Matching the weight of the jig to the water being fished, and using good technique, are more important than the complexity of the jig.