by Les Albjerg
If imitation is the best form of flattery, Chris needs to blush! I put my BFS Daiwa reel on my Tenyru Rayz RZ39LL and took it out for a spin this morning with a Palms Alexandra Yamame 50mm plug. The fun was over too soon! Wilson Springs is as close to a Japanese "Area" as you will find in my neck of the woods. It is pressured, and there are predictable places that are fished often.
This time of the year there are several nice slots that are protected by the overhanging trees. This protected water is accessible, via the underhand cast with a 3 foot 9 inch rod! It was two casts, and two nice carry-over 15-16 inch trout. (They don't plant over 12 inch trout in the springs.) Since I keep fish from here to eat, I achieved my limit in less than 10 minutes!
I would like to say a few words about Japanese plugs as I end this story. Last week fishing up in the mountains, I fished several European plugs, American plugs, and Japanese plugs. The Japanese plugs simply catch more fish! If you look at the boxes of several of them they say in English, "twitching plug." They don't have the radical wiggle of other plugs. The Japanese expect you as the fisherman or woman to manipulate your plug!
I'm still learning, but there are techniques involved in making these plugs effective. I should say, even more effective because simply casting and reeling them in is very productive in my experience. Different plugs work differently too. One thing I really like is the slight delay in the response of the Palms Thumb Shad. I had several followers last week, and with a speeding up of the retrieve, the delay really conveyed a natural escape movement that triggered the fish to pounce! Talk about a thrill!
Today, I didn't get the normal tap-tap that often happens with wary fish at Wilson. Both of these fish slammed the lure! There was no doubt. I've never seen a fish move 4-6 feet to hit a fly, but I have seen them do that to a plug! I've also had them hit the plug and come back and nail it!
You may gulp at the price of the JDM plugs, but they are worth it! They out-fished my other plugs at least 4 to 1, so per fish it didn't take long to recoup my investment. There is a 20 plus inch brook trout in Sawtooth Mountians sporting a Palms Thumb Shad lip ring! It is the only plug I have lost so far. I'm still a novice at learning how to fish them, but they are productive out of the gate! Give one a try at least.
I'm hooked on plugs!