How to Make a Durable Yarnie for Steelhead

There is obviously more then one way to tie a yarnie. When it comes to creating Steelhead lures I want to be certain of two things. One, what I am using needs to look and perform as I envisioned it and two, I want to make sure it’s durable.

Having confidence in what you are offering and not having to worry if it looks good or is fishing right takes some of the guess work out of it. Something as simple as a yarnie is no different.

The easiest way to create a yarnie, or as my buddies in Idaho refer to it “fishin fuzz”, is to simply put two or three colors of yarn in your egg loop. This actually works pretty good, but eventually it seems to always come out of the loop.

I like to take a few extra steps to create a yarnie that has great color and will fish well. To do this I first select three or four colors of yarn. To make it easier to work with and keep the yarn together I pull it through something. I usually use an old slinky-shot bottle cap, but an oversize straw also works well.

I hold the cap in my hand and with a couple of inches of yarn pulled out I use some of Altlas Mikes Miracle Thread and do a simple multi-wrap. I go at least 10 to 12 times around the yarn and then just simply pull it tight and break it off. Theres no need to tie or half-hitch with this stuff. This stretchy thread works great and stays in place once it’s pulled tight.

The next step is simple, just cut it off. I usually will cut it at least ½ to ¾ of an inch on each side of the thread.

By pulling the strands of yarn and flatening out the circle I basically form it into a flat disc of yarn. Next I cut and trim it to the size I want.

Once trimmed up I have a flat disc of multi-color yarn that I need to now form into a ball. By pulling on the yarn, as if to separate it, I basically turn it into a ball. Finally I place it in the palm of my hand and roll it around between my two palms as if I was making a mud-ball. You’ll be surprised at how well this works.

Depending on how large I make the yarn-ball or perhaps where I might be fishing helps me decide which size hook to select. I usually will tie on either a double hook rig with Mustad #4’s or a single or double hook rig with size #2’s. Either way it’s on Mustad hooks and between the yarn and those hooks the fish are not coming off.

The bonus you have when tying yarnies with the magic thread is the solid center. The tight center of the yarn-ball makes it so that once its on your leader its not coming off.

When tying double hook rigs I’ll tie on the bottom hook first. Then I will use a sewing needle and thread the leader through the tight center of the yarnie. Slide the yarn all the way down to the top of your first hook. Then simply tie on your second hook, much like tying a dual hook cheater rig for side drifting.

That’s it, a durable yarnie on a double hook rig, “Deeadly”. I usually leave the yarnies a little big. If I want to use them on a river that’s a little high and off color I have a larger profile. Once I trim them small, that’s it, I can’t make them bigger. I can always trim them on the river.

Don’t forget to take a little extra time and mix yourself up some NAK; Nectar, Anise, Krill. If you aren’t sure how to make it, follow this link to my NAK blog and you’ll be set. Yarnies fish good on their own, but they are deadly effective with a little scent on them.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle