You’re going to love using these lures for Steelhead & Coho, I have had great luck myself. As for Steelhead, I use the #2 Bingo Bugs in the usual colors you would use with other baits.
Look for the pink body Bingo Bugs, the basic pink; pink with sparkles (cotton candy); pink chartreuse with and without sparkles. There are many other colors to try as well, one that I use with confidence is the silver body, trimmed in red & yellow- with a purple feather (Magog Smelt).
For drift fishing, use these lures just like a colorado blade – hold the float back just a touch as it’s drifting through the seam this will let the bug work downstream of the weight and wiggle right in the fishes face. A colorado has its own weight and tends to fish a little deeper than your weight is set, as opposed to the Bingo Bug fishing about the same level as your weight. Due to this, I use about a 1/3 more lead for the Bingo Bug as I do for the blade and a bit longer leader, about 24″ of fluorocarbon is my usual. Set the weight so it bumps the tops of the rocks, not to much but you want it down almost on the bottom.
For fly fishing, these lures shine. By far my favorite way to catch big fish in rivers! When using your switch rod, fish these lures just like you would the big intruders. Use your heavy sink tips, start at the top of the run, cast across the river, mend a couple times to get the bug down to the bottom and let it swing right across. Take two steps down stream and repeat, do this all the way to the tail out. Remember to keep your leaders short, 3 maybe 4 feet of 10lb fluorocarbon for normal water conditions, a little heavier if the water is a bit dirty and down to even 8 or 6lb if the water is really clear. I keep my rod low as the bug swings and a loop of line in my stripping hand. When the strike comes strip set with your hand as you lift the rod, you’ll notice a much better hook up rate if you add a strip set as well as lifting the rod.
For Coho, use the same fishing suggestions as above – just change the colors of the bugs, still use the #2 sizes though. This also works for chum, pink and spring salmon as well. Some of my favorite colors for Coho are silver with blue feather (Silver Flash), and silver with chartreuse (Chameleon). These are my ‘go to’ colors for Coho but the pinks will work as well. The new whites are awesome, I did really well with the white with blue (Anchovy); white with chartreuse (Tom Fool) and white with pink (Kokanee Lite) Bingo Bugs this year.
Hope that helps Lyle and be sure to send us pictures of all the great fish you’re going to catch. if you have any follow up questions be sure to send them to us.
Wayne Pretious, B.C.
Fishing Tips for Brook Trout from our pro staff: In most cases size #6 will work best for brook trout, however having said that there are situations that #2’s would be preferred. Examples where you may want to try a few #2’s would be dark or stained water also if you’re fishing for large trout that are used to feeding on large prey items such as mice.
I use Lucky Bugs almost exclusively with a fly rod, they are hybrid fly/lure and work very well fished as a fly. Here are a few tips specific to fly rods and Lucky Bugs. You’ll want to use some kind of a sinking type of line and a relatively short leader. The line you use is dictated by the conditions that you are fishing. Trolling from a boat in a lake that is relatively shallow is best done with a clear intermediate sink line and in a lake that is fairly deep you may want to use a full sink line, such as a type 3 or even heavier. Casting and retrieving in a lake from shore, float tube or a boat is usually best done with an intermediate sinking line, if the fish are deeper just wait a little longer before you start your retrieve.
If fly fishing in a river, using a sinking tip line is almost always the best. This way the tip will sink and bring the bug down to where the fish are and the floating main section of the line will allow you to properly mend the line to get the best swing. In almost all cases I use a 4′ length of fluorocarbon leader in a lb test that matches the fish you are trying to catch – usually somewhere between 6lb and 12lb.
Whether trolling or casting and retrieving the bugs, you want to be moving fairly quickly – definitely faster than when you’re using a ‘normal’ fly. Trout really like these lures moving and they will react with a strike even when they are not actively feeding. I keep my rod tip down very low when retrieving, only a few inches above the water. I make sure the rod is pointing straight at the lure and I use quick pulls approximately 10 to 12″ long. Don’t be afraid to pause briefly during the retrieve, not a long pause just stop stripping for a quick moment then continue on.