The Nightmare Jig has earned its place in steelhead history books. It is a secret – or not. It is super effective – or not. It is a must have fly – or not. No, I’m not being funny here, it is just that the answers to these questions depend on one’s perspective and experience frame.
I have pretty much copied the essential form of the Nightmare Jig here, but I have added a few rubber legs to enhance the wiggle of the Jig. I have yet to find a fly that wiggle did not enhance. OK, it is difficult to add wiggle via rubber legs to a size 16 fly, so my observations about adding wiggle generally apply to larger flies.
Take the girdle bug, for example. That old fashioned, black chenille, weighted nymph that someone dressed up with white rubber legs. Then someone switched out for bright orange rubber legs and so it went.
This red-and-black rubber-leg enhanced Jig won’t give you nightmares to tie, just so long as you learn how to manage handling the springy stuff and tie your whip finish around ’em; then you will be good to go. Fish the larger sizes in gritty water, smaller sizes as the rivers clear.
Rubber Leg Nightmare Jig
Hook: Gamakatsu Jig 90 degree Heavy Wire – #1/0, #1, #2
Thread: Black Lagartun 150
Tail: Black Arctic Fox
Tail enhancer: Krystal flash Hot Orange
Body: Hareline Ultra Chenille Fl Red
Rubber Legs: Hot Tipped Crazy Legs – red/black
Eyes: Medium Pearl Painted Lead Eyes
Head: Hareline Fl. White Meduim Carded Chenille