By Bret Stuart | 06/17/2013

We all use yarn balls and eggs for steelhead. Coming into my summer steelhead season it’s something I turn to daily. However, I’m not the only one employing this technique. Yarn balls are extremely common anywhere trout and steelhead are found.

Meanwhile, there are certain altercations us guides use when flipping yarn balls into runs, holes and slots. One of mine is scenting it with red or orange Pautzke Nectar. To be honest, when I have two clients in the front of my drift boat, I give one guy red and the other guy orange. There is a slightly different scent between the two (one comes from Tyee, Premium and Green Label eggs and the other Orange Deluxe).
I like to give the steelhead options. It’s best to let the steelhead show us what smell that are looking for on that particular day. Once they start grabbing one of the colors, we’ll switch both rods to that color.

Nectar is a very liquid bait. It’s not like a Smelly Jelly. On the other hand, I firmly believe that the Nectar will milk more than just your eggs alone. And, steelhead are very receptive to the smell of pure salmon egg juice, which Nectar is.

Normally, steelhead (and trout) grabs the yarn ball quickly after it hits the water or they follow it downriver. In this short time that Nectar smell is still on the yarn. I don’t believe the scent goes all the way off your yarn balls, especially as strong of a sense of smell steelhead possess. The Nectar soaks into the yarn and remains much longer than you think.
On the other hand, I instruct my clients to reapply often. I take a plastic container, dump the Nectar in there and place it in the front of the boat where my clients can constantly dip and reapply. It’s much easier than having to pour it out of the bottle each few casts.

During the summer when I’m fishing for summer steelhead I always add a small glob of eggs to the yarn. Usually, it’s about the size of your thumbnail. I don’t use large globs this time of year. Oftentimes, the eggs will come off for one reason or another. Fortunately, by adding the Nectar to the yarn it extends the life of your bait and the drift. Think about it: if you lose your roe, you’re still fishing because the yarn is scented.

While there’s countless things we do on the river daily that extend success to our baits dipping yarn balls in Pautzke Nectar is a simply technique that is easy to apply and doesn’t require tinkering with baits and preparation. Try it on your next outing and you won’t be disappointed.
Editor’s Note: Pautzke Nectar comes in five colors: purple, red, blue, orange and yellow. All are the byproduct of our world famous Balls O Fire cooking process and contain pure, real, salmon egg juice that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world.

Bret Stuart owns and operations 24/7 Guide Service in Central Oregon. To learn more please visit his Facebook: