Published On: Tue, Jul 4th, 2017

Yellow Rabbit Streamer Fly or Lure – for trout and salmon fishing

Yellow Rabbit Lure – the best streamer fly for sea-run trout fishing

Video Title: How to tie a Yellow Rabbit Trout Lure Video Guide. Video Description: How to tie a Yellow Rabbit Trout Lure. Easy to follow video guide as Allan Burgess shows you how to tie a Yellow Rabbit Trout Lure. This is a top Canterbury sea-run trout fishing lure or streamer fly.

Once the rabbit pelt strip becomes wet it has a very fish-like sinuous action as it is worked through the water. You have to see this to appreciate just how much it does look like a little fish when retrieved up through the current of a stream or river!

Tying the Yellow Rabbit Lure.

Yellow Rabbit
Bind the hook shank. Add a pinch of red hackle fibres. Tie in oval tinsel followed by yellow chenille. Wind the chenille to 4mm behind the hook eye and tie off.
Secure the strip of rabbit skin (natural) at the head with the fur lying towards the back. Then spiral wind the tinsel through the fur to fasten it to the body. Add a few strips of pearl Mylar for a spot of flash before completing the head with cement.
Some anglers prefer a hackle collar, but it makes no difference to the lures effectiveness as a fish catcher!

Large sea-run brown trout averaging 4 – 6 pounds are a feature of the New Zealand trout fishing scene in spring and summer. Some of these sea-runs are very big indeed with double figure fish entering the mouths of the big east coast rivers such as the Hurunui, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Rangitata and Waitaki, to name just a few.

Insect life is just starting to emerge during September and October. A sunken lure fished to imitate a silvery (small bait fish) is the best way to target these sea-run browns well into November. At this time of year, they will be gorging themselves on silveries. Brown trout eat these little fish in enormous numbers. It is not uncommon to lift a trout from the water and have it disgorge dozens of silveries.

Over the years we have found that perhaps the best lure of all to use when targeting these big sea-run browns is the Yellow Rabbit. This lure works! Equally popular with sea-run trout anglers would be the Hope’s Silvery Lure.

There are several reasons for the success of the Yellow Rabbit. The yellow body is relatively easy for the trout to spot if there is a bit of “colour” in the water, and there usually is at this time of year. For the same reason don’t be afraid to fish this lure in reasonably large sizes up to size 2. Should the river levels drop and the water become clear you can go down to a size 6 or even an # 8. A good hook to use is the Kamasan B830 Classic Trout Long Lure.

The rabbit fur wing becomes saturated with water after a few minutes and “wriggles” through the water with a very sinuous action each time the line is jerked forward. This looks amazingly like a fleeing silvery.

As you can see from the pictures this is a simple lure to tie. It is a great fly for the beginner as you don’t have to worry about choosing and matching four feathers for the wing. You can buy the rabbit skin already cut into strips but you will find it much cheaper to work with a whole skin. This will provide enough for several hundred lures.

Cut the skin from the back, along the grain of the fur, with a very sharp scalpel blade. Just follow the edge of a ruler cutting just through the back of the skin but not into the fur. The strips should be about 4mm wide and roughly twice the length of the hook. Be sure to taper the skin as shown so that the tail wiggles well.

Finally, a few whisks of pearl Mylar on each side complete the lure. At this stage, the lure is ready to catch fish. However, some anglers prefer hackle collars and even a topping of peacock sword. If you can get it the addition of jungle cock eyes make a particularly attractive fly.

Sea-run brown trout caught in the Waimakariri River on a Yellow Rabbit lure.

Sea-run brown trout caught in the Waimakariri River on a Yellow Rabbit lure.

You can also buy this lure in several other colours notably: red, fluorescent lime green, orange, and olive brown. Of these colours, I have only tried the fluorescent lime green which seems to work just as well as yellow for sea-run brown trout.

Fish the Yellow Rabbit by casting upstream and allow it to sink as it swings around. Then begin retrieving in short jerks to simulate a silvery. Be ready at all times for an enormous sea-run to take the lure. Many do; right at your feet. Good luck!

Yellow Rabbit lure top, and a lime green version.

Yellow Rabbit lure top, and a lime green version. Strangely this lure will often continue to take many sea-run brown trout long after all the hair has been lost from the rabbit pelt and there is no colour left in the chenille.

This big sea-run brown trout, taken between the bridges on the Waimakariri River, has managed to take two both Yellow Rabbit lures fished on a double rig.

This big sea-run brown trout, taken between the bridges on the Waimakariri River, has managed to take both Yellow Rabbit lures fished on a double rig.

About the Author

- Fishingmag.co.nz website editor.

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