Dog Hair And Smokies Fish

Traditional hair jigs play when the conditions are right. Keep a few on hand-always!

Kenneth, a thick-bodied, goofy-smiling dog that my oldest son found abandoned at the city landfill a few winters ago, proved himself useful in the Smokies last weekend. Kenneth didn’t travel with us, but some of his coat did.

You see, Kenneth sheds a lot, so after his last bath my children delivered me a big batch of hair for tying jigs. The novelty of using the dog’s hair and the appeal of free black material both grabbed my attention, so I promptly headed for the vice.

The semi-straight black hair laid fairly nicely on the hook and flared just enough to add shape. A 1/32-ounce Kenneth Bug with a few strands of Flashabou looked pretty good in hand, but that didn’t answer how it would perform in the water or what the fish would think.

A pond trip revealed that the hair was just buoyant enough to allow the jig to sink slowly, and the bluegills quickly confirmed that the bug looked like something to eat. That convinced me to tie more Kenneth Bugs and to tote a few along when the boys and I ventured into the Smokies for the weekend.

Turns out that was a good thing, because Kenneth Bugs were the ticket. We didn’t whack ‘em on anything. Fish in the national park can be tough customers in mid-July (even without a bouncy 9-year-old in your crew), but we did manage a few rainbows, a rock bass, a smallmouth and even one ornery crawfish, and every one of them grabbed a jig tied from Kenneth’s hair.

I suppose I ought to give Kenneth a biscuit—and then maybe another bath!

Check out my blog to keep up with fishing travels.

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