Old Rig, New Trout Tricks for High-Water Fishing

I've thrown just about everything for trout from flies, to spinners, to tubes, to 8-inch jerkbaits, to mealworms. Frankly, I thought I'd seen just about every approach and rig under the sun when it comes to moving-water browns, 'bows, and brookies. I hadn't. Last week, while hanging out on the White River in Arkansas with my friends from Rebel Lures, we were dealing with heavy flows around 30,000 CFS. That's big water. So how were we to fish the latest Rebel hardbaits we were there to check out if we couldn't get them down to the trout? Enter guide Don Cranor and his three-way rig. In truth, it's an old trick, but one Cranor says not many people employ anymore. He joins a dropper leader with his main line using what's essentially a doubled Albright knot. On the short lead, he ties a 3/8-ounce teardrop sinker. On the longer 2-foot lead, he ties a 3- to 5-inch stickbait. All you have to do is cast upstream and let the rig tick the bottom. As the weight momentarily hangs, the lure catches the current and flashes. Tell you what, we whacked trout in the roaring current with this slick little setup.