Hey guys and gals... I know this tactic is nothing new, but I think it deserves review.The 'tailgunner' rig for shallow bedding or feeding gills is simply the use of a small, floating crankbait with a short dropper tied to it with a dry or wet fly attached.
We used this simple rig today for over 70 gills over a windy, shallow spawning area and could easily have caught more. We like the small floating Rapalas or the Yo Zuri Tad Fry and a six to 10 inch dropper of 6 lb test lo-vis mono tied to the back treble hook...or....remove the back treble on the crankbait and tie the mono dropper directly to the split ring on the back. Then tie on a # 12 to # 16 dry or wet fly of your choice.
Cast and steadily retrieve this combo in and around bedding areas and watch for hard, pounding strikes on the fly or slashing attempts at the crankbait. Big gills will follow this package and make last-second swipes at either lure, however, 90 % of the fish will take the fly.
By keeping the dropper length at 6 to 8 inches and removing the back treble, you will eliminate a lot of tangles that would otherwise occur if the mono was longer and/or tied to the back treble hook. Either way works, just that one has fewwer tangles with the dry fly mono dropper wrapping around the plugs hooks.
This tactic was highlighted about 6-7 years ago by In Fisherman editor Steve Hoffman. It remains deadly today...try it!