Hi, my name is Ryan and I have a streamer problem.
Some would say I have an addiction.
Some would say it’s not “real” fly fishing.
Some would say you might as well fish with a spinning rod.
I would say bite me!
I have been a die-hard streamer guy for over a decade now and I will do my best to try to explain why and how I am setup for slinging big flies to monster trout.There are 3 reasons I have become a streamer junkie:
- Streamer fishing is active fishing or what they would call power fishing in the tournament bass world. You are casting and moving a lot, and really looking for fish that want to play ball. It isn’t a finesse game, but it will work when you can’t move fish other ways.
- Streamer strikes are often vicious and jarring. Once you have felt a few big trout crush a sculpin pattern it is hard to go back to watching a bobber…
- Streamers will move the biggest fish in the system. If you want to catch big fish regularly, then you better learn how to feed them some meat!
There are many ways to fish a streamer, and I can’t possibly cover it all here, but there are a few major categories: slapping the bank, swinging, and jigging/twitching. As you dive into the streamer chucking realm you will find out when and where to use each of these, and often I will use all of them in the same day. Now don’t get me wrong, if there is a good steady hatch I will put the streamer rod down, but when the insects aren’t prolific, you will most likely see me with a leech or sculpin on my rig. And I can tell you that I have caught as many sporadically rising trout on a well placed streamer as any dry fly I have tried to present.
|Rainbows on the Yakima River|
Now let me tell you that not all streamer fishing has to be aggressive and with big flies. Fishing a streamer in smaller water or quiet pools requires some finesse and working the fly in a seductive manner. For smaller water, i.e. spring creeks, small freestones and slower tailwaters, etc. you will like a shorter rod in a 5wt as it will really help your accuracy and will load quickly. There aren’t as many choices in short 5wt rods these days, but a few I can recommend are the Loomis Shorestalker 8ft 5wt, the Scott G2 8’4” 5wt and the Winston 8’6” 5wt BIIIx. If you are in really small water or fishing for smaller fish don’t hesitate to throw small streamers on your 7’6” - 8’ 3 or 4wt too! You will also not typically need a sink tip line for small water, but a good all purpose line should get the job done.
|Trout Spey Chronicles|
Leader and tippet should be fairly short and strong. I rarely use anything less than 8# or 3x for streamers and mostly 2x or 1x. I am a big fan of fluorocarbon tippet, but for the most part good mono is just fine. Leaders on your sink tip setup should only be 3-6ft long with a heavy butt section to help turn over your flies. I like to build my own with Maxima or heavy Rio shock or saltwater tippet in 30-50# and then double uni knot to my tippet off of that.
|BB - Before Beard|
The bottom line is this: if you want to try a new technique, or are sick of watching a bobber, or want to find out what the biggest fish in your local water is, grab a big meaty streamer, drop it in and find out!
If not...Then Bite Me!
The Bearded Pescador
Ryan Van Duzor
Gorge Fly Shop | Product Specialist