Streamer-Fly Fishing

cdnred

Active Member
I'm relatively new to fly fishing and started to read a book called "Streamer-Fly Fishing", it's an older book put out in 1991. Reading thru it, I learned a lot about streamer fishing, how streamers are fished and if done correctly it'll catch some nice fish. It mentioned that young fish start off by feeding on insects and then transition over to bait fish and sculpins which streamers attempt to imitate. It also stated that once fish transitioned over to bait fish and sculpins that it allowed the fish to grow much larger as a result. The book also gave me the impression that some fishermen are fishing streamers exclusively. I wanted to find out how others feel about streamers and if there are some people that fish streamers exclusively or only as a supplement along with dry flies. Can streamers be productively used year round or just seasonally when the hatch is off..?
 

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
Do a quick search of the site and you'll find more info than you know what to do with.

One of my favorite streamer eats was during a crazy bwo hatch. I crept up on a really nice rising fish casually sipping on bwos, threw my 3" sculpin pattern up above and about 5-10' out from it. I've never seen a fish flip a u-turn quite so quickly and smash a streamer (I was ripping it FAST). Sometimes they just want meat, even on rivers that are supposedly not "streamer rivers"
 

David Loy

Senior Moment
Kelly Galloup is a wealth of knowledge, particularly on streamer fishing. But, keep in mind that he’s got big carnivorous Browns in his neighborhood. With a few exceptions, we don’t (in WA). Some of his biggest baddest streamers would scare the fins off our meager rainbows and cutthroat. I just don’t imagine success throwing half chickens at the fish I see.
I believe Randall fishes Pike some of the time, and some here target Bull Trout, so there are exceptions.
 

cdnred

Active Member
From what I've seen so far, I take it that streamers are best used as a supplement to dry flies and not meant to be used exclusively. As Randall was saying how streamers turn fish around to smash a streamer even during a hatch, that's the kinda strikes I'm looking to get. I'm looking to fish Michigan and some Ontario rivers from the spring thru fall so I'm hoping to tie into some steelhead, pike and maybe the odd salmon..
 

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
I'll also add that the only way to tell if they're really onto streamers is to fish streamers, often at the expense of numbers fishing other methods. But, once you hit that one day on a fishery...you'll move some of the biggest fish you've ever seen in that particular water, but you also have to be willing to grind it out on those slower days. David makes a good point above too, many of the fisheries out here don't hold those huge fish (some do, but most don't), so you may have to downsize your flies a little bit.
 

Haggis57

Active Member
The two largest brown trout I've caught in stillwaters were from fast stripping a wooley bugger around a beaver lodge. A great stillwater setup for prospecting for Rainbow and Browns around reeds, cattails, etc. is to use a tandem rig with streamer and med-large nymph like a Doc Spratley. Tandem nymph/streamer rigs are commonly used on larger rivers like the Bow River with nymphs varying in size from large stoneflies down to small Copper Johns or San Juan worms. I've also caught Smallmouth Bass and smaller Pike on Wooley Buggers in Eastern lakes.
Ken
 

b_illymac

Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
From what I've seen so far, I take it that streamers are best used as a supplement to dry flies and not meant to be used exclusively. As Randall was saying how streamers turn fish around to smash a streamer even during a hatch, that's the kinda strikes I'm looking to get. I'm looking to fish Michigan and some Ontario rivers from the spring thru fall so I'm hoping to tie into some steelhead, pike and maybe the odd salmon..
I would say dry flies are more the exception and streamers the bread and butter but you can fish whatever you want and each situation is different.....
 

castsN2trees

The fish are calling.....
WFF Supporter
I generally carry 2 rods... one streamer rod and a second rod that I switch back between nymphs and dries, as necessary....

Ive seen no definite correlation between the effectiveness of a streamer and hatch, season, or anything else....streamers are very effective year round...and it’s hard to beat the aggressive way fish take a streamer...but if you fish streamers exclusively you’ll limit yourself in a lot of situations....


yesterday I caught nice fish nymphing with a size 20 nymph on 5x, then caught this little fella on a big streamer 50yrds away....





9415A281-9DD4-4F86-81EA-2375B255EF07.jpeg
 

cdnred

Active Member
I generally carry 2 rods... one streamer rod and a second rod that I switch back between nymphs and dries, as necessary....

Ive seen no definite correlation between the effectiveness of a streamer and hatch, season, or anything else....streamers are very effective year round...and it’s hard to beat the aggressive way fish take a streamer...but if you fish streamers exclusively you’ll limit yourself in a lot of situations....


yesterday I caught nice fish nymphing with a size 20 nymph on 5x, then caught this little fella on a big streamer 50yrds away....





View attachment 226666
Beautiful fish, I'm sure you didn't use that net to land him.. :D
 

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