Streamer Presentations

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
I'm trying to understand how crayfish, sculpins and dace behave, in the wild. I don't know much about streamer fishing, but this seemed like a good place to start. I'm hoping it will help me to figure out how to present them. I found the video below, which has been rather enlightening.



The first thing I noticed is that they all hang around the bottom, so it doesn't seem like any of them should be fished toward the surface or even mid column.

The crayfish made an obvious upward jig, when disturbed. A heavily weighted fly, floating line and short strips seem like the right approach. That seems like it would impart the upward jigging motion.

The sculpins just scoot around on the bottom, erratically. They seem to want to stay on the bottom or return to bottom as fast as possible. An evenly weighted fly (ie. no heavy bead), a weighted line and short strips seem like the right approach here. I believe this would make them swim erratically, down to the bottom. Some amount of weight seems necessary in the fly, to stop them floating up too much.

The dace seem to behave similarly to the sculpins, but are much better at swimming. A buoyant fly, weighted line and slow strips or swinging seems like the right approach. This seems like it would make them swim smoothly to the bottom.

Did I get anything wrong? If so, could you elaborate?
 
Last edited:

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Streamers are a seriously lacking part of my game too. What I've been finding out is stripping sometimes needs to be fast and hard. I'm not used to it. I'm used to hand twist or slow creeping pulls. Or dead drifting stuff. The other day I was ripping the blobs, then let them sit. Today hard fast strips from fan casts in the river worked, and swinging and stripping back got hit also.
 

Canuck from Kansas

WFF Supporter
Second the KG call. Trouts generally do not eat critters that are under rocks, they are opportunistic and eat critters landing on the surface or critters that became dislodged from the bottom and are either trying to get to the surface (emergers) or trying to get back to the bottom (crayfish, sculpins). Dragging streamers across the bottom will not catch a lot of fish (my opinion only).

cheers
 

Porter

Well-Known Member
Leeches are my to go #1 fly when searching new waters unknown to me. It has proven to be a successful method in my mind/observation. Once confirmed I explore with other options. Sometimes researched other times just going on a instinct. That’s were I’m not always successful, but fun at minimum.
 

Ian Horning

Powerbait Entomologist
Ahh, the wonderful world of streamers. In my eyes, the most versatile and effective tools a trout fisherman has access to.

Streamers aren't mimicking a prey animal at rest- they're mimicking a distressed prey animal attempting to flee from a predator. When stressed, prey fish will do all sorts of things- dart around wildly, run for cover, and even jump out of the water. They behave erratically, like something is chasing them and are typically moving as fast as they can. In my eyes, most guys don't fish streamers fast enough.
Streamers mimic prey items that fish key into. Not just big fish either, not all streamer fishing is trophy hunting although a presenting a large meal to a trout increases your chances of encountering large fish. They also invade the space of territorial fish, which can irritate them into striking, or simply cause a reactionary strike out of fish. When a giant horsefly buzzes by your ear, you swat at it without thinking. Same principle with streamers.
Don't get hung up on depth, or you'll just get hung up in the rocks. Fishing mid water column or higher is perfect. The fish are going to chase your fly, the most important thing is that they see it. If it's within several feet of them, they'll see it.

Make your fly look like it's trying to escape something. That's the best way to summarize everything. In order to get a visual, try fishing a fly you can see (bright color, or near the surface) and play around with retrieves.

Essentially, listen to what Kelly Galloup says about streamers, and believe me when I say it doesn't just apply to brown trout. And just as a starting point, some kind of 2-3 inch olive over white conehead streamer will catch just about any predatory fish in Washington. Throw a similar size fly in a brown mottled sculpin color, and one in pure white and you're golden.
 

nwtroutguy

The Tug Is The Drug
Streamers are a seriously lacking part of my game too. What I've been finding out is stripping sometimes needs to be fast and hard. I'm not used to it. I'm used to hand twist or slow creeping pulls. Or dead drifting stuff. The other day I was ripping the blobs, then let them sit. Today hard fast strips from fan casts in the river worked, and swinging and stripping back got hit also.
Remember that these fish may have already eaten prior to you fishing, so figuring out the how, what and why is part of the mystery. Some days, it is hard and fast whether it be a river or lake and other days it is like you mentioned...a hand twist retrieve. Some days they want to hit on the drop with a strip, strip pause and so on etc. I have days when I have had to change it up a few times because the fish are telling me what they want.I love the unknown portion and not being able to see the fly and fishing streamers is a rush, but can certainly be frustrating at time. Don't forget to take some notes as well about location, water temp as well. Good luck.
 

Slimbeaux

Member
Wow this is a fortunate post for me. I fish a local reservoir and had decided I was going to look deeper into Streamers and bucktails. My usual tools were nymphs but haven’t been real successful. Going to reread this thread at least one more time. Any other suggestions would be most welcome.
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top