Sunday, January 27, 2013

Learning How to Fish Streamer Patterns on Small Creeks and Large Rivers

The streamer post I did this past week really got me fired up about this fly and how to fish them. For those of you who don't remember or didn't see it, check out this link. I must admit that I have used streamers very little trout fishing. I recently read an article about how to use streamers on small and large streams wading. The article went into detail on how to select the correct size streamers and weight rods for a particular stream you might be fishing. Instead of using a link to refer you to the read, I will display the article below. If you have anything to add please feel free to offer suggestions. 

Fishing Streamers While Wading
Fishing streamers while wading a river or stream isn’t as specialized an endeavor as fishing from a boat, but an angler should watch for the appropriate situation for streamers. The size of the water will dictate the size of the rod. A five weight will suffice on smaller streams and rivers, but a six weight is more appropriate for larger waters with larger trout. The size of the flies and the distance of the casts are the primary considerations.
Flies used on small to medium size waters should be a little smaller than those used on big rivers. The main reason is that there are fewer fish capable of eating a huge fly and a smaller size will get more action.
Streamers seem to perform best on streams when water conditions are high or off-color. As a result, this type of fishing might be effective when conditions are blown out for dry fly and nymph fishing. Tight line nymphing skills will certainly help though.
Many anglers tend to cast across the river and let the fly swing before or during the retrieve. This is fine in big holes and long runs but becomes less effective in broken water. Be sure to look at the water under your feet. Some of our best success has come from flipping a streamer just off the bank, letting it sink, and staying in contact with a tight line as it drifts downstream. This is usually accomplished with only a few inches of fly line out of the rod tip.
Unlike fishing from a boat you are certainly grounded so you can spend as much or as little time as needed on each spot. After a few retrieves, you should change where you’re casting or move on. If you see a fish flash the fly wait a minute before casting back to the same spot. Chances are good the fish will take another swipe if it didn’t get the hook on the first attempt. Keep the fly in the strike zone as long as possible by casting downstream and holding the fly in the current. Give the fly action with the rod tip, letting it fall with some slack, then twitching it back to life. Repeat the process several times before pulling the fly out of the water.
Open, meadow streams often provide the most opportunities for streamers. A fly fisher can proceed quietly along the stream bank and fish both sides of the creek without getting in the water. Again, be sure to give plenty attention to the water under your feet.

The size of the streamer fly you choose will depend on your goals. Pick a smaller size like #8-10 if you want more action. However, the average size trout will be in line with the river’s average size. Pick a larger size if you’re willing to trade action for quality. Most average size trout won’t respond to a larger #2 streamer but a larger fly will often stir larger fish

I also viewed a great video that really incorporates some of the tactics described above in the article. Take a look and see if this clip is as helpful to you as it was to me. The video is a little over 5 minutes long and worth the wait for the big trout he will land towards the end of the clip.-----enjoy!!!
The link for the video---


  1. Interesting stuff. Kelly Galloup has a dvd about srreamer fishin for trophy trout. It has a lot good info.

  2. Kevin
    Thanks for the tip on Kelly, I have one of his videos on nymphing, which is excellent. I will take a look at the streamer video. thanks for the comment

  3. I haven't fished streamers all that much but this is certainly going to change that. Thanks Bill.

  4. I don't do hardly any streamer fishing down here in NC for trout. But it is my favorite way to catch steelhead. I do love bouncing craws and BH wooly's for carp and bass tough.

  5. Thanks for sharing the video, I really enjoyed the tips. I have fished streamers for years and am in awe with what kind of fish they usually produce. Now you have gone and got me all excited!

  6. Howard
    I am going to give some streamers patterns a try come Spring. I hope to have some post dealing with an outing. Thanks for the comment

  7. Lance
    I too have fished the bugger for bass and had success, but have done very little trout fishing with streamers----got to get better. Thanks for the comment

  8. Mel
    I do know one has to have patience when fishing streamers and that is one factor I will have to work on; but I feel it will be worth the effort. Thanks for the comment

  9. I fish streamers often. In small streams I fish 10 and 12's with either a 2wt to a 5wt.
    Larger waters I like bigger streamers, usually fished on a 5wt.
    A book I highly recommend is "Streamer Fly tying and Fishing" by Joseph Bates. It's what's known as The Streamer Bible.

  10. whats not to love about throwing huge chunks of feather and fur, some of the best strikes in the business

  11. Alan
    I will give this book a look. I need all the information I can get when it comes to streamer fishing. Thanks for the comment

  12. Blake
    I feel I could really get into streamer fishing especially after reading some of the articles and watching some of the video clips. Thanks for the comment

  13. Streamer fishing is probably my favorite method of fishing for trout. I'm also pretty aggressive with my methods of fishing them and some have been surprised when they've watched me do my thing so to speak. It's all dependent on the situation though. Have fun and experiment, I think you'll fall in love with it.

  14. I am going to devote time to some streamer fishing this year. I may be asking you for some advice during the season. Thanks for the comment