Sunday, January 1, 2023

Fly Fishing Streamers

One of my New Year Resolutions for the coming year is to fish the streamer more on days when the top action has slowed. Fly fishing involves seeing a fish break the water surface and take a dry fly or popper which is the norm for most fly fishermen. Sub-surface flies are not the top choice for fly fishermen, because the visual aspect of seeing a bass, bluegill, or trout hit the fly or popper is missing. 

After watching a number of streamer videos I'm convinced I can land fish in the middle of the day when a lot of fish are less active. Patience and trying different retrieves is the key to getting a hit from a fish that has gone deep during mid-morning or mid-afternoon. 

Streamer fishing is not new to me, but as stated earlier in the intro of this post I can be lumped in with most fly fishermen who like to see the fish explode on a surface fly. Fish explode on sub-surface flies as well but we don't see it but we certainly feel the take. 

The largest Spotted Bass I have ever caught was taken using a Wooly Bugger streamer in November of 2021 fishing Ryan Creek on Smith Lake. You would think that fish would have convinced me to fish more streamers, but I was hooked on the surface poppers instead. All my fishing buddies are into the surface action, but I am slowly convincing them that we need to give the streamers a try for the coming season. 

I want to share some of the streamers I will be using for the coming season and I hope to report back in the Spring on their success. 

All these buggers are in sizes 6 and 8 with rubber legs which I feel will attract a hit more than the traditional bugger pattern. The size 8 is a great size to use for the trout on the tailrace. 
The Little Fort Leech in size 6 and the Near Nuff Crayfish size 6 top two flies would add some variety when the bugger slows. The last three are the Clouser Marabou Minnow size 6 is something I would try for the bass and the crappie. All these flies would be fished with a sink-tip poly leader. I was using this leader when I landed the big female Spotted Bass in November. I ordered all these streamers from Big Y Fly Shop for .89 a piece. I have ordered from this company before and was impressed with their quality and shipping. 


  1. Hi Bill. First two trout ever on a fly rod was with a black Wooly Bugger. Biggest trout ever (over 9 lbs) was on a custom pink/black Wooly Bugger variant. You can't go wrong with buggers.

  2. You're right, Bill, can't always get 'em on top. One of my bass fishing friends seldom uses anything but Murdich Minnows and he hooks a lot of fish. I'm curious about poly leaders and wondering if I should add those to my jumbled pile of fly-fishing gear... Good luck with those streamers!

  3. Al
    Just looked at the Murdich Minnows. I need to get a few of those and give them a try along with the flies I ordered. I am goiing to use some of these flies on the tailrace when they stop generation. True, the surface action can be addictive.
    I have a feeling it may be a while before you make it out to one of your trout streams, becasue of the weather. Thanks for the comment

  4. Mark
    A 9 lb of any fish is a monster especially a trout---I've come to the conclusion the key to getting a hit when using a streamer is patience. My next post will feature the combo I am going to use when fishing all these flies. Thanks for the comment

  5. Bill, Thanks for bringing valuable attention to the virtues of streamer fishing. I wouldn't want to fish just one pattern through the year for trout, but if I had to choose one singular fly, I wouldn't hesitate to select the good old Woolly Bugger. It's that good.

  6. Hi Bill. On my last visit to the USA I used streamer patterns fairly consistently and had a lot of fun. On the rivers I now fish in the south of England, streams aren't permitted. Look forward to your report from the tailrace.

  7. Walt
    Agreed the standard Wooly Bugger is hard to beat----I will be giving the Clouser Marabou a try on the tailrace when the generation slows. Thanks for the comment

  8. Hi Justin
    Same you can't use streamers in some variation there, I think you would have success. I feel the buggers with the rubber legs in a size 8 or 10 would be effective if you could find a stream there to fish them. I am looking forward to using those once the generation slows on the tailrace. Thanks for the comment