Fall Streamers

Fall Streamers

Fall is one of the best times of year to toss streamers.  Streamers make up a broad category of flies which commonly imitate minnows, leeches, crayfish, or some sort of intrusive conglomeration mounted on a hook or hooks that really aggravate the fish.  Brown Trout are fall spawners and some Rainbows will also spawn in the fall (most Rainbows are spring spawners, but some of the hatchery mutuant Rainbows, mostly sterile, will attempt to spawn in the fall as well).  As Trout prepare to spawn they become very aggressive and territorial willing to chase, smack, and eat anything invading their personal space.  Fall often brings some of the biggest river Trout out to play.

Streamer fishing can be as basic as cast and strip, but concentrating on some of the little details will bring more fish to the net.


First, casting a weighted fly and or sink tip fly line can be a chore.  Work on shooting line rather than carrying line.  This will lessen the number of times you impale yourself with a #2 hook.  Accuracy is VERY important.  Many fish are near the bank.  Cast as close to the bank or shallow edge as possible and get in contact with your fly ASAP.  Again, many fish are taken during the first few strips of line.



Second, keep your rod tip low.  I usually like the rod tip touching the waters' surface.  This eliminates slack, and provides better strike detection and quicker hook sets.  Also of note, set the hook with the line, not the rod.  When you feel a strike pull with the stripping hand.  For a right handed caster you'll be retrieving the fly with your left hand, when a strike is felt pull the line tight with the left hand.  This way if the fish misses the fly you have only moved the fly a short distance and the fish can easily come back for a second take.  If you set with the rod you will have moved the fly a much greater distance and are also out of contact and position to set again in case of a second take.  Once the hook is set with the fly line, then lift the rod and fight the fish.

Third, play with different retrieves.  Some days they like it fast, others slow.  Often times a few quick pulls followed by a stop is the preferred pattern.  Letting the current belly the fly line and swinging the streamer across the stream can also be effective.  As a general rule the colder the water the slower the retrieve, the warmer the water the more the Trout like it moving.  That said, fishing isn't an exact science and each day has it's own mood.  Try changing retrieves until you settle on the day's best presentation.


Fourth, fish heavy tippet.  3X is as light as I go with streamers.  The straight line connection (very little slack) and voracious takes will often leave you less one fly, and the fish will have a hood ornament until he can shake your streamer loose.  Usually I go with 2X unless I'm casting streamers larger than a #2, then adapt as necessary.  My favorite tippet for streamers is Umpqua Superfluoro.  In 2X it boasts an 11 pound breaking strength and is dense (that is a good thing) and abrasion resistant.


Fifth, cover a lot of water.  When fishing streamers you are looking for the aggressive fish.  Standing in one place repeatedly shows your fly to disinterested fish.  Move, cover new water and show your fly to new faces.

Finally, there are thousands of streamers available.  Talk to your local experts and see what has worked for them or do a little discovery mission on your favorite waterway to find out what kind of inhabitants could be imitated with a streamer.  Sometimes the best flies imitate nothing.  In addition to imitative patterns, try wild colors or bulky flies that push a lot of water.  Below are a couple of "seasonal" streamers.  A Halloween Bugger and an Autumn Splendor.  I've taken many fish in the fall on both of these patterns.

Directions on how to tie the Autumn Splendor can be found here:

http://www.charliesflyboxinc.com/flybox/detail.cfm

Recommended for You

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream. United States

Saving the Chattahoochee River

Ross Purnell - April 23, 2019

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream.

Here's a look at 8 new fly lines for 2019. Lines

8 New Fly Lines for 2019

Fly-Fisherman

Here's a look at 8 new fly lines for 2019.

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done. Fly Tying

Tying the Kamikaze Sculpin

Charlie Craven

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discuss the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty.

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range. United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top models on the market today. Gear

Top Drift Boats of 2019

John Fedorka - April 02, 2019

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top...

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. How-To

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel - January 22, 2018

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

See More Stories

More Learn

Here are seven important strategies from some of the world's best nymph fishermen. Beginners

7 Tips for Rigging Your Nymphs like a Pro

George Daniel - March 11, 2019

Here are seven important strategies from some of the world's best nymph fishermen.

All these tricks can be put to use on poppers or sliders for anything with fins, from panfish to billfish. Fly Tying

Tying the Double Barrel Popper

Charlie Craven - March 13, 2019

All these tricks can be put to use on poppers or sliders for anything with fins, from panfish...

Blane Chocklett offers insight on how he made the Game Changer fly design what it is today. How-To

Game Changer Fly Designs Excel on Predators

Blane Chocklett - July 31, 2018

Blane Chocklett offers insight on how he made the Game Changer fly design what it is today.

See More Learn

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×