The Year of the Streamer

There are very few things in fly fishing that are as enjoyable as hooking into a monster trout while throwing streamers.  The takes are incredible and extremely exciting to watch.  When I tie on a big articulated streamer, I am expecting to catch a big fish.  Often times streamer fishing will not yield as many fish but the fish you do catch will be of great quality.  This past week has provided some unbelievable streamer fishing for me.  Between the bent hooks and break offs, I was still able to land some great fish.

One of the Many Cutts That Crushed the Streamer

This year has really been the year of the cutthroat for me.  I have caught far more cutts than any other trout and I have been lucky enough to catch some very nice sized cutts.  Although a they are not always the hardest fighters, the aggressive takes and their beautiful colors more than make up for it.

Beautiful Colors

Prior to this year, I did not do a lot of streamer fishing.  I spent most of my time nymphing because it is what I am most confident in.  I grew up nymph fishing and it is almost always productive.  Like I mentioned earlier, streamer fishing isn’t always fast and furious.  My friend Chris ( really got me interested in streamer fishing. After an epic day of catching monster bows on huge streamers, I was hooked.  Since then I have learned a lot more about how to effectively fish streamers.  When fished the right way, big trout have a very hard time resisting.

Little Fish Love Them Too

My favorite streamer pattern to fish is essentially an articulated black wooly bugger.  Chris showed me how to tie this pattern back in March.  It is a great looking fly and the fish love it.  I also throw a red collar on it to give it a little more flash.  I’ll usually trail a smaller krystal olive articulated streamer behind the black one.  It is hard to say which fly is more effective.

Safely Released to be Caught Another Day 

I have often read and been told that streamers work best on cloudy and overcast days or early and late in the day.  Interestingly enough, some of the best days of streamer fishing I have had have been crystal clear skies and right smack in the middle of the day.  One of the most important things about fishing streamers effectively is fishing the right water.  Most fish I catch are hanging right off a ledge of some sort.  Second to that, a lot of fish are caught right off of the bank, especially undercut banks.  Right at the head of a big pool is also a great place to start.

Night Fishing

Another important part of fishing big streamers is the retrieve.  I personally prefer to do a very fast retrieve.  Others prefer a slower retrieve.  If I am fishing deeper water, I will add shot so that my fly will sink to the right depth very quickly.  I try to start stripping the fly in as soon as it hits the water.  For me, this has been very effective.  A different type of retrieve that is also effective is to slowly twitch it as it swings through an undercut bank.  This will often times draw out the fish and entice them to strike.

This Chunky Bow Fell for the Krystal Bugger

Whether it’s a cutthroat, rainbow, or brown, they all love eating big streamers.  I am a firm believer that big flies will often equal much bigger fish.  Most big fish didn’t get big by eating nothing but little bugs.  I am by no means an expert when it comes to streamer fishing and I learn so much every time I fish them.  What I have shared are a few things that work great for me.

Here Are a Few More Pictures From The Week

More Great Colors


Sharp Teeth and Great Slashes

Streamer Fishing at its Finest

3 thoughts on “The Year of the Streamer

  1. Awesome write up. Man its been a great week. We just need t ofind out if they are moving up or down now and find some more of those big bruisers.

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