View Full Version : Streamer Question

07-28-2009, 08:16 PM
I have tried Bergman's (and others on this board) technique of stripping in slowly and in small 4"-6" increments, but is it more appropriate to strip quickly when stripping through a riffle or fastwater? I've tried slowly and had little luck in these areas.

07-28-2009, 08:58 PM
I like to just cast ahead of the ripple and let the current pull the streamer. Let the water do all the work. When the line gets taught; I usually do a rod lift or short-quick, quick, followed by drift to give the streamer action.

Before you do anything; get the streamer close to you and see how it behaves in your current and depth. See how responsive it is to your twitches and movements.

I like a short quick, quick, pause and slow pull action myself...:eek:

David Knapp
07-28-2009, 09:01 PM
The beauty about streamers is that what worked one time might not be right the next. You can always experiment and fish will respond better to different retrieves depending on their mood...

07-28-2009, 09:18 PM
Yes, indeed - you can let a streamer just extend on your line and do most of the work. I get very bored with that strategy; however, it does work well...

Also, streamers and nymphing are not my idea of fly fishing... I would rather throw a spinning rod and slay them if I just wanted to catch fish...

Now, dialing in a hatch is what drives me and I am quickly developing the techniques to go from catching a few fish to catching fish every throw...

07-28-2009, 10:11 PM
Interesting. I try and figure out what a natural action would be in various types of water, but it sounds like anything may work depending on the fish. I like to dry fl fish as well, but I have noticed (from watching others mostly) that it takes more than a small dry to get a large fish on (usually). I will continue to work on matching the hatch, but I like to fish the hoppers, terrestrials and streamers too. Up until this weekend I generally fished my streamers when the hatch wasn't on, but I am really excited about fishing hoppers now (can't imagine why). I had heard from several people that they didn't work on the Caney, but I know better now. I have yet to get a large one on a streamer though (other than the one large bow I mentioned in the other thread). I would love to get one on one of my Salmon flies. I don't know why, I guess because they are so old school, but I don't think of them as being similar to baitcasting lures. Buggers are, but it still takes some skill to use one. Got to love a sport that gives you so many options.

07-29-2009, 12:19 AM
Don't know if this will help or not but this is how i've fished from day one.

I NEVER think about how I want the streamer to look. I ALWAYS think about what the streamer is imitating and try to mimic that.

In other words, I think about a small minnow or sculpin, it's swimming along trying to survive a trip through trout water when suddenly it realizes it's being pursued. It suddenly rushes forward trying desperately to escape to safer water. It's normally during this sudden "rush" of activity that I get the strike.

Same when I'm imitating a crawfish with a brown bugger. I creep it along just like a crawfish looking for food would. Then, right when I think i'm probably near where the fish are, I suddenly dart it in all directions as if it's being pursued. Once again, that's when I usually get my strikes.

Methodically pulling a streamer along at measured 4-6" intervals does little to convince a fish that its worth pursuing unless its an easy meal and would take little energy for the fish to get. But when you make the fishes natural "its getting away" instinct kick in you'll pull them half way across a pool.

My two cents

07-29-2009, 07:48 AM
There is no secret, no magic formula, no certain way which seems to work better then others from my experience. I have had limited success with flies that are swung, it just isn't a natural presentation, and if a fly is stripped too fast it is also seemingly not natural. A happy medium seems to work best with flies retrieved perpendicular to the river flow. Also, and this is very important, if a fish follows, DO NOT stop your retrieve! Incorporate the rod tip and erratic strips and you will have more success then just a simple straight retrieve as well.

07-29-2009, 10:45 AM
I like the crayfish tip. I have not tried fishing them yet... Looking forward to giving them a try soon..

I think the perpendicular aspect is key in getting numbers too...Do you ever down drift in to a pool or spot? I like to do this with the Greenie Weenies and it does all the action for me. It is about the only way I catch any fish up at Abrahm's Creek too...:frown:

07-29-2009, 12:06 PM
I have had the action that fish liked change in the same stretch of river over an hour period. I started using the short strip-strip-stop, strip-strip-stop and was catching fish. The bite died and I went back to the top of the stretch and started fishing the streamer in long slow pulls. The bite picked up immediately. Galloup likes the jerk retrieve and Murray uses the slow pull. I guess the answer is try them all.

For Craws, I like casting upstream of a pool and swimming the craw into the hole trying to imitate that jerky motion they make when swimmimg. Once in the hole I simply drag the craw slowly, like it is walking the bottom.

07-29-2009, 02:24 PM
Want some real eye opening information on streamer fishing, listen to Kelly Gallop. After watching his DVD on streamer fishing I realized I really didn't know very much about streamer fishing. Sinking lines, short leaders, un-weighted flies, and his retrieve methods were real eye openers for me. As far as your retrieve speed goes, I don't think you can strip a streamer fast enough to keep a fish from catching it that really wants it.

Great little short You Tube clip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70j92LJjhNE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70j92LJjhNE)

Great pod cast by Kelly. It's about 90 minutes long and worth a listen. Listen to the second clip on streamer fishing for trophy trout.

http://www.askaboutflyfishing.com/speakers/kelly/kelly.cfm (http://www.askaboutflyfishing.com/speakers/kelly/kelly.cfm)#

07-29-2009, 10:45 PM
In mountain streams I seem to have the best luck with streamers in high, and/or off-color water. I like the sinking line and unweighted streamers as well (my set-up is a 6wt with 200 gr SA streamer express). You can though, make due with weighted streamers with floating lines, especially while wading and hitting close targets. Sometimes, if a good fish flashes my indicator, I will cut off several feet of my 9' (down to 4 or 5') leader, tie on a streamer and swing and twitch it through there. This can be done quickly and relatively effectively with a faster rod.
Watch the Galloup video, or read his book. He is often fishing from a boat, drifting a river, going for a reaction strike to a suddenly presented fleeing baitfish.
It can be loads of fun, a decent fish will try to take the rod away from you! Can be a great tactic on winter run fish, or after a big rain (when the water is clearing), or a rain event during a full moon. More lethargic fish will take nymphs, aggressive fish will hit a streamer.
Lots of different tactics to the sport, use the ones that interest you.

Flat Fly n
07-30-2009, 05:00 PM
Five important words in regards to stripping streamers, and ultimate success :

Intermediate sink tip fly lines

There's your tip for the day! IF you can't get it down, streamers are worthless on top (with current)with a floating line. Unless you are in dead water, and unlimited sink times are allowed.

07-31-2009, 08:38 AM
Five important words in regards to stripping streamers, and ultimate success :

Intermediate sink tip fly lines

There's your tip for the day! IF you can't get it down, streamers are worthless on top (with current)with a floating line. Unless you are in dead water, and unlimited sink times are allowed.
Just to add to that, there is no reason for monster sinking lines. Intermediates work just fine, are easier to cast, and present the fly much better then any of the rest.