Thoughts for Successfully Fly Fishing Streamers This Fall

How do I fly fish with streamer flies?

by Mike RyanAugust 19, 2021 in Fly Fishing Tips and Techniques


There are plenty of hot days left this summer. I wouldn’t wish these days away for anything, especially a day of throwing a Chubby or an Amy’s with a Flashback Pheasant Tail or Guide's Choice Hare’s Ear as a dropper.

Chubby Chernobyl - Peach & Pink
Amy's Ant - Purple


CDC Flashback Pheasant Tail Tungsten Bead
Guide's Choice Hare's Ear Tungsten Bead


These are special days, and we plan to enjoy every single one of them. That said, the early mornings this week have been noticeably cooler during our dog walks, and we’ve seen a few bucks in velvet starting to strut their ever growing headdresses. It is happening.

Ultimately, we will wake up one morning over the next several weeks the hints of Autumn will be unmistakable … the nip, the smell of leaves, the furnace kicking on. The fish know it too. This is one of the most exciting times of the year to fish. While nymphing and the last few days of dry-dropper fishing will be productive, it is the streamer fishing that we look forward to. Browns become increasingly aggressive and territorial as they begin staging to spawn. This means streamers. Some of our favorites include Autumn Splendors, Dungeons, and sculpins

Bead Head Autumn Splendor
Dungeon - White
Fish Skull Sculpin - Black


Slamming the banks from a drift boat is rewarding, especially if your buddy has a boat and likes to row. Wading can be equally rewarding. As Fall Streamer Season approaches, a few things to consider:

  • Stock your boxes ahead of time with a variety of sizes, colors, and styles of streamers.
  • Stock up on heavier tippet, regular mono or flouro, as well as a shorter leader. Not only will this help with bigger, stronger fish, it will increase your chances of pulling back your streamers from snags and rocks.
Rio Fluoroflex Strong Tippet
Rio Powerflex Tapered Trout Leader - 7.5 Foot - 3 Pack

  • Try fishing a double streamer rig. We do it all the time with a nymph rig, but a smaller streamer trailed behind a larger streamer can be a very exciting way to throw meat.
  • Try using a bugger, Leach, or Aggravator as your point fly in a nymph rig.

Bead Head Flash-A-Bugger - Black
Balanced Leech - Black Magic
Aggravator
  • Dead drifting a streamer – along with a smaller attractor like Rubberleg Prince or a more imitative pattern such as an Iron Lotus – will also entice fish.
Jiggy Rubberleg Prince Nymph TB
Jiggy Iron Lotus TB
  • Consider attaching your streamers with a non-slip loop knot.
  • Move. Whether you’re floating or wading, move around. There’s no need to repeatedly show your flies to fish that aren’t interested in a bigger meal.
  • Rather than reserving just the last hour of fishing for stripping or jigging a streamer, start the day with a big, juicy offering. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of good fish we’ve connected with early in the day on streamers.

Tom’s video on streamer techniques is also another great resource as you prepare for Fall Streamer Fishing. As always, don’t hesitate to give us a ring if we can help. We look forward to hearing about your streamer success and seeing pics – please share!

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