Fishing Streamers

New Solitude Fly Pattern
developed by Larry Jurgens and Jon Spiegel, Front Range Anglers
Hook: 3XL Streamer
Body: Diamond Braid - color to suit
Head: Nickel Conehead
Wing & Collar: Pine squirrel - olive or Brown w/strip of holographic red tinsel on both sides


Year after year, streamer flies produce the biggest fish irrespective of the location. Streamer fishing is not about delicate casting, it's about presentation - the art of the retrieval. Using varying degrees of speed and delay, the fisherman strips in the line following the cast, which sounds much simpler than it actually is. Accurate delivery of heavy and bulky flies over long distances while covering the best lies as you retrieve the fly takes considerable skill.

When fishing streamers, you need to use heavy tippet - 3X or better. Keep your leaders short; four to seven feet long, nine feet at the most. These flies draw voracious strikes so heavy leaders/tippets will allow you to handle them well. Next you need to keep these flies in the strike zone, which usually means on or near the bottom of the river. That means either using split shot or fishing with a sink tip or full sinking line.

If you don't own a sinking line and don't want to spend the money, try one of the sinking leaders from a number of manufacturers. They are usually 7'-9' long and are lead coated so they turn your floating fly line into a sink tip line. There is a down side here and it has to do with the depth of the water and the ability of a short tip to keep the fly in the strike zone.

The big flies and heavy lines demand heavier rods, I like to use a fast action 9-foot 6 to 8-weight. You'll need to adjust your casting style by slowing down the delivery, pacing your stroke, and opening up your loops. Casting streamers all day can wear out your arm in a hurry so don't accelerate fatigue by trying to over-power your casts.

When you fish streamers, you're looking for aggressive fish. If you don't get a hit after a few casts, move on. When you get a follow but no strike, rest the fish for a few minutes and change to a smaller version.