I recently wrote an article for Southern Culture on the Fly magazine that talked about streamer fishing tactics and rigging for small trout water, and I wanted to share it on the blog. Make sure to check out the full fall issue of SCOF, which is gangbusters as usual. Below is my revised version that I’ve edited to be a little more clear, and I’ve added further explanation in areas that I felt needed it.
Streamer Tactics for Small Trout Water
Streamer fishing isn’t for everyone. I’ve known fly fisherman that would refuse to tie one on, even if you offered them a 20 dollar bill. But for those very few anglers that find fishing them repulsive, there’s plenty more of us out there that hold a deep love for streamers. It’s long been known by fly fisherman that streamers hold an uncanny ability to tempt the largest fish in our water. Streamers work on all types of trout water (rivers, streams and still-waters), but despite their wide range of effectiveness, most of the attention and information provided to fly fisherman in the past has been heavily skewed toward only promoting fishing them on our larger rivers and streams. To some degree, this favoritism has resulted in giving the impression to many beginner and intermediate fly fisherman that streamer fishing isn’t meant for small stream applications, and they should leave them at home. The truth is, that’s not the case at all. I’ve landed some of my largest trout on small streams with streamers when I couldn’t get them to eat a dry or wet fly.
It’s important for fly anglers to know they can have just as much success with streamers on small water as they can on larger water, and they shouldn’t overlook the opportunity to use them when conditions are right. Furthermore, if we lumped all of our trout water together in the region, the overwhelming majority of it would be considered small trout streams, creeks and high-elevation tributaries.
Small Stream Strategies for Streamers
The first thing you need to understand is that you need to….