Streamer Fly Fishing Techniques

My buddy Big Joe Willaure is a guide in Montana and has recently posted some tips about fly fishing with streamers. Since this is a time of year when anglers start moving big bugs across the river looking for that 2 foot Brown Trout, I thought I would share a link to his post about streamer fly fishing. Here is one of the tips that Joe posted on his fly fishing blog  Evolution Anglers.

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Fish Smaller Flies:  Sure, it’s fun tying and fishing gigantic streamers that take a 9wt to throw, but when you’re stripping that dead chicken you are weeding out all of the normal sized fish, and limiting yourself to the huge one that is so rare.  “That’s the point” you say, and I get that, but there is a streamer size pendulum, and I believe that you can fish a streamer that is small enough that you’ll catch a lot of fish in the “nice” range (12″-18″) as well as pull the two-footer out of his lumber abode.  To me 3″-5″is the range where you can cover all fish and still show enough profile to get RHB.”

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Eagle River: So It Has Begun

A good friend of mine Bob Streb ties some great fly patterns that tend to out fish what you’ll find in the bins at your local shop. Spring time in means streamer time and one of my favorite spring streamer patterns is the Tequeely. This bug is sold as a bass fly and is supposed to mimic a baby bird that has fallen out of a tree. What a trout thinks of it I have no clue. All I know is that is works awesome in the spring and only so so in the fall. Bob likes to tie his own variation of the Tequeely and calls it the cha ching. Here is a short vid on how to tie this deadly streamer pattern.

Spring Streamer Tactics: Double Trouble

There is a Spring like feel in the air this morning and it got me thinking about streamer fishing. It may only be February but  Spring will shortly be here and for me that means some of the best fishing of the year. One of my favorite spring time tactics is stripping streamers. I am fortunate enough to live by the Eagle River and once the water levels start to bump you can turn what seems like every fish in the river with streamers. Here is how I like to set up my spring streamer rod.

eagle river brown trout

There is no need to get technical with your leader. I like to keep old 4-5x leaders that have gotten short and use those as my streamer leaders. Fish are not leader shy when you are moving big leech patterns through the water. My leader is typically 5 feet long and heavy( 0x-1x).Tequeely At the end of my leader is where I tie my first streamer fly. In the spring I like to use a pattern called the tequeely. I don’t know why but this pattern works extremely well in the spring. It is supposed to imitate a bird that has fallen out of a tree. And we have developed a technique called the struggling bird that will actually entice a trout to leap out of the air for this streamer. We will discuss in a later post.


Off the bend of the Tequeely I attach 2 feet of 1x tippet and tie on a heavy fly such as a slump buster or Sculpzilla. The heavier fly in the back sinks the front fly just enough so you are fishing slightly different depths. Unlike many fishermen who tend to strip streamers upstream, I make sure my patterns are either coming straight off the bank or swimming downstream. I tell my clients if you were getting chased by a bear you wouldn’t run up hill. Same goes for baitfish. They are going to swim with the least resistance to escape predators. I am also constantly moving. I will cover 100 yards of river in 20 minutes. So many times I have watched anglers fish a typical trout run for an hour with a streamer. Not effective at all. Sure you may get one fish to grab but you will increase your chances by covering water and hitting every pocket in the river. If a fish is there it will chase or spook then it is off to the next piece of water. A heavier rod with a overweighted line will help control a tandem streamer rig. I typical fish a 7 weight with a switch line. This allows me to roll cast quickly and make tight casts under trees and cut banks.  Try these techniques next time you are streamer fishing and let us know how you do.