In my opinion, fishing streamers is one of the most fun ways to catch trout. I love how voracious and un-trout like they act. Usually when trout fishing (outside of Alaska), the current is bringing our flies to the fish. When streamer fishing it is the opposite, we are triggering something aggressive inside the trout causing them to try and attack our flies with an attitude that most people do not associate with the species. Fall is known as one of the better times of year to fish a streamer as the already aggressive Brown Trout, become more territorial before they spawn. You also have Rainbows looking to fatten up before the winter so they are willing to chase down a bigger meal. Here are 3 of the most productive ways to fish streamers this fall.
- Banging the Banks – The best way to do this if from a drift boat or raft. You are effectively covering water, targeting the most aggressive fish. The boat is in the middle of the river and the anglers are casting towards the banks. The closer you can land your flies to the bank the better. Then start retrieving your fly back towards you. Some days the fish want slow short strips, some days aggressive fast ones. Vary up your retrieve just as much as you vary up your fly selection.
- Swinging – Not just a technique for Salmon or Steelhead. Regardless of the species, swinging flies is an incredibly effective way to cover water. You want to cast straight across the current or slightly down stream, throw a big mend to help your flies sink, then let your flies swing through the likely holding water. With trout especially, it is a good idea to not only let your fly swing all the way through to the hang down, but to give it a couple of strips after it is done swinging. Often times I have found rainbows will eat during the swing or right at the end and browns eat more after the swing and on the strip back in.
- Striphing – I did just make this word up and its definition is 1/2 stripping, 1/2 nymphing. This is ideal for the walk and wade streamer fisherman and the perfect way to dissect pocket water. There is no wrong way to fish a streamer as long as the fly is moving. With this method I let the current push the flies around while giving it occasional twitches with the rod tip or short quick strips to provide additional movement. This can be a deadly technique in the fast pocket water as it allows the flies to get down deep, then triggers the eat with the quick movement.
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