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A Perfect Day for Streamers...

Jerry Denson/

A Perfect Day for Streamers...

A short article on streamer fishing "my way".

There are few things I have enjoyed more than hooking a big trout on a streamer. Those that know me and have fished with me over many years may tell you they have never seen me tie on a streamer. Many would be right. I am admittedly a dry fly guy and have been for over 40 years. For the most part, I have reserved streamers for those days when either there were no rising trout and, especially, for dark and stormy days. There certainly are exceptions...but not many.

For some reason that I cannot really explain, it has been my experience that trout seem to take a streamer more often and more aggressively when the weather is lousy and the skies are dark. I recall numerous days when I landed over a dozen rainbows over 18" and a couple over 20" in just several hours. In particular, a really lousy day an the Henry's Fork. That day I crossed the river at Last Chance (across from Henry's Fork Anglers) and walked up the far bank to the lower reaches of Box Canyon. I am especially fond of ""matuka" type streamers tied in dark green and olive and black and yellow marabou leech type patterns. I like both unweighted and weighted streamers. When weighted, virtually all of my streamers are weighted at the head as I am convinced that having the weight at the head gives the streamer a more natural action when stripped.

On the day mentioned above, I think I had walked about a mile upstream before I made a cast. Once I got into the water, I waded out about 40' or so and started casting straight to the bank with a floating line on a 5wt. rod. My typical method is to cast, make a long mend immediately and very crisply strip 6-8" and, at the same time, use a slight "jigging" type motion with the rod tip. I cast as close to the bank as possible. I also let the fly naturally swing freely for a couple of seconds as the current and the "belly" of the line takes it  to a point almost directly below me and make one or two more short strips before casting again. Typically, I make just one or two casts before side stepping downstream 5 or 6 feet. One of the reasons this day was so memorable is that I hooked and landed a 20+ rainbow on my first cast. In the next two hours as I slowly made my way back down to where I had crossed I hooked and landed just over a dozen rainbows (there are no browns in this section of the river) over 18", missed several more on the strike and broke two off. I would have walked back up and repeated the whole thing had I not been wet and cold...this was in the early days of Gore-tex when it was only "water proof" when it was not raining.

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