Gentleman's Streamer Fishing Tips and Tactics
October 27, 2014
This was a crazy week. Just this past week I have guided all sorts of places that all required different skill sets, gear, and strategies. I am always learning and had some fresh adventures this week especially in the traditional spey fishing realm. More on that in another post. Let me start with Streamer Fishing intel for trout. Big spey writeup coming in the next 24-48 hours.
The week started off on our home water, the Yakima River and I got to hang with a really cool guy that lives on the Methow River in north central Washington. He is a die hard angler that has fished all over the world but had never floated the Yakima! His forte is dry fly fishing for Steelhead and he has caught several fish on the Methow this year already on skating flies. The Methow will be very rain sensitive this year and underwent a very stressful bout with run-off after the recent fires. There were some flash floods that were sudden enough coming off the fresh forest fires that there was a substantial fish kill from Benson Creek downstream. PLEASE handle every fish on the Methow with extra care this year. Especially the trout. Although rivers are resilient, every fish counts.
Anywho, we fished primarily streamers on the Yakima River using traditional swinging tactics with a 5 weight rod. If you have never done "gentleman's streamer fishing", try it sometime. It beats chuckin' and duckin' half chickens out of the boat. Instead of stripping them aggressively away from the bank you get to throw a long cast and fish it on a slow swing. The grabs are exhillarating and while the fly swings through you can look around or even put a hand in your pocket and warm it up.
We made a great makeshift sink tip using a 12' 7.0 ips RIO Spey Versileader looped onto the end of a RIO Perception Fly Line. It worked well and it only cost a few bucks. Every angler should have a variety of sinking leaders for various situations and a fly line with a good welded loop on the end. All premium RIO lines and most other brands come with a loop. Although I have historically preferred a straight nail knot connection because of the way it casts and mends, the loops are so good now and so handy for looping a sinking leader onto the end and giving your opportunities like we enjoyed the other day.
"Gentleman's Streamer Fishing Gear List"
*although we used a standard floating line (which you can), a Shooting Head style line casts streamers much better. Especially if you struggle to get great distance with large or heavily weighted flies.
*the more I fish, the more I appreciate good tippet. I like 2X for most of my trout fishing. It is very thin and helps the sink rate of your flies, but still provides a very strong connection to the fish.
Swinging Flies on a Sink Tip - Gentleman's Style
This video must be a decent representation of how to do this, or maybe the 120,000 plus views were just making fun of me. Either way, check this out. Some of the overhead footage is pretty handy for seeing how to set up the cast and swing.