Streamers, Colors Pattern & Type

by Fly Fisherman

The colors, pattern and type of a streamer is, to a great extent, a personal choice of the angler. All streamer fishermen have a pet lure, whether it be the feathered type, a bucktail or a maribou lure. Some will swear by the Ghosts, others the Tigers, some will use only bucktails or squirrel tail flies, and the maribou user chuckles over his secret formula. All are good. At times some colors or patterns do have precedence in arousing action, but here again the presentation, or the play of the streamer, is the most important element contributing to successful fishing.

Discolored water, to some anglers, is the signal to tie on a streamer with a tinsel body or at least some of the flashing metal to attract his fish. Some go to the lighter colored patterns and what makes it interestingly complexing, some drag out the drab, dark, even black, patterns and will use no other. I, personally, like the brown and white bucktails or white maribous, under this condition, but I’m only one.

As to the best time of day I believe the dawn to bright sunlight, in the morning, and late afternoon to dusk, and even darkness, are the most productive periods. Dark cloudy days and during and following a rain can be disastrous spells for the fish.
The leaders used in fishing streamers should be from seven and one-half to twelve feet in length but the tippet end need rarely go finer than 2X-(.009) and X-(.010) and heavier is still better. Large trout don’t, as a rule, nibble at a minnow. They’re pretty savage when they hit. They’re out to kill and swallow fast, so too fine a leader may not be able to take the positive shock strike. Never let the rod point directly at the lure if the line is near taut. Keep the tip up or at enough of an angle sideways so that the shock will be partially absorbed iv the bend of the rod.

It may be of interest to you to note that streamers, themselves, are not new. How they actually started is problematical but it’s a guess that ragged, strung out wet flies were the beginning. The bucktail streamer, no one knows how far back they went in fishing history, but Emerson Hough, a noted and respected angler, I understand, brought samples down from the North country which were tied by natives, and their use could possibly have gone back centuries. This example is not unlike many of the known deer hair and bucktail dry flies we now use with definite labels. Many of them were used by the Indians in Canada and some of the Northern states before the creators of these named flies were born. Emerson Hough could very well have tied up bucktails, with a slight change over those he saw and had his name go down in fly history with his name tacked on all bucktail flies. He didn’t and may the gods have granted him, from that moment, taut lines the rest of his fishing days in appreciation.
A few suggested streamers that have proved effective, not only in one locality but in waters across the country:
Those marked with an asterisk (*), in the author’s opinion, are good ones with which to start.


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