As the days grow shorter and our annual water flows start to wind down, we can't help but fixate our attention on streamer fishing. The cast, the strip and the grab all leads to an adrenaline rush that nymph fishing simply cannot replicate. This year we've dedicated a series of videos to the craft of streamer fishing with a crew of special guests to boot.
The cast, the strip and the grab...
The fly shop staff had a busy summer this year, so we decided that taking the boats out for a spin was long overdue and fortunately for us, we have an entire wall of streamers dedicated to the craft that must be tested!
In 'Streamer Season' Episode 1 we spent some time out of the shop and on the water in anticipation for the arrival of the Short Bus Diaries crew in Colorado to join us in Episode 2. If you aren't familiar yet, the Short Bus crew is a group of fishing buddies (Adam, Scottie, Steve and Bryant) that like long road trips with rafts in tow behind their school bus converted into a fly fishing rig.
As we filmed 'Streamer Season Episode 2' we linked up on the water with the Short Bus Diaries to let the good times roll. They are phenomenal storytellers, fun dudes, and a great group of people to go fishing with. Last Sunday, the Short Bus Diaries dropped their first episode of Volume 3 which featured our first day on the water as a group and footage which you will see in our second episode of Streamer Season dropping on Sunday December 5th.
Since we are on the topic of Streamer fishing this fall, Davis decided to hop on a phone call with Adam Hudson of Blue Line Flies and the Short Bus Diaries series, after he returned home from Colorado. The reason for the call was to ask him a few questions we constantly get in the shop about getting started with streamer fishing. Here's what Adam had to say:
Q: What rods and lines do you recommend to people who are curious, but not committed, to streamer fishing?
Adam: Most folks that fly fish already usually have at least a 5 or 6wt. Before you go out and buy everything I recommend that you visit your local shop and pick up a few streamers that can be casted with a rod you already own. If you're not getting deep enough in the column, split shot and sinking leaders will get you down the road without breaking the bank. The downside to sinking leaders and split shot is that it makes casting clunky and difficult but it gets you going for cheap.
Q: What rods and lines do you use on a regular basis for Bass? Trout?
Adam: Honestly, for smallmouth and trout I throw a lot of the same tackle and flies. The 7wt G. Loomis NRX+ SwimFly is a favorite of mine but any 7wt or 8wt rod that can load at short range is best. Most of the time we're only casting 20-30ft of line and the stiffer rods out there tend to make it more difficult to cast at these practical distances. If you're working with a budget, the IMX-PRO series of rods from G Loomis are hard to beat. Another plus of having a 7 or 8wt is that they work double-duty in the saltwater for inshore flats fish like slot redfish, snook, and bonefish.
Q: How do you locate good water to fish streamers? Any tips or tricks?
Adam: Something that comes up for me is that some of the best places I've found to streamer fish have less bug-life than other rivers. If you're flipping rocks with minimal results or there's little to no bugs getting caught in your seine, this could be a good indication that the fish in that watershed are keyed in on baitfish and other food sources like smaller trout, sculpin or crayfish. Generally speaking, the staff at your local shop should be able to point you in the right direction as well. It often depends on who is standing on the other side of the counter.
Q: How does casting and retrieving flies change when streamer fishing?
Adam: The biggest difference between nymph and dry fly fishing when compared to hucking streamers is that we are targeting completely different areas of the river. When identifying good areas of the river to throw a streamer, consider fishing to areas that you normally overlook with dries and nymphs. For example, As you pass that log you're always concerned about hooking into with nymphs, consider casting a streamer in front of or behind it and actively swim the streamer out to mimic a fleeing baitfish. Dries and Nymph's are effective in clear feeding lanes that can be drifted into and out of, while streamers can be presented into small buckets, pockets, riffles, and other tight areas that are tough to fish on the drift. Streamers are an effective way to quickly cover nearly every piece of water on the river.
With the extended fall weather we're experiencing in the rockies, the time is now to take advantage of the lack of ice and snow. Soon enough our freestone rivers will be partially to completely frozen and our options will be limited.
If streamers aren't your thing, that's okay, the fishing is solid right now for nymph, and dry fly anglers alike. Golden Fly shop guides, Scott Kennedy and Tryston Bewley, recently had a productive day on the South Platte in Cheesman Canyon. The fellas caught themselves fishing an unexpected mayfly hatch with dries after putting a few in the bag on nymphs. With the current flows and warmer weather Scott noticed a Pale Yellow mayfly hatching and was able to feed a few with a classic adult PMD pattern. Again folks, the time is now!
If you haven't viewed the latest Short Bus Diaries YouTube video, stop what you're doing and click here to watch! To follow along for the rest of Short Bus Diaries Volume 3 be sure to subscribe to the Golden Fly Shop and Wild Fly Productions YouTube channels!