Artwork by Blanca Pistillo

A few days ago, I was watching a man work a run outside of Eugene. He was working a nice little tube fly across and letting it swing through a nice seam. He was fishing for Steelhead. Obviously very eager for the vanguards of the Summer run.

About him, Caddis and a few Mayflies flitted about. More telling were the dozens of birds swooping right above the surface, dining upon the emerging insects. My immediate impulse, like most of us looking for indicators, would have been to put on a dry or emerger. And, minus the birds, I would have been nymphing. I have remarked about my mental block re streamer patterns. It almost never occurs to me, on an Oregon river, to fish a streamer (some how, it does for Browns on a lake). I have noticed the Sculpins scurrying about the rocks as I wade a river, and I did previously vow to tie more Sculpin patterns and to fish them this coming year (I need to get busy) .

Recently, on a FF discussion group, there was a decidedly pro swing the streamer contingent discussing the merits of the streamer and how some local shops downplay the worthiness of the patterns. So, this is a renewed vow to think broader….use more streamers (I know this sounds silly/elementary to many anglers about the world, who routinely swing streamers).

So for the beginning fly fisher this is a reminder to carry an assortment of streamer patterns to represent the baitfish of your regions rivers and lakes. There is a whole dimension re streamer fishing that is much like traditional Steelhead (or Pike) fishing. 

I won’t reinvent the wheel here. There are several good posts, on-line, regard (‘streamer pattern tactics’) on where to cast a streamer…how to retrieve the streamer…what type of fly line to use (floating, sink tips, clear intermediates)…what patterns to use…how to tie streamer patterns. My intent here is to say…’remember the streamer’!

Spruce Fly by SwittersB