Streamers

STREAMERS

Streamers are finally making a breakthrough onto the UK flyfishing scene. They have been used successfully in Europe and the USA for years, but they have been slow to catch-on in the UK. Streamer fishing in the UK is now on the rise. For many years it was frowned upon, for what reason, I have no idea. Fishing streamers is an exciting and skilful way of fly fishing, much underrated here in the UK, and anglers here are beginning to realise how successful streamers can be when the situation and conditions suit. Modern river fly-fishers are now adding streamer fishing to their range of techniques.

I have been fishing streamers for a number of years and when conditions are right I find it enjoyable and very successful, often accounting for big trout. The following is a selection of the most popular and successful streamers in use today. It is important to carry a range of sizes, colours* and weights to cover varying conditions. I fish streamers on either a sinking line (DI3) or fast sinking Polytip with an 8lb fluorocarbon tippet section. I have written a quick guide to fishing streamers, or at least how I fish streamers, which you can download.

*A friend and I were fishing down a coloured river with streamers, taking it in turns, pool by pool, to go first. He was using a black streamer and I was using the White Minkie (see below). In the first and third pools, where he had gone first and thoroughly covered the water with his streamer, I went down immediately after and took big trout after big trout with my White Minkie where he hadn't caught! This highlights the importance of carrying and using a variety of different coloured streamers!

Black & Gold Humongous

Black & Gold Humongous £1.80

It was my good friend and one of Scotland's top anglers, Dave Downie, that first showed me the Humongous. It's one of his top flies and he rates it very highly. The Humongous is now one of the best known modern trout lures in the UK. It is very effective for both rainbow trout and brown trout, in rivers and lakes. In March 2016 it caught me my then PB river trout, a fish of 4lb 3oz! Size 8.

Black & Silver Humongous

Black & Silver Humongous £1.80

It was my good friend and one of Scotland's top anglers, Dave Downie, that first showed me the Humongous. It's one of his top flies and he rates it very highly. The Humongous is now one of the best known modern trout lures in the UK. It is very effective for both rainbow trout and brown trout, in rivers and lakes. In March 2016 it caught me my then PB river trout, a fish of 4lb 3oz! Size 8.

*New Pattern
Egg Sucking Leech

Egg Sucking Leech £2.10

I used to sell this as a bespoke tying at £4 each but I sold so many I decided to have it tied for me. The Egg Sucking Leech is usually my first choice when I reach for the streamer box. Originally tied by Welshman Ceri Thomas, I find it very good in low water, clear water and also when the river is carrying some colour. It is a top trout catcher on peaty rivers and small streams. It is smaller than most streamers and I think this is part of its attraction. The hot orange bead is a definite trigger, which also helps give the fly lots of movement when retrieved. The contrast between the bead and black/dark claret body really makes this fly stand out. I have seen it drive trout crazy with them dashing at the fly and repeated turning away before eventually taking or losing interest. A true killer pattern! Tied on a size 12 jig hook.

Minkie White

Minkie White £1.80

Once wet and in the water Minkie flies swim and look amazingly lifelike and are therefore extremely attractive to trout, both rainbows and browns. I have used the White Minkie with success world over, from Chile to Slovenia, and even off the UK coast fishing for bass, pollock and mackerel. They can be used with confidence in rivers, lakes and even saltwater. Size 6.

Natural Zonker Sculpin

Natural Zonker Sculpin £2.10

Sculpins, also known as bullheads and Miller's Thumb are very abundant in our rivers and form part of a trout's diet. This Zonker is a good imitation of these small fish. The conehead adds to the convincing profile of the pattern and adds weight to get the fly down in fast water. Size 6.

Black Wooly Bugger

Black Wooly Bugger £1.80

If you only carry one streamer for occasional use then it should be one of the Wooly Bugger family. My favourite is this black version, which you can use with confidence anywhere. Successful throughout the world, the Wooly Bugger is an imitator of many things that swim below the surface, from baitfish to leeches. Weighted - Size 8.

Streamer Fly Box

Streamer Fly Box

This handy sized box was conceived with the streamer and saltwater angler in mind. Made using the same tough material that riot shields are made from, with plenty of secure parking space for up to 60 of those bulkier patterns, we're not sure what else you could need for that trip out back. Benefiting from a sleek, premium frosted lid you can see what's what before lifting the hood. Plus, as with all our boxes, there is the subtle addition of guide ridges to the outer casing to help you keep a firm grip on things.

Size: 32 x 106 x 186 (mm)

Fulling Mill Fluorocarbon

Fulling Mill World Class V2 Fluorocarbon 8lb £7.50

There's no need for technical leader set-ups when fishing streamers. In fact the last thing you want is to complicate things. The fewer joins the better as each knot reduces the strength of your leader by up to 50%. You need something relatively stiff and strong to handle and turn over heavy flies, and as streamers often attract specimen trout you need something dependable in a high breaking strain to bully big trout away from snags and quickly into your net.

I use 8lb Fulling Mill Worldclass V2 Fluorocarbon which is as dependable as tippet material gets. It is no frills, tough, durable and good value. I simply attach a 5' to 9' length to my flyline using a perfection loop and then attach my streamer using either a blood knot or tied into a perfection loop - that's it.

8lb/3.64kg breaking strain - 0.252mm/1X - 50 metre spool

Stripping Guards

Stripping Guards £7.95

Stripping your flyline over your index finger for long periods, with wets hands, can cause very sore cuts. I know this from painful experiences! These stripping guards slide over your finger and eliminate these cuts. They are useful for streamer fishing, boat fishing, bonefishing... in fact anytime where you are stripping line for extended periods. It is well worth just keeping one in your fly fishing vest for the first signs of the painful groove starting.

Pack of 3, one size fits all, assorted colours.

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