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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 09-29-2011, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: What's your method of stripping streamers

I do a lot of streamer fishing on western rivers, and much prefer fishing them at a downstream angle. While it's true that trout face upstream and that a streamer coming up behind them doesn't seem right, in reality that's not often the way the fish actually sees a streamer stripped on a downstream cast. I don't cast straight downstream very often. When I cast at an angle (usually up against the bank while in midstream) the fly tends to swing downstream as I strip it away from the bank, and then upstream, still at an angle. That means it will often come across in front of the fish at some kind of angle. At any rate, I've caught enough fish while stripping it upstream after a downstream cast that I'm pretty certain it works, and if you're in strong current casting upstream, it's very difficult to keep contact with the streamer. I'd rather some fish refuse it because of the supposed bad angle than to not be able to immediately feel the fish when they strike. To me, the upstream cast is good if you're simply dead drifting the streamer, but not good if you're trying to strip it aggressively.

Another thing to consider is what your streamer is supposed to represent. Crayfish and some of the bigger aquatic insects are very likely to swim downstream if disturbed, but minnows and small fish are almost always facing upstream as they swim. If they are startled or fleeing they MIGHT swim downstream, but if they do they will be swimming VERY fast.

In slow water, I don't think it matters what direction you cast or strip.

As for the strips themselves, experiment. I do all kinds of strips, from very quick 6 inch strips to long, slow strips to combination strip/rod sweeps. I also vary the pauses between strips. Often as the fly swings in the current I'll just move the fingers of my stripping hand an inch or two repeatedly without taking in any line, which makes the fly rise and fall very slightly.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: What's your method of stripping streamers

The most effective method I've ever seen was demonstrated to me by a guide two summers ago when my bud and I went up to Montana.

We were drifting down the Clark Fork above Missoula and the guide had me on a dry-dropper and my pal on a streamer. Fishing was pretty good but I was out fishing my bud two to one. The guide said, "Try it this way."and took the rod from my bud and cast it across the river 90 degrees to the current. He then made a quick upstream mend and fast one foot retrieve, then instantly did a downstream mend and another very quick one foot retrieve. The streamer darted 45 degrees upstream then 45 degrees downstream. On about the third or fourth dart a 20" brown came up and inhaled the bugger.

My bud did as the guide demonstrated for the next half hour and out fished me three to one, getting a hit on about every other cast. Only one problem, the technique is very exhausting. Thirty minutes was about all my bud could do.

When the browns start spawning here later in October, I'm definitely going to give that technique a try.

Chris
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