A unique opportunity has presented itself for me in the form that a good fishing buddy just joined a "yacht club" in which, for a small fee, I can float the river with a rented driftboat with him. One of the things that this has opened up is better streamer fishing.
I really like streamer fishing, and do it most of teh time that i'm fishing, which is mostly warm water, so when I fish cold i like to streamer fish, because it's what i'm used to. It's also how we like to fish at night, as well as hit the banks when we wade.
The floating is a new thing though and he has been getting the hang of it, BUT, that is not the purpose of the post.
I know some people will only fish streamers on cloudy days etc... but that isn't really an option because it's a couple our drive to fish this particular river.
Full sink lines or sink tip streamer lines are the name of the game, and pounding the banks for big browns is what we are after.
For those of you that fish this way, what dictates what you fix onto the end of that line. We both have boxes stuffed with the big stuff, i.e. big sex dungeons, bottoms ups, heifer groomers, chubby muffins and a lot of other big, and articulated stuff.
I know yellow is a popular colorr, atleast around here, but black, and olive and white always seem to pull fish too, but what makes you choose somethign like a circus peanut that sinks, from a sex dungeon that is not neutrally buoyant but much more than the peanut, or something like a heifer groomer or zoo cougar that is weightless? Or do you guys just pick one and if your not getting follows start switching it up?
Good question!! For me the choice is just playing the odds. Here on the Snake River and most the rivers around Yellow and brown are very productive color combos. If that does not stir up the fish then I start changing up starting with black moving on to olives and whites.
As for weighted or not that depends on water temp and the activity of the fish. temps in the 40's I tend to go deeper as the fish will not move as far for a meal, need to get the streamer down to them. Even though I use a full sink class V line I will add weight or use weighted flies. Last Monday on the Snake the water temp was 42 and I took two fish on a zoo cougar with some added splitshot.
What you start with is probably more about personal preference. What you finish with is what's producing. If your not getting any action after 15-20 minutes switch up till you find the right combo.
I agree with Davo. In Wyoming I have usually found deep is better, so I fish weighted streamers and sink tip lines. THe exception is if fish are tight to the shallow banks. Then I love a sex dungeon! Pocket water I try to fish heavily weighted streamers to dive them down behond the rocks quickly.
Color just depends. I have heard the adage light streamer on a light day, dark streamer on a dark day. I like white, so I start with it, then go black, then yellow/brown, then olive.... You get the picture. Streamer size can matter a great deal too. Sometimes a small bugger is the most effective way to trick them! Hope this helps... Not any expert, but this is what I do.
The reality is that you need to experiment for which fly (weighted or unweighted) and line combination will work best in the conditions that are presented towards you. You will lose flies. You will lose leaders. You may lose lines. But in the end, you will learn a lot.
what weight rod do guys typically use with streamers? is there a sweet spot?
It depends on the delivery that I need to make. With smaller streamers and floating or lighter sink tip lines, I will use a 4 or a 5 weight. When the flies get larger and the lines get heavier, I will break out my 6 weight. I do not own a 7 weight, but if I did, I am sure that I could find a use for it.
First of all, I hope that I am answering this the way you are looking for. As for a sweet spot, a 6 or 7 weight might be what you are looking for in a streamer rod. These rods have the backbones to throw the big flies with the heavy lines.
My dedicated trout streamer rod is a 9' 6 weight fast action rod. I use a 200 grain integrated shooting head that drops around 6 to 7 inches per second.
IF you are unsure about streamer size or color, maybe have a big articulated fish in natural hare color chasing a small black or white bugger. I don't usually use double streamers, but it has worked for me in the past. Surprising how often the fish will 'steal' the bugger from the following streamer.
6 or 7wt is fun for throwing streamers. 5wt is ok if you want to throw some dries and smaller streamers, it gets a bit awkward with the heavier streamers and split.
Not sure if others do this, as it is something I started doing out of convenience.
I have been using a 6wt sink line on my 7wt, and a 5wt sink-tip on my 6wt. With the added weight of a heavy streamer, it seems to balance out well for longer casts. ie down-weighting the line as the streamer weight goes up to keep the overall weight right. I got a 190grain sink tip for my 5wt, but I have been enjoying it most on the 6 or 7wt. Saturday I fished a shallow lake with the 7wt and a 190gr sink line. It worked at the banks and at the deepest spots.
If there are alot of snags, I am more likely to use a floating line and split. A quick snap of the line lifts the fly from the bottom or away from snags.
If the bottom is clear of obstruction, I may use the full 24' sink tip or a 15' sink tip. Still dialing it in, but I am really starting to enjoy using the sinking lines.
Make sure your tippet is the 'weakest link' in the system to avoid losing more of your rig than necessary on snags... (I've only had one fly line get snagged and trashed in 4 years, but it really sucked).
For many years I used a 6wt, but for the last 3 years I graduated up to my 7wt. I started using a full sink line and my medium action 6wt just could not handle the big streamers and the line weight. Plus the 7wt lets me land the fish faster and not play them to exhaustion.
Well I picked up a typeIII full sink.wonder line. I would have preferred a faster sinking line, but I got it for a steal for under thirty bucks. I haven't had a chance to fish yet but i will be throwing it on an 8 weight rod. Some of the guys down here I know use ten weights when they throw 600 grain lines with huge patterns, and also to get big fish out of heavy current.
Currently the streamers fishing I have been doing, I have been using twelve pound mono, do you throw something similar?