On the Fly: Streamer-fishing in the fall | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: Streamer-fishing in the fall

Scott Spooner
On the Fly

Streamer-fishing is on our doorstep. Many fly-fishers simply live to cast big flies to trout and other species of game fish, and fall is the absolute best time to catch aggressive fish packing on the pounds before winter comes calling. Brown trout become quite territorial during the autumn months and chase down large flies like they owe them money. Streamers can imitate small fish, frogs and crayfish, depending on their colors, shapes and sizes and the manner in which you fish them.

Tying streamers is a full-time obsession for many, utilizing rabbit fur, densely packed deer hair, heavily weighted eyes and the full gamut of feathers, tinsel and so on. Articulated streamers are all the rage these days, which are jointed and often employ two hooks instead of one. It can take 30 or more minutes to tie up these big bites, and the possibilities are endless when it comes to shapes, sizes, colors and materials that are readily available these days.

The most effective way to throw these big flies is out of a drift boat, but the shore angler can wreak their fair share of havoc out there, too. When floating, we generally cast toward the bank, in front of or behind big rocks and along current seams, usually only having enough time to strip or twitch the fly a few times before recasting and laying it down in the next likely-looking spot. There is certainly a thrill when you get to see a large fish bolt out of the shadows to pounce on your fly, which can easily be said about dry-fly-fishing, too. Seeing the fish chase it and eat it is what it’s all about!

Streamer-fishing is aided by heavier-weighted rods, sinking leaders or lines and weighted flies. The fly needs to get down very quickly to the desired depth and then behave in a way the fish are used to seeing. Similar to saltwater fishing, smaller creatures that are generally eaten by larger ones rarely commit “suicidal acts.” In other words, they rarely flee toward danger, always away from it. Be sure to let those fish chase your fly instead of running it right at them. If streamer-fishing is something you’ve been meaning to improve on, this is the perfect time of year to head out with your favorite guide and strip some streamers!

“On the Fly” is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.