Effective Streamer Techniques

Proven tactics that catch more fish

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Streamer fishing techniques can be a productive way to fish year round in colorado, but during the fall, it peaks.

This is because the brown trout are spawning, and the already carnivorous and aggressive brown trout of the rocky mountains now have just one more reason to bite something that comes near them. Leeches, smaller fish, and other aquatic animals prey continuously on the eggs of brown trout.

It’s not uncommon to see them half out of the water like you would see a cruising carp during the spawn

What this means for the fly fisherman

During this aggressive and stressful time for trout, you can catch a lot of brown and rainbow trout on similar techniques. I have tried several of these techniques and I want to share a few of them with you now.


Streamer technique 1 – across stream, downward mend, fish on

This is the classic technique that most know, but needs to be said, because it works, and works often.

Step 1

throw your streamer to the other bank – if you’re not 6 inches off the bank, you might as well be a mile. you are imitating a food source (typically a smaller fish) being spooked out from it’s hide, and frantically fighting the current across stream. fish aren’t spooked out of hiding 3 feet off the bank, they get spooked 6 inches or less of the bank.

Streamer technique 2 – struggling streamer

This technique involves being at the top of a hole, and fishing down stream into the hole and the first part of the run. During the winter, I have caught monstrous fish on streamers in colorado using this exact technique. the beauty of this technique is that you can keep a streamer in the strike zone for a very long time, so even the lazy fish can’t resist the constant enticement.

For this technique, use a very heavy streamer that can get to the bottom quickly and can almost “jig” off the bottom.

The way it works

It’s best to stand in the middle of the river and directly upstream of the hole you are going to fish and let the streamer sink down into the hole as you work this maneuver.

All you do with this technique is pull out as much line as you need to reach the end of the hole and then cast out your fly 3-5 yards in front of you and let the current dead drift your streamer till it reaches the end of the hole.

then take your line and mend it to the right or the left and let the current drag that mend so it makes the fly drift the direction you mended it. as that happens, I give a few short strips to make the streamer shoot forward.

The trick now is once the streamer, and your line, has straightened out, the line you just stripped, gets let back out so the streamer falls or sinks like he is struggling.

repeat that process and each time bring in a little more line so you work your way up the hole. mend the line right or left, vary the distance of the mend and play with this technique.

these are the kind of fish you can catch slow rolling a streamer with the above mentioned technique

You will catch more fish this way during the winter and early spring. granted I’m sure this works year round, but it’s particularly good during the winter and early spring of colorado.

streamer fishing tips

Technique 3 – The Hungry Leech

Brown Trout Caught on Streamer Fly Fishing

This technique uses 2 flies to simulate a leech chasing an egg. it’s a simple technique that catches a lot of fish when the spawn is on. when you find spawning fish at the end of a run, do the fish a favor, and let them spawn. it’s very important for fish to spawn in as much peace as possible. good news is that there are plenty of fish usually right below the spawning fish, feeding on the eggs that don’t stick to the ground.

The way it works

Set your self up in the middle of the hole, giving yourself access to cast upstream and dead drift, as well as strip the streamer when the fly is at the end of the cast.

Tie an egg as your lead fly, and a streamer below it, as if the streamer is chasing the egg. you then just cast is as normal and dead drift the fly. you’ll catch a good amount of fish during this dead drift, so be ready and aware.

The second part is just giving small quick strips like the streamer is trying to chase down the fly. the fish key in on this leech and egg, and go after both. it’s a great technique that covers a lot of water effectively.