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I was wondering if someone could tell me the differences in the ways that you fish with a wet fly pattern vs. a streamer pattern?

How do you set up to fish a streamer? Do you let it dead drift with the current and mend your line or do you fish them in some other way?


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It depends quite a bit on the water you are fishing. A few examples I use while Trout fishing: Rivers, I like to float them and cast my streamer right off the bank, (as close as possible) then make a couple strips back into current. Then pick up and cast to the next pocket. If I am in a lake on my pontoon boat I will cast into cover, bank or shallow to deep depth change and strip the streamer out with more of a up/down jig like motion. In those two situations with a wet fly, I fish those in a river more like an emerging fly, I cast perpendicular to the current and let the wet fly swing (both deep and surface) really watch the fly on the swing as the wet fly rises in the current. You will often get a strike there. In a lake, most often I fish a wet fly like a drifting or swimming nymph, usually I troll in behind my pontoon, using my flippers to slowly move about. I will raise and lower my rod tip to get a swimming motion to the surface. Keep close attention as the take can be very subtle.


Now that being said, there are complete books and volumes on the subject, so I suggest checking out those, also the "Bugs of the Underworld DVD" will really help you understand what is going on below the surface. http://www.hatches.tv/play.php?vid=325


Cheers, Futzer.

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I mostly fish wets, like soft hackles or caddis pupae on a down and across swing.

You can fish streamers the same way, and I do this a lot in SW in lots of moving current with flies that have a lot of built in action that are fished dead drift (stuff like flatwings) while in current, dropped back and then stripped in., and do the same with marabou and bunny stuff for steelhead.


But you can fish streamers a lot of other ways too, with a more active retrieve since they imitate baitfish rather than wet flies that usually imitate drowned or emerging insects. Banging the bank with a several aggressive strips away from the bank on a floating line can be a very good high water technique as Futzer mentioned. Stripping streamers through a pool (or lake) on a sink tip is also very effective and a great early and late season way to go. For newbies that have trouble casting, sometimes dropping back a small muddler by feeding line into current and “steering” it into likely looking lies with the rod tip on a floating line can get some great strikes even in fairly shallow water. Streamers also tend to get very vicious strikes and often bring up larger fish and can be really good when targeting browns any time, and on their spawning run in October in particular. Fishing shad type stuff in tailwaters can be really good too during winter when there is a lot of winter kill during cold snaps directly below dams, or if you have a lot of alewives that get ground up through turbines during generation.


Here are some links that might be helpful:


This is Part 1 of a 2 part article on fishing wets including nymphs with a link to Part 2:



This is a good article on fishing streamers, and includes a good look at different methods and when to use them:



Here’s a good article if you’re after steelhead for fishing a wet fly or a streamer on a swing vs a wet under an indicator:



Hope this helps.





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