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Fishing Streamers...?


SnoWolf
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I think when you are talking about this, it would be related to what can be considered today as classic patterns versus modern patterns. The flyfishing world of today has changed considerably as has flytying.

It was taboo to consider lead weight in fly patterns for many years or even centuries, let alone using a strike indicator to monitor your flies travel while being submersed. Streamers of old if you want to call it that where tied without lead because it wasn't required in most situations. There was also limited access to the material as a tier as well. It would hold true even today in many scenarios Anglers used to use there different sink rates to manipulate current and depth with varying leader lengths. It was using the different sink rate on your flylines that made it all possible and was considered more proper. When I started this was still very prevalent in the think of my mentors. This also forced an angler into presenting a good cast and proper mending to maintain a positive contacts to your fly as it swept through a hole. Wether swinging a fly across and down, using a Sawyer Method, a Brooks Method or a Lisering Lift they all demanded good line control and direct contact to your fly and the angler had to make it happen with his ability to manipulate the flyline, giving that he made the correct choice in sink rate to begin with.

 

Today with the advancements in super sinking lines and a high volume of usage of lead and strike indicators a angler does not have to pay as much attention to manipulating a flyline to present a fly to the fishes depth. But there are still limits to this as well. Putting on a strike indicator with a heavily weighted San Juan style of fly and hand it to a person who has never flyfished before, float the Bow River (big influence on style and techniques in Alberta) and that person likely will catch a fish or two before the days is out.

But what did they learn, maybe that luck has more to do with it. And guiding is a great paying job that requires little more than a taxi drivers licence. It is a simple and extremely effective method.

 

I would say that there is no correct way now a days. But it would depend on what an individual wants to learn about there equipment and the effectiveness it has under varying conditions. Lord knows I throw my fair share of weighted flies. But I also tie many streamer without lead that I use in lakes and allow the line to take it to the depths that I want or need to attain. So to generalize my streamer boxes if they are heavily weighted they are more of a river fly and non weighted a lake pattern for me.

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In addition to what Garhan said, there is also the tradition of "trolling streamers." A lot of the traditional patterns were originally tied on long shank hooks and were intended to be trolled, not cast. The Carrie Stevens patterns are good examples of trolling streamers. This webpage gives a good summary of her patterns http://globalflyfisher.com/streamers/raske/stevens/stevpage.htm

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Awesome. Thx Garry.

 

So fly line sink rate is the key to the older patterns. So that said then there is no special reason so to speak therefore no special reason a fella could not add weight to some of those patterns to suit the anticipated needs if the day...!

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I don't understand- what kind of mending can be applied to sinking lines? Just aerial mends? Before my time, I guess.

 

As soon as the line hits the water a mend can still be administered to place a sweeping upstream mend to allow the fly to swing properly in place. Or down stream meads of the line to allow for more sink rate before the current begins to push its magic force against the flyline. Still common today if you fish from a drift type boat with streamers against the banks especially if they have a quick drop off within a few feet of the bank.This has to be done immediately after the line hits the water.

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I don't understand- what kind of mending can be applied to sinking lines? Just aerial mends? Before my time, I guess.

 

As soon as the line hits the water a mend can still be administered to place a sweeping upstream mend to allow the fly to swing properly in place. This has to be done immediately after the line hits the water.

 

I don't have the broadest selection of sinking lines. Basically intermediate and very fast. Would this still work with a type 6?
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I cant see any reason why it would not in a river situation. Some of the best steelheaders and bulltrout anglers I know use and used Type 2,3,4 and hi Speed HI-Di lines with short 4-7 foot leaders and non weighted flies to get into the fishes strike zone. There was always mending involved to get a proper drift and presentation of the streamer. Good guides on the Bow would really understand this technique as well. But this was before bobbers, indicators and Spey Casting became the rage.

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I think when you are talking about this, it would be related to what can be considered today as classic patterns versus modern patterns. The flyfishing world of today has changed considerably as has flytying.

It was taboo to consider lead weight in fly patterns for many years or even centuries, let alone using a strike indicator to monitor your flies travel while being submersed. Streamers of old if you want to call it that where tied without lead because it wasn't required in most situations. There was also limited access to the material as a tier as well. It would hold true even today in many scenarios Anglers used to use there different sink rates to manipulate current and depth with varying leader lengths. It was using the different sink rate on your flylines that made it all possible and was considered more proper. When I started this was still very prevalent in the think of my mentors. This also forced an angler into presenting a good cast and proper mending to maintain a positive contacts to your fly as it swept through a hole. Wether swinging a fly across and down, using a Sawyer Method, a Brooks Method or a Lisering Lift they all demanded good line control and direct contact to your fly and the angler had to make it happen with his ability to manipulate the flyline, giving that he made the correct choice in sink rate to begin with.

 

Today with the advancements in super sinking lines and a high volume of usage of lead and strike indicators a angler does not have to pay as much attention to manipulating a flyline to present a fly to the fishes depth. But there are still limits to this as well. Putting on a strike indicator with a heavily weighted San Juan style of fly and hand it to a person who has never flyfished before, float the Bow River (big influence on style and techniques in Alberta) and that person likely will catch a fish or two before the days is out.

But what did they learn, maybe that luck has more to do with it. And guiding is a great paying job that requires little more than a taxi drivers licence. It is a simple and extremely effective method.

 

I would say that there is no correct way now a days. But it would depend on what an individual wants to learn about there equipment and the effectiveness it has under varying conditions. Lord knows I throw my fair share of weighted flies. But I also tie many streamer without lead that I use in lakes and allow the line to take it to the depths that I want or need to attain. So to generalize my streamer boxes if they are heavily weighted they are more of a river fly and non weighted a lake pattern for me.

 

So true Gary....

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While not having much experience with it myself, I've seen streamers fished on a fixed length sinking line and worked back and forth through a pool by changing rod position and mending. That's also done on smaller streams with a floating line and sinking leader or a sink tip. I've had some success doing something similar on interior BC streams by working the fly under and into log jams. The flies I've used for this are doc spratleys, carey specials, spruce flies, 52 buicks and traditional quill wing wets like the black gnatt, royal coachman and grizzly king. I even caught a couple of browns in New Zealand by doing this in the current pillow in front of and behind large rocks. This method harks back to days as a kid spin fishing with a small spinner blade followed by a wet fly or worm. I haven't use this technique much in Alberta for some reason, Maybe it's time to give it a go.

Edited by dave robinson
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I see the Carrie Stevens patterns all over the web as well as other Rangly style patterns and I never hear talk of them or of anyone fishing them locally...

Why is this so...?

 

It is truly a unique style. As well look at as a Traditional Salmon Fly Pattern. It is an accomplishment to be able to tie these patterns and now you also would be stepping into the world of "Art".

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Very nice and instructive, thanks guys for all the information. The little that I fish of streamers tends to be either on a floating line, or with a sink tip, both easy to mend. On a lake, an intermediate line is all I seem to ever need for pike!

Now a question: I know these classics were tied on long-shank hooks and they look just right. However, my experience with long shanks is that they apply a lot of leverage and can come out easily. Some argue that is because the hook works itself loose and does more damage to the fish than a short shank. How much of this is true? My limited experience with the longer shank (3x-4x) is that I loose fish easily, so that is some anecdotal evidence in support of at least some of the claims. How about the rest?

Florin

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