key points to understand
What do streamers imitate?
Fish are opportunistic predators. Although bugs are the most prevalent food supply within their environment, that doesn’t stop them from being on the lookout for bigger sources of protein. Streamers can imitate leeches, baitfish, minnows, sculpins, crayfish, and even mice!
When should you use streamers?
Generally, streamers are most reliable during abnormal conditions such as high/off-color water, decreased light, or lower temperatures. However, trout will hit streamers during the middle of the day so never be afraid to try one out. Because streamers imitate a bigger source of protein, they are often favored by anglers targeting bigger fish. When compared to other methods you probably won’t catch as many fish, but you may catch that coveted trophy trout you’ve been after! It is also worth noting that trout are territorial. They may see your streamer come stripping by and see it get attacked up close and personal!
Think Like a Fish
Creativity pays off when it comes to streamer fishing. Since you’ll be utilizing an active retrieve, it is the most active form of fly fishing. Just like in nymphing and dry fly, you’ll need to teach yourself to think like a fish. As fish grow larger they become even more opportunistic, pouncing on larger prey. They’re likely to only eat every 1-2 days when keyed into these larger food sources. When you use a streamer, you’ll be trying to imitate a trout's food, the way they are used to seeing it. Below are some basic guidelines to follow for whatever part of a fish’s diet you're trying to mimic - remember these are general rules, so don’t be afraid to break them and get creative!
What a fish want to see from your streamer:
Minnow - injured/fleeing/hiding
Crayfish - short bursts and pauses.
Leech - slow, undulated, steady motion