Friday, December 13, 2019

The "Rising" Streamer Bite

All through October, November and the first week of December the streamer bite has been very poor. Why that is I can't answer. I previous years those months have produced some spectacular days with the streamer and in my last outing I was determined to try to catch a trout on the long fly. The day I chose to fish was the day after a snow event. Walking to the stream was a joy. Wet snow was clinging to everything, it was a winter wonderland. The snow stayed pretty much where it fell and not down my neck. I cast my fly in a very good spot. The anticipation of a vicious hit was there. Cast-strip, cast-strip and no response. I worked 50 plus yards of prime stream and no takers. The morning moved on and several streamer flies were used. Should I go to the pinkie or stay with the streamer? I chose to stay with the streamer. In one pool I took my first strike. As I was lifting the streamer from the water the fish whacked at it. Several more casts and the same thing. It appeared that they were rising to the streamer. I continued to fish the fly just under the surface and that was the trick.



The first one to hand. The fly was almost on the surface when he took it.


As I fished along I was able to take several other brookies fishing the streamer the same way.


This girl was chunky, apparently well fed but thought may as well add a bit more to the belly.


I'm not sure what made the fish react to the top water streamer, I'm just glad they did. Perhaps the streamer bite is here to stay, I hope so.


On a snowy day what's better then a hot bowl of Italian vegetable soup?













23 comments:

  1. Soup hits the spot on winter days, Alan. I always add grated cheese to my bowl of veggie soup. I'm partial to hair wing long flies over the feathered type. My feathered streamers always seem to get twisted in the tippet.

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    Replies
    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      John grated cheese is a must. Featherwing streamers can be a problem especially if tied a bit to long. I like hairwing streamers because of their simplicity and they catch fish.

      Delete
  2. I agree with John on the cheese. Love that squirrel tail fly.

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    Replies
    1. billp
      Thanks
      Bill I tie several types of squirrel tails. The gray squirrel wing is very effective.

      Delete
  3. Alan
    Can't beat a hot bowl of soup on a cold day-----I need to fish the streamer more on the Sipsey and Caney. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill the Sipsey is stocked with rainbows and they will take a streamer. Pinkie too.

      Delete
  4. Winter=soup. Rarely, if ever, eat soup other than in the Winter. We have one we especially like similar to your Italian Soup. Just add a few meatballs. Italian Wedding Soup. Yummy.

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    Replies
    1. Mark Kautz
      Thanks
      Mark I agree winter and soup are go togethers. Now clam chowder is something I favor all year long.

      Delete
  5. Very cool. Are those flies mickey finns?

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    Replies
    1. Feather Chucker
      Thanks
      The fly on top is a Mickey Finn, the bottom one is a squirrel tail.

      Delete
  6. I caught my first trout on a fly using a Black Ghost 45+ years ago. I have to admit that they are the weakest part of my fly game but I do catch a few trout each season using them. Great photos and I admire your heartiness in the winter!

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    Replies
    1. NJpatbee
      Thanks
      Pat the Black Ghost is a streamer that will bring them in. My first brook trout was taken on a Royal Coachman bucktail. I can fish winter but not for to long at one time.

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  7. Alan, There's just something about small/long steamers. It's tough to improve on the classic patterns. Italian vegetable soup is my all-time favorite soup. I cook a couple big pots of it on the wood stove every winter. It never makes it to the freezer.

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    Replies
    1. Matt Harding
      Thanks
      Matt I can relate to your story...cook and hope some makes the freezer. Remember it's the thought that counts.

      Delete
  8. Alan,

    Beautiful pictures of the woods after a recent snow. Amazing also how quiet it is after a snow fall. Very interesting that the brookies would only hit the streamers when they were near the surface. No matter how long a person fly fishes seems there is something new to file away in the memory of what might work on a given day. That soup looks great and is a perfect ending for your day of winter fishing.

    Best, Sam

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    Replies
    1. Sam
      Thanks
      Sam we can learn something new on each outing. To try to figure out what makes trout react to a fly would make for a very interesting conversation among us anglers. It's never boring out there.

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    2. Never boring, that is for sure, Alan. One of my most memorable top water hits this season was on a small Royal Coachman streamer that was still dry when I cast it next to a wood pile. An explosion took place from a nice brook trout that was hiding out in there. It is amazing how aggressive brookies can be at times. By the looks of the hit I thought it was a sizable brown.

      Regards, Sam

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    3. Sam,the Royal Coachman is a classic fly that is not used much by todays angler and it's a shame because it is a productive fly. As you have described the Royal Coachman does bring about some explosive hits. Brookies are not shy about how they feel about a fly.

      Delete
  9. Alan,
    I am pleased with the simplicity of your two streamers shown! This inspires me to get out the tinsel, floss, marabou, and long shanks! I am also getting hungry looking at (and almost smelling) the Italian vegetable soup! My wife and I are enjoying more "soup and sandwich" suppers as we move into the winter season! Beautiful surroundings all snow covered and such and even more beautiful the brook trout plucked from incredible waters of Connecticut!
    Snug and warm in the den,
    Dougsden

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    Replies
    1. Dougsden
      Thanks
      Doug with those ingredients your streamer possibilities are endless. Soup and sandwich, one can't go wrong with that. And I like the word "supper" that's what we always called the evening meal. The snow is gone this morning, the rains have taken over.

      Delete
  10. Hi Alan,
    One of my go-to small stream flies is a size #12 Hornberg,tied with a down flat wing over sparse red and yellow bucktail, a tinsel body, and sparse grizzly hackle at the head. Similar to what you describe, the brookies often attack it when it's near the surface, or sometimes the moment it hits the water. They also do this with small olive wooly buggers. Thankfully, we'll never the trout figured out. They always have something new to teach us.
    John

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    Replies
    1. John Strucker
      Thanks
      John that Hornberg is a brookie magnet. I think if more anglers used the Hornberg they would increase their catch rates....

      Delete
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