Saturday, April 18, 2020

Streamers, And A Moment In Life

Over the years I have enjoyed fishing, tying and talking about streamer flies. As you well know by now my use of these flies in small streams has been successful and I will not hesitate to use them. My use of them is not always based on serious thought, most times I just look in the fly box and I'll pluck one out and fish it. Most times I'll be rewarded with a taker and even if that doesn't happen I still have the feeling of success for I blame me and not the fly for my inability to bring one to hand.

The three streamers pictured here are with out question the best streamers for small stream fishing. Over the years they have accounted for many fish. They are always in my box. They are the Black Ghost, McKay Special and Montreal Whore. They are simple marabou streamers that catch fish.


A dark swirling pool on a small stream. It's waters swollen from recent rains. Beads of white foam rise to the surface like clouds in the sky. A dark shadow appears in mid current, perhaps a brook trout...no it's only a branch caught in the current. I reach into the fly box and select a streamer, the Montreal Whore. The fly is cast into the swirling current of the pool. I see it's marabou wing teasing seductively. I tighten the line and see the fly go under the dark water. Suddenly the line stiffens and I feel the weight of a fish. A fight takes place and I know I must keep the line tight. The bottom of the pool is littered with logs, branches and who knows what else. The fish knows he has to find some of that cover to be able to rid himself of the streamer. His valiant effort falls short and he is brought to hand.


Is this a moment of Zen...I can only say it was a moment in life when all...






32 comments:

  1. Good morning Alan, I would add "Mickey Finn" to your short list.

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    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      John Mickey is a good choice...I tie a marabou version much Like Gartside's soft hackle streamer.

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  2. Alan,
    I have not fished a lot of streamers on my small streams. Thanks for some winning examples. I will tie some up and give it a try.
    JJ

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    1. Beaverdam
      Thanks
      Joe the streamers can be very effective on small streams. High water is a good time to fish them and this time of year there are a lot of small hatchlings about.

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  3. Nice selection Alan. With the absence of fishing I've been starting to tie again. Unfortunately it's not just like falling off a bicycle. :-)

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    1. billp
      Thanks
      Bill tying is good. And you know the old saying. "you fall off the bike you get back on it"...There are many patterns that I can't tie, but I do. Most times the fish can't tell the difference.

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  4. Alan, It would be interesting to see what those pools look like underwater. Any chance you could borrow a GoPro camera and shoot some footage?

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    1. Gary
      Thanks
      Gary you are quite right, seeing the bottom of a pool like that would be awesome. But some suspense and mystery is also awesome. My son has a GoPro. I just need to figure it out and use it.

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  5. Awesome Alan! Beautiful flies for sure.

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    1. Hibernation
      Thanks
      Will these lovelies kick butt. Workhorses.

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  6. I'm a sucker for a cool named fly. Montreal Bucktail Whore is what I originally found and what I have in my box.

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    1. Mark Kautz
      Thanks
      Mark they do tie it as a bucktail. Both versions work well...I to like the name.

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  7. Alan,
    Your streamer work is eclipsed only by your soft-hackles! Your tying is so clean, so spot on! These three have inspired me to break out the long shanks and marabou and tinsels! I have taken John D.'s suggestion and added the Mickey Finn to my short list!
    Although your feather wing streamers are to die for, I am glad to hear that you like marabou for winging material! I love paring and preparing bloods! They are very versatile when gauging lengths and densities of fibers! Your patterns listed above are beautiful!
    Dougsden

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    1. Dougsden
      Thanks
      Doug the Mickey Finn is a great fly and can be tied with marabou. The secret is to keep it sparse especially when using standard shank streamer hooks. I have a few of your marabou streamers and you do fine work.

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  8. Hi Alan,

    I can just imagine the stream with its sights, sounds and smells. In my minds eye, I see the water tumbling through the pool, I can picture the cast and feel the tension and anticipation as the fly swings around in the current. Then, all that tension is released as the brookie slams the fly.............

    Love the art work BTW, who is the artist?

    Stay safe & keep the posts coming

    Alistair

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    Replies
    1. Alistair
      Thanks
      You get it mate. The minds eye, yes sir. You are miles away from where you actually are and suddenly that first hard tug brings you back to reality and the fight is on. The art work is mine, thank you.
      Be well.

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    2. Truly a man of many talents, please post up some more of you work!!!!

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    3. Alistair
      It's not a drawing. I have a photo program and sometimes I fool around with it. This one came out rather nice.

      Delete
  9. Lovely flies. We are in the high water times here in the Smokies. What hook size are you using?
    Ray

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    1. Ray,
      Thanks
      Ray I have to visit the Smokies one day.
      The hooks I used on those flies were Mustad 3665A #10, I will use 6 and 8's. I think that Mustad 3665A hook is best for marabou flies.

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  10. Alan, as you may recall, I tied some Montreal Whores in the past on your same Mustad 3665A hooks sz. 10. Gratefully, I have landed 1 Chinook & 2 Coho salmon in freshwater fishing a 7' fiberglass 3wt. Thanks again fine sir.

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    1. Matt Harding
      Thanks
      Matt are you still in lock down?
      I still have the photo you sent me of the Coho....the size 10 works best for me, especially on small streams. 7' 3wt glass, perfect.

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    2. Yep, still locked down. The Gov. Recently closed all fresh & salt fishing...ridiculous. Many local lakes & saltwater zones are usually open year-round.

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  11. I will say this, Alan, there is nothing like connecting to a trout, or any fish for that matter, on a fly we made at our bench. People who don't fish will never understand the gratification.

    I still want to fish the hidden small stream within my town, and will when the time is right. I don't want to bring attention to it right now fearing it will get cleaned out of the wild browns and native brookies at this particular time.

    However, I did fish my unpopular zone of the water I love yesterday in the rain and wind. I like fishing in that kind of weather being I am pretty sure I will have it to myself, which I did yesterday. One trout connected and it released itself with a spectacular jumping effort that freed itself from the fly. A great memory.

    Best, Sam

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    1. Sam
      Thanks
      Sam a very big part of what we do are the little things. Sure catching a big trout is special but to take any trout small or large on a creation of your making is tops.
      Caution is needed on keeping things secret especially when people are about. Your wise to wait. Did you enjoy your time on the water? Stupid question on my part. I believe you cherished every minute and that's reward.

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    2. Alan, I surely did enjoy my time on the water. Part of the time I just sat on a boulder in mid stream trying not to think, just listen. Sitting there amongst shallow riffles, I saw these little splashes which even now I don't know if they were rises or just the flowing water doing what it does. One in particular looked and sounded like a rise to me though.

      Best, Sam

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    3. Sam we are much the same. If I were to guess the actual time I fish on a stream it probably would be half the time I'm out there.
      Those dimples on the riffles you saw could be anything you want them to be....enjoy.

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  12. Alan, Small Marabou Micky Finn & Red and White are my go tos
    For Brook Trout

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    1. RW Van Brunt
      Thanks
      Those are two great choices...the Red and White is overlooked most times and that's a mistake.

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  13. Alan
    Streamers are flies that a seldom use on the tail-race I guess mainly because I am fishing with standard nymphs and dries. I have made a commitment this year to use some of the streamers I've got from you---that is if the rain stops anytime soon. The report yesterday said the Sipsey will not be fish-able until late May. So impressed with those 3 steamers--thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill they will work on the Sipsey, they work on the Farmington. You guys can't catch a break. This spring has been different for sure. Hang in there.

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