Throw the meat
It's been a while... I know... Right now there are some pretty exciting things going on with Fly Fish Food because we are putting the finishing touches on our retail shop in Orem, UT. It seems like every waking hour is spent getting everything set up in the shop, but it will all be worth it in the long run! Anyway, as we sit hanging the millionth bag of dubbing on the wall, we dream of tying flies and fishing big streamers like we used to in the fall. Really it's not that bad, and I soaked a few streamers a few weeks ago.
As we rolled up to the brand new spot that we had never fished, I was debating on whether to take a streamer rod, a Czech nymph rod, or both. It seems like every time I'm considering this it turns into a no-brainer and I just grab the streamer stick. Adam and Curtis grabbed nymph sticks and up the trail we went. As I decided which fly to tie on, It's always a hard decision on a new water that I have never fished, so I took into consideration how deep the river was, how fast it was flowing, how accessible it was... Well, not really. I assessed the situation for two milliseconds and immediately tied on the Articulated Trout Slider in gold because it has become my ultimate confidence fly. I tried throwing other stuff that day, but all of my eats came on the gold slider... Go figure.
This led me to think about how I select flies for streamer fishing, and I think I have it dialed down to a handful of patterns that I always make sure I have. I also have become pretty partial to some materials that have allowed my streamer tying to get better and better as I practice new techniques.
1- Articulated Trout Slider. This pattern (the gold one) is typically the first streamer that I tie on because of how it moves in the water. The fish have some kind of addiction to gold too. It really could be part of the Kardashian family because of all the hype and bling, but the back end is too slim. We have a tutorial to show you how to tie it (HERE), or you can buy them (HERE) now that our friends at Fulling Mill are on board with it!
2- Complex Twist Bugger. This is the ultimate fly for the last minute tying sessions before a fishing trip. There are lots of times when I have some new fangled device that I think is going to crush, but the damn complex twist usually outperforms them all. Dear Complex Twist Bugger, stop making more complicated flies look bad. Sincerely, Cheech. Tie it (HERE) or buy it (HERE). Also, the new Gator Grip from Loon makes this fly very easy to tie.
3- Belly Scratcher Minnow. This fly has been tied in a bazillion different configurations since I started tying them, and it seems like they all work! Really though, I usually have 5 or 6 of them in chub color because it mimics a lot of different bait fish. I like to tie this one on when the fish are having snooty attitude issues and they need to be educated. Tie it (HERE), or buy it (HERE).
These three flies have probably accounted for the majority of my streamer fish this year, mostly because I have confidence in them and I fish them pretty hard. This isn't to say that I don't fish other patterns, because I do... a lot... It's just that these patterns are the ones that I know that the fish will absolutely eat.
If you are into creating your own sauce to feed the fish, there are a few staple materials that I seem to use a lot more than others, and you will see them a lot in our tutorials. This should be no secret, but I really like micro pulsator strips, schlappen, polar chenille, ice dub in metallic colors (gold, silver, copper, holographic silver, red, blue steelie etc), and nature's spirit prime long marabou.
These flies and materials should help you put some chemically sharpened steel into a few fish faces this fall! Best of luck!