Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Technique Tuesday: Streamer Fishing From a Drift Boat
In what I hoped to be a regular segment that has turned into a semi-annual piece I'll pick up where I left off last spring: Technique Tuesday! It's fall, which out here means there's a bunch of dip shits ready to rip browns off their reeds, and those of us with a conscience are going to be going streamer fishing. I am still a firm believer that if you really want the best streamer fishing possible you show up to MT in the spring, but this time of year it's a hell of a lot better than staring at a bobber. Here's some intel into what I've always found to work.
1. Heavy Fly, Light Line: We all know that the KG sinking line floating fly technique works, but where it really works is Galloups home river that is big and fast and demands a sink tip. For a lot of the water around here that style simply doesn't get down quick enough and then stays down too long once you get it there. I always prefer a long leader (9'-10') on a floating line and a heavy fly, such as a Sculpzilla or a home-brew with lead eyes and lead wraps. This style lets you sink into small deep buckets instantly, as well as impart a jigging motion that is nearly impossible to replicate with a sinking line. The most effective local streamer I know of has a #7 split shot incorporated into the head. This is not an accident!
2. Fish Smaller Flies: Sure, it's fun tying and fishing gigantic streamers that take a 9wt to throw, but when you're stripping that dead chicken you are weeding out all of the normal sized fish, and limiting yourself to the huge one that is so rare. "That's the point" you say, and I get that, but there is a streamer size pendulum, and I believe that you can fish a streamer that is small enough that you'll catch a lot of fish in the "nice" range (12"-18") as well as pull the two-footer out of his lumber abode. To me 3"-5"is the range where you can cover all fish and still show enough profile to get RHB.
3. Throw it Out the Back of the Boat: Does throwing down and across, and ripping it as fast you can work, of course. Does it put as many fish as humanly possible into your net? I don't think so. When you think about a small fish getting pushed out into the current, even in a small river, he is swimming head first down stream, getting pushed by the flow. By throwing out the back of the boat, and even mending down to put a belly in your line, you are creating a much more realistic presentation, and typically get better results. Having more tension on your line also leads to more hook-ups rather than foul balls, which is a good thing.
Hope these tips help this fall as the nights get cold and the fish get snappy, and remember, stay off the clean gravel!