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ESSENTIAL SKILLS: VOLUME 6 STREAMER FISHING
Author: Oliver Edwards
Publisher: DGP PRODUCTIONS, Jan 2007
Contrary to what many people think, streamer fishing is not a chuck and chance it technique, it has its own particular skills, equal to any other fly fishing discipline and importantly, it attracts big, predatory fish. The fly tying is also full of interest; you'll be using many new materials and some old ones. There's plenty of new techniques to learn, it's great fun, you'll love it. 60+ min.
Streamer fishing on rivers in the UK has never had a following. There is little written material, no books or patterns. Totally different to the UK reservoir fishing scene! A curious point, if you consider that streamer fishing on rivers is practised everywhere else in the world.
Contrary to what many people think, streamer fishing is not a chuck and chance it technique, it has its own particular skills, equal to any other fly fishing discipline and importantly, it attracts big, predatory fish. It'll help you improve your 'underwater brain' increasing your ability to spot likely holding zones or lies, instead of relying on tell-tale rise forms.
This is an essential skill for every river fisher's armoury, because on those days with no rising fish, particularly when the river is up several inches and slightly coloured, streamer fishing is likely to give you some good sport, with the possibility of a really big fish bending your rod.
This season, streamer fishing on the Wharfe gave me my best two fish on any Dales river. One, a wild fish of 20 inches! I didn't weigh it, but I'd guess it was around 2 pounds. It took a 2 inch Snappy Poodle. I doubt that you'd have inter- ested this fish with a size 16 Partridge and Orange!
The fly tying is also full of interest; you'll be using many new materials and some old ones. There's plenty of new techniques to learn, it's great fun, you'll love it.
I'll grant you streamer fishing is far less delicate than casting a size 18 olive paradun to rising fish. With a sink tip line and a heavy streamer, your casting will have to be up to scratch. Occasionally you will be required to perform a role cast, and with this tackle set-up it's not elegant, but it is possible. Also, false casting is not an option.
You're going to have to work on your casting skills. However, you'll be amazed how quickly you can master casting heavy streamers, your timing will quickly become second nature. You'll be able to accurately probe many obscure lies as well as the obvious ones. As always, stay relaxed yet focussed, because every now and again you'll have a pulse racing moment when those first few strips produce a large bow wave funnelling purposely towards your streamer - a split second later, the rod butt jolts your hand.
Streamer fishing greatly widens the areas of the river you can search. How for instance would you tackle a large wide deep pool, where, because of topography, or permission, you can only fish from one bank? The incoming current leads towards the far bank and the fish lie in that deep steady water. These fish may rarely rise, they're content to hang near the river bed and maybe grab the odd sculpin, minnow or even a baby crayfish. So what do you do? With streamer fishing you have the answer. This is an essential skill you will have to learn if you want to explore the water fully.
Finally, use streamers sensibly and show consideration to fellow anglers. You would quickly give yourself and streamer fishing a bad name if you were to rake through a pool or run with rising fish ahead of someone about to fish wets, dries or nymphs. There is a time and place for everything. If there are rising fish, I certainly wouldn't be fishing streamers - period!