Sunday, March 16, 2014

Streamer Ways

I still remember the days when people used to use their phones to call up their friends in order to set up a day on the water.  We now live in a time where texting has become the primary method of pre fishing communication.  As long as fishing is still part of the overall equation I am not going to complain especially when Nick Wilson volunteers to pick me up for a day of fishing at 7:00 am on the Ides of March.  I initially had planned on Nick and I implementing a "Divide and Conquer" approach once we arrived at the river until Nick proposed that I teach him my Streamer Ways.

In the world of Fly Fishing there are dry flies, nymphs, wet flies, terrestrials and streamers.  Streamers are a type of fly usually designed to imitate a bait fish of some sort.  A bait fish is any fish that could conceivably be consumed by another fish.

 It was only last spring when I personally made the decision to go from, "Streamer Dreamer" to "Streamer Dream Teamer".  Since then I have fished streamers obsessively and nearly exclusively.  I have teamed up with some of the best and the brightest in the world of streamer fishing  to take "Streamer Dream Teamers" from a couple of words scrawled on a restaurant napkin to a group of visionaries now numbering in the fours.  Perhaps someday we will even have our own Facebook page.

While I feel as though I still have a lot to learn about fishing streamers I do believe I am qualified at this point to teach a little bit of Streamer 101.

Nick will probably never become as obsessed as I am about fishing streamers because he truly loves fishing dry flies and terrestrials.  I could go as far to say that, "It's the size of the rise that catches Nick's eyes".  The term rise refers to the disturbance on the waters surface when a trout engulfs a food item that is floating.  But I am glad that he sees the value in becoming a better streamer fisherman for those times when dry flies and terrestrials are not the key. 

While many days on the water that Nick and I have shared in the past have evolved into contests to determine who was a better fisherman today we would lay down our swords and fish together.  I was humbled that Nick asked me for help and I was determined to be the best teacher I could be.  I got the sense that Nick was ready to soak up as much information from me as he could because over the last year he has seen the average size of my catches rise considerably.

Does this guy look ready to catch fish with streamers or what?

I can't remember how Nick ended up with an Olive Conehead Wooly Bugger on the end of his line but what is undeniable is that the Olive Bugger is a veritable fish catching machine.  Can you see how much the Bugger resembles a bait fish?

"Once a streamer is cast out it must be brought back in by means of stripping.  There is no wrong way to strip because any way will eventually catch a fish but it is good to experiment with slow retrieves and if those don't seem to be working you can try fast or medium retrieves with intermittent pauses." 

 That is basically what I told Nick and it wasn't long before he had the first fish of the day.

I was really happy to see him experience success and it was almost as fun as if I had caught the fish myself.  It kind of reminded me of the day I got him to put away his dry flies and give nymphing a try.

This photo is from April of 2012.  It was taken on the Kinnickinnic River in Western Wisconsin.  I don't know if he has gotten rid of that ratty old hat yet or not.

All kidding aside we continued to make our way upstream and when we got to a spot that I thought was too shallow to hold fish I continued to proceed forward.  Nick knew better and started to cast where I was about to walk and seconds later I was ripping my camera out of the dry bag.

At least I was in prime position to capture the battle that ensued.  It wasn't long before another one would bite the dust at the hands of Noodle Nick.  I recently informed him that Noodle Nick was going to be his new nickname after he purchased a 10 foot fly rod to use for Steelheading.

  Coincidentally it was the same 7 weight fly rod he used to land this beautiful brown trout.

After seeing Nick land two nice browns to my none I was in good spirits but ready to end this slump I was in.  I am sure glad that world famous fly fisherman John Barr invented the Slump Buster for precisely this predicament.

Here is  a view of the Slump Buster both wet and dry.

And here is a photo of me holding the trout that ended my slump.  I was so happy.

If you look closely at the photo you can see that the trout already had a small bait fish hanging out of his mouth when he attacked my streamer.  The attack could have been an act of territorial aggression.

 Nick and I have always had a gentlemens agreement that works out nicely for the both of us.  He drives and I buy lunch.  It's hard to beat A&W after a day on the water.

The End

Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook

1 comment:

Dan Braun said...

Numbering in the fours. I think it's time for the Facebook page.

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