What are the best streamers for the fall?
Fall in the mountains means a drop in temperature, changing of the colors in the trees, the anticipation of snow, and fishing with streamers for hungry trout. Streamer fishing this time of year can be lights out. The trout have been busy feeding all summer and it’s time to catch the big ones that are looking to get even larger before the lean winter months. Streamer fishing can be some of the most exciting action you can have on a fly rod. These are my favorite streamers for those hungry fall trout that always have a place in my fly box.
This is one of my go-to streamer patterns for almost any river or creek that I fish. This streamer has amazing action due to its “stinger hook” articulated design. The conehead combined with the rabbit strip tail makes this a quick sinking fly that gets in the zone quickly. This pattern comes in a wide range of colors: The black and natural colors always have a spot in my streamer box.
The baby gonga is a smaller version of the gonga, an articulated trout crusher. This fly was developed by Front Range fly-tying legend Charlie Craven and is one of my favorite streamers. It has a good amount of weight with its barbell eyes but not too much that it sinks like a rock. This fly moves like a real sculpin or small trout and can fool even the smartest trout. The action you get from this streamer really sets it apart from the hundreds of others on the market.
This bright, conehead streamer pushes a ton of water and gets the attention of some of the meanest fish in the river. The rubberlegs send out vibrations that the trout can feel through its lateral lines. This fly was designed by a well know guide from the Roaring Fork Valley and works really well in its home waters of the Roaring Fork and the Colorado River. I really like using it as a lead fly in a tandem streamer rig, with a black wooley bugger or sculpzilla. I feel like the autumn splendor get the fish’s attention and then they attack the tailing fly. Try it by itself or in that double set: Either way you’ll be happy with the results.
If getting deep quick is what you are looking for, look no further. The motor oil streamer is essentially a woolly bugger with a heavy barbell head that gets the streamer down. I like to use this fly on cloudy days when getting deep is crucial. This fly also is designed to ride hook point up, which means that you’ll snag the bottom of the river less.
The Cheech Leech was designed by Clark Pierce from Fly Fish Food. It has become the favorite of many guides in the valley due to its tendency of pull some of the largest trout out of the river. It’s a moderately weighted articulated streamer that has very life like movement in the water. This fly comes in a wide range of colors for different water and weather conditions. Throw it to the banks, and change up the stripping patterns or toss it out and swing it through the currents. Whatever way you fish it, you might end up with the biggest fish of your life.
Streamers can be expensive, so losing one can really be a bummer. Tie your streamer to your leader using 1X tippet. I like to save old leaders and use them for streamer fishing. The old leaders work well because they have been cut back to the thicker section of the leader, which is stronger and will not break as easily. Aggressive fish that go after streamers don’t care about the tippet size like they do when you are nymphing or dry-fly fishing.
Ray Kyle is a manager and a guide at Vail Valley Anglers. He can be reached at 970-926-0900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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