Top streamers for fall fishing and their distant cousins

Fish any of these patterns to find the big fish

By Patrick Straub EBS Fishing Columnist

As the morning frost thickens when September passes and October begins, a die-hard group of anglers grow increasingly excited.

Junkies, addicts, thugs and strippers show their true colors. I’m not talking about criminals, gang-bangers or folks breaking the law. I’m exposing a sub-culture of fly fishing—the committed streamer angler. These anglers are devoted to matching two things: big fish on big flies.

“Streamers” is the common term used to describe flies tied to imitate other baitfish or larger food, such as crayfish and baitfish. This is not a new concept in fly fishing; using large flies to catch fish has roots with the birth of fly fishing. The first anglers to use feathers on a hook to catch a fish did so by tying their flies to imitate other fish. Many of these original baitfish patterns were longer than 4 inches.

Today’s streamer junkies and tug thugs may think they have broken new ground in fly fishing with the creation of several new streamer patterns, but they’ve simply re-purposed old hits into new ones, à la Dr. Dre and Diddy. Here’s my list of the best streamers to have in your box and their pattern of origin.

The Conehead Muddler Minnow. Rooted in a traditional sculpin pattern, the Conehead Muddler Minnow took an oldie and turned it into a chart sensation. The conehead adds weight to the fly to help it get down, and the flash in the body and wing imitate a myriad of baitfish. Because the fly is not articulated, it can be fished as a lead fly on a two-fly rig and tangles less. Locally, this fly tied with a smaller nymph as a trailer is a fish-catching machine on the Lower Madison.

Coffey’s Sparkle…

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