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.