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Class Close-up: Hone Your Streamer Technique

10/12/16 at 01:15 PM by Vince Puzick


with Jamie Roth and Scott Voyles


One of our top classes is coming up over the next two Saturdays – our  301 Streamer Class.  This two-part class –classroom presentation and streamside – will help you hone your knowledge of fish behavior, gear, and streamer techniques to target those big, hungry browns. 


The Classroom Session


jamie bent rodThe classroom session (Saturday October 15 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.) will address some essential knowledge for successful streamer fishing.  Participants will learn about stalking big fish, 20” and above, because these “big fish are looking for big meals” as Jamie Roth, one of the instructors, says.  Especially in the fall, big brown trout are exhibiting spawning behavior, which includes predatory and territorial behavior. “Anglers will trigger that predatory instinct,” Roth says.  “Those big browns will hit out of aggression.”


In addition to fish behavior, the classroom portion will address streamer patterns and gear choices that distinguish streamer fishing from other types.  Rod choice is important.  Stiffer, heavier, faster action rods are necessary because of the weight of the flies themselves.  Roth and Scott Voyles, co-instructor, will discuss when anglers should use weighted (cone head) streamers with floating lines or when they should use unweighted streamers with sinking lines.  Participants will receive recipes for different streamer patterns that are favorites of the guides in the Shop.




On Saturday, October 22, Jamie and Scott will lead the streamside portion from 8:00 a.m. to noon.  They’ll work on a method Jamie labels “IPAPAP.”


  • Identify:  Although this is not a “reading the water” class, reading the water is an important aspect of streamer fishing.  Where are fish likely to be holding? 
  • Plan:  It’s important for anglers to plan their next steps.  What’s the depth of the water?  Speed? How quickly can you get the pattern down?  How will you work the water?  “You don’t want to just step out and begin casting.”  Pausing to plan is an important step and often skipped because we get excited to make our presentation.
  • Approach:  “Fish out to where you are going to fish.”  Anglers want to strategically move and cast to different areas on the river.  Anglers want to fish ahead of where the are walking to cover areas at or under the bank or holes further out.
  • scottPresentation:  Jamie and Scott will cover the different strategies for presenting the streamer and retrieving.  “Getting the cadence right is so important,” Roth says.  Varying the retrieve – long or short strips, pausing the retrieve, straight-line dead drifts – are all decisions the angler has to make. Good presentation also calls for good casting – made more challenging with the big flies and heavy tippet.
  • Adjust:  Effective streamer fishing comes down to “putting the puzzle pieces together.”  Anglers might change patterns – and Roth and Voyles will cover “color-sequencing” and moving from dark to light patterns, changing weight, adjusting the retrieve, and more.  The streamside portion will be about going through the problem-solving process to determine what’s working. 
  • Presentation:  Present – adjust – present.  Once the adjustments have been made, begin to work the water again.

The fall season means that big fish are eating big, protein-rich meals to prepare for the lethargy of the winter season.  It also means anglers can have great opportunities for landing those big fish with well-honed streamer skills.


Register for the two-part streamer class here

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Fri-Sun 7am-6pm,

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