Streamer Tips to be a Better Fly Fisherman

Today’s blog and video come about as a result of literally dozens of questions sent to me each fly fishing season. I realize that fly fishing is hard … but so worth the time placed in getting better. So, below are some general and streamer tips that are backed up within the video. Take some time to review these tips and please realize that we ALL can get better; I too, often try and diagnose my own faults and issues that lead to those days when the day might get a bit frustrating.

Tip 1:
Consider your casting direction to increase or decrease the depth of your fly. By mending your cast you can give your fly a little time to sink and get lower in the water column. An upstream mend causes the fly to lower … while a downstream mend will allow the fly line to gather in the current of the stream and keep your fly up within the water column. Take a minute to look at this tip in the video and you can see that by casting upstream with an upstream mend, I can get my fly deeper …. to place it in front of fish that may have their bellies towards the substrate of the stream.

Tip 2:
If you want to catch more fish, practice your strip-set. Often called a ‘lawnmower’ strip, a modified version of this maneuver can be seen on the video. This modified strip-set for trout settings will allow you to hook, or attempt to hook the fish…without moving the fly out of the ‘death-zone’ or follow up zone of the fish. Note that I use a stripping guard and simply can’t fish without one. I like the feeling of being in contact with the fly-line at all times and a stripping guard allows you to do this without causing an injury to your finger.

Tip 3:
Learn to water-load your fly line. Water loading allows the caster to make long casts with small tippet and heavy flies (which is often the case when trout fishing in clear water). By water loading you also maximize the inertia in your fly line allowing you to ‘shoot’ a long string of fly line with a very short back cast.

Tip 4:
If you aren’t yet up to speed in using sink-tip fly line … it is time to open up your horizons. Sink tip allows for the fly fisherman to keep their fly in the ‘death-zone’ (zone where the fish are eating) for a longer time. I am a Rio fly line person and love their various sink tip possibilities. Click here for a link to the sink tip 1 fly line that I use on a daily basis. Lastly, a simple but very effective tip is to learn to keep your rod-tip in the water and following your fly line at all times. You want the shortest distance between you and the fly … at all times!

If after watching the video you have further questions, you can contact me by using the comment portion below or by emailing me at I will do my best to quickly and honestly answer your question …. but please watch the video before sending along any questions.

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