We have been talking a lot about streamers over the past couple of weeks and how can you not? It is fall and there is no better time for anglers to fish streamers. Fish are keying in on bigger meals as the cooler weather creeps in. Since we have covered the best flies for fall and also have covered how to fish streamers I thought It would be a good idea to round it all off this week with 7 must-have items for streamers. Any one of these pieces of gear will have you better equipped when fishing streamers this fall and having every single piece of the gear mentioned will have you dialed in for years to come. It is time to dive into the 7 must-have items to have for streamers this fall.
When it comes to fishing with streamers it is best practice to have a dedicated rod and reel outfit. And, that dedicated rod and reel outfit will need to withstand heavier flies and heavier line weights day in and day out. The best rod for the job? The IMX - PRO 9' 6wt. When it comes to streamer rods, there are many to choose from however, the IMX-PRO tops my list for many reasons the first being affordability. This rod comes in at below $600 and is made right here in the USA. You will be hard-pressed to find another rod of this caliber and at this price point. This rod is perfect for those looking to dip their toe into the world of streamer angling or those looking to just have an extra streamer rod in their drift boat. However, befits of this rod go far past the low price tag. The IMX - PRO 9' 6wt is a rod with a stiff midsection and a stiff tip section but still has that snappy feel of a lighter weighted rod. In short, this rod is perfect for throwing streamers and not just small ones big, double articulated streamers, and in the heavier rod weights bigger flies for pike and muskie. When held in hand it is easy to feel how powerful this rod is and when cast from a drift boat or the banks very apparent that this rod was built with the purpose of throwing big streamers. Many have noted the physical weight of the rod is a bit much, however, I have never been one to care about if a rod is physically heavier or lighter than another. If anything, the weight of this rod is a small added benefit and will produce better casts at longer distances. In short, this rod is everything anglers are looking for, this rod has supreme capability when it comes to throwing streamers, is durable as hell and, to top it all off comes in at a very affordable price point. When you put these words together you get a rod that is built with a purpose. And, that purpose is throwing big streamers.
The Fly Reel:
In order to reel in the potential fish of a lifetime, you are going to need a fly reel that can stand up to the test. The perfect option? The Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel. At first impression, the Orvis Mirage LT is pure eye-candy, especially in the limited edition Midnight colorway. On top of offering beautiful machining and craftsmanship, this rod is lightweight and boasts one of the smoothest drag systems there is. With zero start-up inertia and precise low-end control, it eliminates line shock and protects light tippets with the same silky smooth drag as the original Mirage Fly Reel, and yet offers more stopping power than you will ever need for trout, bass, pike, musky, or carp. The LT offers the same increased retrieve rates, reduction in line coil, and is machined from the same strong, yet lightweight, 6061 T6 aluminum bar stock as the original Mirage Fly Reel. This reel also boasts a beautiful ergonomically designed machined aluminum handle and quick-release spool which easily converts from left or right hand retrieve. With the type II anodizing finish, you can be sure that your paint finish will last a lifetime. The LT version offers a titanium shaft that reduces reel weight and adds durable power transmission when in use. This reel has a fully radiused reel foot which prevents kinked leaders, a feature that comes in handy when you are dumping out a ton of line. If you want the short version, The Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel is an absolutely stellar reel that will last a lifetime and will make sure you focus on landing that fish of a lifetime.
Whether fishing for trout, bass, pike, or musky there are times when a large fly is the best option, and RIO’s Predator line series is designed specifically to cast them easily. When fishing large double articulated streamers you are going to want a fly line that packs a punch and gets down to the fish. If you are looking for a fly line that can do just that, look no further than the Elite RIO Predator Fly Line. New for 2021 the elite Rio Predator Fly Line is made with a bigger profile which allows the angler to turn over big flies in all conditions. It does not matter if there is driving wind through the South Park, CO with the Elite Rio Fly Line you can make sure your fly will get there. When fishing streamers a short-headed fly line will be the most optimal, that is why the design team at Rio decided to make the heads of this fly line, well...short. The heads on these fly lines come in at 32'-36' feet in length with most of the weight being on the backside of the taper. With most of the weight behind the taper, this allows the angler to turn over their fly with accuracy and precision. Whether floating or sink tip, each line is built on RIO’s low stretch ConnectCore Plus for maximum performance and features SlickCast—the slickest, most durable coating on the market.
A durable 100% Fluorocarbon tippet is an important little detail that can make one hell of a difference when fishing streamers. And, the Scientific Anglers Absolute Trout Supreme Fluorocarbon Tippet is a fantastic option, preferably in a 1-3X size. this tippet is built with a unique two-layer construction which means this 100% fluorocarbon tippet is the strongest Scientific Anglers has ever offered and boasts an up to 33% higher knot strength. If you have been staying up to date on the blog you will remember that I covered the benefits of using 100% fluorocarbon tippets for streamers. If you are interested in learning the specifics CLICK HERE to learn more. The short end of it is this though:
When you are fishing streamers you are trying to induce a reactionary strike, you are trying to get your fly into that trout's feeding zone, strip it across their face, and BAM, have that fish snap at your fly within one or two strips from the bank. The fishing taking your fly on a streamer is not exactly examining your fly as close as they would a dry fly or nymph, these trout are seeing a big flashy object moving past them and they want to eat it since they will not be examining your fly as much as they typically would, that means that you can get away will using larger tippet diameters as well. By using a larger diameter tippet you are also giving yourself the insurance that the fish that snaps at your fly will not break off.
FISH THE DOUBLE FUEGO. In the words of fly designer Brandon Mena "For as long as I have been tying streamers, I have had the most success (with trout) with smaller streamers. The Double Fuego is my favorite articulated streamer to fish and is much smaller when compared to other articulated streamers in most fly shop bins." The Double Fuego was created at my bench when I was thinking about how good of a fly Cheech’s Articulated Trout Slider is and I wanted something smaller than that fly but still utilized Metallic Ice Dub which I feel is really what makes the Articulated Trout Slider have such killer action. My most favorite color is white this time of year, especially if it is a bright day this fly with flash and sparkle like a diamond in the water."
If you are one of those people who enjoy tools that will make your life easier on the water (read: everyone). Look no further than the Simms Flyweight Plier. These pliers were designed with an anodized aluminum body with stainless steel jaws and cutters. Which makes them handier than your generic pair of forceps. In order to make those micro-adjustments a breeze the plier's holster also has been designed to attach to the HEXGRID and PALS webbing (38mm) that comes equipped on the SIMMS flyweight wading belts and suspender straps. If you want to learn more about these plies and see some quality shots, our own Ivan Orsic did a fantastic short video going over the benefits of these bad boys.
The weather that comes with fishing streamers can be distilled down to one word. Chilly. Take for example two days ago, when we woke up to temperatures of around 45 degrees and low cloud cover. I may be from Texas but, I have spent enough time here in colorado to know that weather like this is more than enough grounds for wearing a shacket. Yes, I indeed said a shacket. One such as The Simms Cold Weather Hoody. The hooded flannel lined with waffle fleece for extra warmth during those chilly fishing days is something you didn't realize you needed until now.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or lingering ideas about what flies to bring on your next trip to the water, we have your covered. If you liked today's read or have any other items you think I missed or you personally have with you at all times for streamers let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.