Winter Streamers… yes

Ok, so I was reading an article the other day that came up on my feed on facebook and for the life of me I cannot find it to reference it but these guys had a great point.  Nymphing is obviously the most effective was to fish in the winter, maybe all year, but if its slow why not throw on a streamer and let that be slow. Maybe you’ll fool the “One”.   So a couple weeks ago, I was fishing this spot on the Henry’s fork and I was nymphing, a la Chubbs, the nymphinest.  It was slow, and nothing was too spectacular.  I was seriously about to leave, and then I lost my whole setup on a snag.  Normally that is a reel up and walk off moment for this guy, but that article came to mind, so I threw on a big nasty.  Skyler, from Anglers Anonymous, tied this big ol’ white and olive articulated monster with marabou for days.  I bet it took him 30 minutes to tie, and he is good.  Anyway, I threw it out there with no weight and let it start swinging… small strip…. swing… big strip… and swing through this riffle I had my eye on.  SMACK.  It must’ve been a GatorBow because it hit that streamer and immediately went into a death roll.  Very Crocodile Dundee-esque.  He was gone, but I was satisfied.

So I decided last night that I would go back and only throw streamers.  I have been battling the flu, so the weakness has not left my aging body yet, but it was like 46 degrees and sunny. HELLO. I rigged up and decided to go smaller on my streamer selection.  I chose a killer combo that not many people know about. (sarcasm implied).  We refer to it as…. Bling and Black.  I throw a Coffeys Sparkle Minnow on and then 18″ below that a black lead eyed Woolly Bugger (tied by Skyler @ Anglers Anonymous).

I was only four casts in and then first brown on.  He wasn’t huge by any stretch of the imagination, but he was strong and had a cute little baby kype going.  I can’t wait to catch him next year.

baby kype

So from there, I start meticulously working water.  This is fairly new water to me but I know there is fish here, so I start my swing 15 feet out and swing.  20 feet out, 25 feet out then just keep launching.  From there I took a few steps down and started over.  This next section at the tail end of my swing I was concentrating on moving downstream and felt the tug.  My line was straight down river from me, and I set the hook to a splash and gone scene.  I learned a little something on that.. they are following it to the tail end and not eating until it stops moving really.  Now its on….

keep em wet swim away 2 swim away 1 chubby chrome

I love the fish swimming away pics.  I caught chrome, colored up, fat, skinny, browns, hybrids, rainbows.  It was stellar.  Did I mention 46 degrees?




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3 Responses to “Winter Streamers… yes”

  1. Larry Dunbar Says:

    Hi JLit,
    Nice story, I fish steelhead in WA/OR and the Swing vs. Nymph discussion goes on year round. I do both, but prefer to swing even though it only brings about 20% of the fish. It is just so much fun standing in that 40 degree water with rain and sleet blowing in your face.
    Nice Pics

    Larry Dunbar
    Anglers Club Magazine


  2. Joel Stephens Says:

    I’m with you Larry. My buddies nymph and just seem to slay ’em. I just can’t seem to bring myself to leave the swing. Not as much fish, but every cast is a blast!


  3. Corey Willey Says:

    Good stuff, saw people using a similar method steelhead fishing that worked phenomenally


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