As we get closer to October, the brown trout start to stage up and make their redds (spawning beds). They get very protective over their territory and attack anything that gets in their way. Streamers are the preferred method of catching these trout, but you can use other methods as well. Most anglers will agree that if you want to upset these moody trout, dragging a streamer in front of them is one of the best ways.
Fishing streamers is not easy and requires persistence and some heavy artillery. We generally use fly rods in the 7-8 weight range and either floating lines or sink tips to help keep the fly in the fish zone. Short stout leaders in the 8-12lbs range are generally the norm. Which fly to use? Streamers have really evolved over the past years and we are seeing more variety than just your normal wooly buggars. There are articulated streamers and super duper cone head streamers such as those tied with Fish Skulls. There are flashy streamers, realistic streamers and streamers tied with arctic fox or rabbit fur. There is just a wide variety to choose from. The cost can also be a bit of a shocker as well. I went into my local fly shop the other day to pick up a few new patterns and saw streamers priced from $2.50-$9.50. The cost alone for one of those expensive patterns is reason enough to tie it on with heavy line.
The technique is a fairly easy concept to grasp. Cover as much water as possible. Cast your streamer out and retrieve it with various retrieves. Long slow strips, quick short strips or any variety of the two. Once you figure out what the fish are looking for then stick with it. The fish can be explosive and want to murder your fly so be sure that you have good line control and a firm grip on your rod. I like to keep the rod just above the water so when I get a strike I can really set the hook. If the trout are chasing my streamer but not eating it, I will slow down my retrieve. If they aren't interested I will change colors. I really like light colored flies because you can see them in the water and can track where your fly is most of the time. Other colors that work well are black, olive, brown and yellow. There really is no wrong way to fish streamers as long as you keep these big flies out of your skin and off the bottom of the river.