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How To Pick The Right Streamer For Catching Big Trout

“How To Pick The Right Streamer For Catching Big Trout” is an informative video by Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing that explores the art of selecting the ideal fly pattern for streamer fishing. Streamers are a highly effective method for catching trout, and this video aims to provide valuable insights on choosing the right streamer for optimal success. The narrator highlights the absence of rigid rules when it comes to selecting streamer flies, emphasizing the importance of considering factors such as water clarity, weather conditions, and fish behavior. The video takes viewers through various scenarios, discussing the fly patterns that were initially tried and examining the thought process behind adjusting the fly pattern until success is achieved. The overarching message conveyed is that while there are general guidelines to follow, it is crucial to experiment and adapt to find the streamer that will entice the fish to commit.

Choosing the Right Streamer Pattern

Streamers are a popular and effective way to catch trout, but choosing the right fly pattern can be a challenge. There are several factors to consider, including understanding the rules, experimenting with different colors, considering water clarity, and observing fish behavior. In this article, we will discuss each of these aspects in detail and provide tips from experts to help you choose the right streamer pattern for catching big trout.

Understanding the Rules

When it comes to streamer patterns, there are no solid rules that apply every time. However, there is a general guideline that can be helpful in making your selection. On bright days with clear water, it is recommended to use a light-colored fly. Conversely, on dark days with dirty water, a dark-colored fly tends to work well. This rule can serve as a starting point, but it’s important to remember that it’s not set in stone and may not always produce the desired results.

Experimenting with Different Colors

One way to find the right streamer pattern is through experimentation with different colors. Starting with black or olive flies is a good initial approach. These colors are versatile and can mimic various baitfish and insects. If these colors aren’t attracting the fish, it may be worth switching to a different hue. On bright days, using yellow can be effective in mimicking brown trout or other prey that fish are feeding on. White and tan flies are also great options for bright days as they can imitate baitfish.

Considering Water Clarity

Water clarity plays a significant role in determining the color of the streamer pattern that will be most effective. In clear water, lighter-colored streamers tend to work better as they are more visible to fish. On the other hand, in dirty water, darker-colored streamers are recommended as they offer better contrast and can be more easily noticed by fish. Adapting your fly color to the water clarity can greatly increase your chances of success.

Observe Fish Behavior

Observing fish behavior can provide valuable insights into the type of streamer pattern to use. If the fish are chasing the fly but not committing, it may indicate that they are not in an aggressive feeding mood or that the water temperature is cold. In this case, it might be necessary to switch streamer patterns or sizes. On the other hand, if you notice a super aggressive fish that consistently commits to your streamer, you may have found the right pattern. Pay attention to what the fish are eating in the river and try to imitate their preferred prey.

Tips from Experts

To further enhance your streamer fishing skills, here are some tips from experts:

  1. Favorite Colors for Different Rivers: Different rivers may have different color preferences for streamers. For example, black is a popular color in the River of Dreams, while in other rivers, brown or autumn splendor may work well.
  2. Choosing Colors Based on Overcast Days: On overcast days, darker-colored streamers, such as black, tend to be more visible and attractive to fish.
  3. Using Baitfish Imitations: When fish are feeding on specific baitfish species, it can be beneficial to use streamers that closely mimic their appearance.
  4. Switching Flies Based on Success: If one streamer pattern is consistently producing good results, stick with it. However, if a particular pattern is not working, be willing to switch to a different one.
  5. Finding Standbys for Any Condition: Some streamer patterns, such as black, white, and olive, are reliable options that can work well in various conditions. It’s a good practice to have these standby patterns in your fly box.


Choosing the right streamer pattern is essential for successful trout fishing. While there are no solid rules, understanding the principles of using light-colored flies for bright days and dark-colored flies for dark days can serve as a starting point. Experimenting with different colors, considering water clarity, and observing fish behavior are crucial steps in finding the most effective pattern. By following the tips from experts, you can improve your chances of catching big trout with streamers. Remember to have fun, be open to experimentation, and enjoy the process of finding the perfect streamer pattern for each fishing situation.

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