To me, being a streamer junkie is like being the home run hitter on the baseball team.
Just like a home run hitter, when trying to catch the alpha predator of any species, as anglers, we are also “swinging for the fences”. When an angler has decided to throw a large articulated streamer for the day, he is saying “no” to small fish. An angler stripping large streamers has made the decision to test himself against the toughest fish to tackle. For some, becoming a streamer junkie is a lifestyle decision with no looking back.
It requires a serious amount of dedication and determination to land the fish of a lifetime on a streamer, regardless of species. It doesn’t matter whether your target is trout, bass, musky, etc. If you’re chasing the biggest bad boy of the pack, it’s going to require you to put your time in. In other words, it ain’t for wussies. This isn’t a style of fishing for the casual angler. To successfully net big fish on large flies it takes time spent dedicating days to the cause. In order to consistently battle the big boys on big flies, you have to consistently fish big flies! Sounds like common sense huh? I thought so too, but it’s amazing how many anglers tie on a big fly, chuck it around for ten minutes with no results, and give up. This type of fishing isn’t for quitters. Streamer junkies strap on their big boy waders, get on the water with the big stick, and just keep stripping. If you’re looking for a style of fishing with instant gratification, this way of life is definitely not for you.
Just like the home run hitter on the ball team, when you’re swinging for the fence with the alpha males you face a likely chance of striking out. I can tell you right up front that there will be days you get skunked. There will be days you might not even see a fish, let alone put one in the net. And there will definitely be a lot of “OH SHIT” moments. This is all par for the course. When it all comes together, it’s pure magic. Having a fish that is big an nasty nearly pull the rod out of your hand while he’s crushing on your large offering makes up for all the days you couldn’t make it happen. Just like a home run hitter, it’s not a big deal when you strike out because the next time up you might knock it out of the park.
The streamer lifestyle is for the anglers who want something more out of the sport of fly fishing. It’s for those who are willing to truly put there angling ability to the test against the toughest class of fish. No one ever said it was going to be easy, but it will certainly be worth it. So what do you want to be, the casual angler that blends into mediocrity, or do you want to be a heroic home run hitter? The decision is yours. Good luck.
Written by Kyle Winey.
Kyle operates a Pennsylvania fly fishing blog, “The Fishing Flow”.