There is no question that more large fish are caught on streamer type fly patterns than any other fly style. Streamer flies, designed to imitate small fish, are the preferred target of larger fish. Why? By allowing minnows and bait-fish to do all the work of concentrating nutrients from smaller organisms, larger fish are capitalizing on the collective efforts of all the smaller fish that they eat. This is a far more efficient feeding strategy that allows large fish to grow even larger than they otherwise would.
So what makes a good streamer pattern? It all comes down to feeding mode and search image. If fish are feeding opportunistically, just the darting motion of the retrieve is enough to suggest a minnow in distress – the actual streamer pattern used is irrelevant. If fish are in the non-hatch mode, size shape and color will come into play – here, matching the color pattern of the predominant bait-fish is needed to trigger a response. For the more selective fish, other elements that complete the search image are needed – and the number one element to complete the search image is often the eyes.
There are hundreds of different streamer pattern out there, and all will catch fish to some degree depending on target species, location, and feeding mode. But the number one proven streamer that includes all of the search image elements in one package has to be the Clouser Minnow. This fly can be tied in a variety of sizes and, with its predominant dumbbell eyes, will trigger even the fussiest fish into striking.
If you are looking for solidly tied and durable Clouser Minnows, in a variety of colors and sizes, check out some of Brian’s creations on troutfodder.com