Over the past few years, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to take several art classes from Duane Hada. We’ve painted a number of pieces, using a variety of mediums including watercolors, acrylics, and even Gyotaku (a traditional Japanese method of printing fish).
Now, while there is certainly a difference between the mediums an artist would use to paint a canvas, and the materials a fly tyer would use to create a fly, there are still similarities in the fact that they are both in their own way pieces of art. This is especially true when it comes to many of the articulated streamers that have become so popular.
Kelly Galloup (aka “The Godfather”) is the man behind this ‘streamer craze’. His flies have changed the face (and attitude) of modern fly fishing. Other tyers like Mike Schmidt have taken the mantle as articulated fly tying innovators.
In much the same way an artist would strive to create a life-like image on canvas, so would these talented fly tyers, as they sculpt spun deer hair, palmer chenille, or taper synthetic body material on a pair of hooks connected together in such a manner as to create a fly that comes to life in the water.
People like Brian Wise, have helped increase the popularity of articulated streamers, with his step by step videos. His renderings of all of the popular streamers, have gathered much attention, and by the looks of his comments, people want to learn more about this increasingly popular fad.
Many fly tiers, such as Blane Chocklett, have actually brought art into their fly tying. His Rainbow colored Game Changer includes detailed rainbow trout patterns and colors, giving it a whole new level of realism.
Not only do articulated flies look completely different than other streamers when placed side by side, but behave completely different in the water as well. It’s this extra motion that gives articulated flies the upper hand when cast at monster brown trout.
What started off as a few feathers tied to a single hook has been transformed into a fully functional, creative piece of artwork that catches fish.
Click through for what is working this week
We have seen a definite increase in water flows this week, reaching over 8,000 cfs. We’ve seen windows of wadeable water at or a little above minimum flow (between 700- 1400 cfs). It seems there is little rhythm or pattern in the releases, stay in touch with the flows to maximize your fishing opportunities.
Wade fisherman can expect to do well with both nymphs and small streamers with the minimum to one unit flows we have been seeing.
Midges (ruby, rootbeer, & diamond in size 18), pheasant tails (in sizes 14, 16, & 18), devil jigs (red and copper in sizes 14 & 16). There have been some sporadic hatches of small mayflies, so try throwing a soft hackle (size 18), or a tan bead head birds nest (size 18). Small #20 mayfly profiles (Micro Mayflies, PTs and Hare’s Ears) are also productive at these times.
As the flows begin to increase, try throwing sculpin imitations such as large olive woolly buggers, FS Bunny Sculpins, and cdc pine squirrel zonkers. Smaller streamers like CJ’s Mega Minnow, Dally’s Twerkin Minnow, Schmidt’s Viking Midge, and Galloup’s Circus Peanut will be very productive.
During those times when wadeable water is available, nymph fisherman can expect to do well with Garrett’s Purple Death (size 18), Clint’s Sunday Special (sizes 16 and 18), midges (root beer and black & purple zebra in sizes 16 & 18), pheasant tails (size 16 & 18), hunchback scuds (size 16 & 18), and tailwater sowbugs (sizes 16 and 18).
Slump Busters, Cone Head Woolies, and other small weighted streamers stripped slowly over the bottom have been productive in higher flows.