Stay Connected

Sean Visintainer - 06/03/20

Jennifer Nepean releasing a Redband rainbow caught while streamer fishing on the Spokane River, Washington.

Stay in control

An easy, quick tip to help improve your streamer success next time you are out chucking "meat" as the kids say these days.

When streamer fishing, and any fishing for that matter, often a strike can occur as soon as your fly hits the water. Fish being opportunistic are more often than not on the hunt for food. A well placed streamer (or any pattern) can be a potential meal the moment it makes impact with the water's surface.

Since streamer fishing in particular is typically all about the feel, the angler needs to ready once the fly is delivered. The problem though is often when fly anglers shoot a lot of line on their final delivery cast, slack is introduced into the system because most casters will fully release the line from the "line hand" to try and add distance.

Two problems of releasing the line completely from your line hand on the delivery cast occur:

  1. When the fly hits the water, there is no control of the line because the angler is reaching up to grab the released line so they can replace the line back under a finger on their rod hand to begin the retrieve, or pinch the line in order to set the hook if a fish were to strike the fly upon impact.
  2. Because of the added weight of sink-tips / streamers, the line tends to tangle (or "jump") on the bottom section of the rod, the reel seat, or the first stripping guide.

The solution:

  1. As you make your final delivery cast, keep the line in your line hand all the way through to the delivery. So rather than completely releasing the line, keep your fingers loosely closed around the line so the line continues to shoot through.
  2. Also, after the rod unloads and the fly / line is shooting out, extend both your casting arm and your line arm out in front of you. This motion of extending out does two things. One, it helps keep line clear of the rod / reel / reel seat. Two, it puts you in the perfect position to begin stripping / retrieving the fly and/or strip strike if a fish takes your fly immediately after impact.

Wrap Up

This simple tip of not letting go of the fly line on your delivery cast and extending your arms out in front of you will eliminate most, if not all, of the line tangle issues when streamer fishing and put you in the perfect position for when the next trophy fish pounces on your fly. Stay in control, stay connected, stay successful.

Keep your line fingers loosely closed around the fly line to maintain control, but still allowing fly line to shoot freely.

Begin to extend both arms out in front of your body on the final delivery.

Notice the anglers fingers never fully open up and always stay connected.

When executing this tip successfully you will be ready to begin your retrieve and the line will be clear of tangles from the rod, not too mention ready for a fish!