S4:E19 Catching More and Bigger Fish with Streamers

Bigger fish on streamers is common promise. Often you hear, “If you want to catch bigger fish, throw on a streamer. Yet fly fishing with streamers is not popular among many fly fishers. In this episode, we interview Dave Kumlien, who has been a fly fishing guide for forty years, owned a successful fly shop in Bozeman, and now works for Trout Unlimited. One key part of this episode is what Dave Kumlien calls the “twitch” – a technique for stripping in the streamer. For more information on the twitch, see the link below to an article by Tom Morgan on the twitch technique. Catching bigger fish with streamers is not just a promise; it’s a fact.

LISTEN NOW TO Catching More and Bigger Fish with Streamers

GREAT STUFF FROM OUR LISTENERS. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last segment of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.

Do you fish streamers? What’s the biggest fish you’ve caught with a streamer? Have you found that you catch bigger fish with streamers? Please post your comments below.

In the podcast, we reference something called The Morgan Twitch. Here is the article by the legendary Tom Morgan, who at one time owned R.L. Winston, the fly rod company, and also co-founded Tom Morgan Rodsmiths. Tom has passed away, but his legacy lives on in his fly rods and in his contribution to the larger fly fishing community.

You can find the article here.


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9 Replies to “S4:E19 Catching More and Bigger Fish with Streamers”

  1. Love your podcast. Just a heads up, there’s something wrong with the one (s4 e19) that just came out. The guest is echoing real bad and you both sound like your in a bathroom.

    1. Thanks, Scott. Really appreciate your post. Some recordings are not perfect, and this was definitely one of them. I hope you can get some value from it.

      Thank you!


  2. Hey guys! This is Mike from Orem Utah. I decided to really get into fishing early this spring, and I have been listening to your podcast ever since. You’d be happy to know that your podcast is the reason I’ve caught several fish this year! Thanks for the inspiration to use streamers more often in your last podcast. After listening to your tips in that episode, I could hardly wait to get to back to the river. In fact, I left for work 20 minutes early this morning to pop by the Provo River. I threw my waders on over my suit and tie (for some reason I always get weird stares when I do this) and started fishing a streamer. In less than 5 MINUTES I had landed one of the fattest Browns I’ve ever caught! Thanks again, keep up the great work! Love the podcast!

    1. I LOVE the throwing your waders over your suit. That is so awesome!

      Thank you for the comment. Send over a pic of the brown, if you have one!

      1. I just emailed you one. I’m not sure if that’s the best way to send it? Thanks again for the episode!

  3. Was a nice podcast. Years ago I fished allot of streamers especially growing up in Maine. My dad would take me trolling for trout and Landlocked Salmon on remote lakes and ponds . We fished mostly Carrie Stevens type streamers. Such as the ghost series. I didn’t start using streamers on rivers and streams until the 90s . I caught several brook trout on mickeyfinns . Over the years I experimented in the way I retrieved the fly . I found that on any given day certain techniques would determine success or failure. One of my favorite ways to fish a streamer is to cast upstream at an angle and drift the fly . Once the streamer reaches the end of the swing I’ll strip the fly back to me . The stripping action varies. Stop and go with 3 or 4 quick strips a couple inches each strip stop and let fly settle and repeat. Sometimes I’ll just strip continuously stripping in various speeds . All have produced differently on different water and days. Your guest is correct. By comparison the streamer take is just as much fun as the take on a dry . Although I do like dries a bit more. Now a quick question for you . What is your favorite pattern of streamers. I like the Grey Ghost , Woodsman Special, Mickeyfinn , wollybugger and a fly not as well known Wood Duck Heron . I have caught some really nice bows and Landlocked with it .

    1. Great idea for listing favorite streamers. I’m a big fan of the JJ Special, in various forms. Also the cone-headed woolly bugger – black, tan, and quasi-green …

  4. This is a really on time podcast. As your guest mentioned when asked what the biggest mistake is, that people forget or don’t use streamers. This is me! Wooly Boogers are usually the first fly that you are taught how to tie for a reason, because they flat catch fish. I have a fly box full of them, leeches, and other streamers, but it rarely comes out when I am on the stream. I think my next trip I am only going to take 1-3 dry flies, and couple nymph/midges and the rest streamers. I am looking forward to learning how to tie the Platte River Special and JJ special! The Platte River Special looks great, very historic looking. I think your podcast continues to improve with each episode.
    And Dr. Squatch soap is pretty awesome. I got a Pine Tar and Citrus Cedar, I am considering joining the soapscribe program. It really is good stuff.


  5. Streamers will always produce big trout. Fish streamers on overcast or rainy days. Don’t forget to fish them at dusk. The biggest mistake I see as a guide is when people leave the water early. You should need a flashlight to find the car. That’s when the big boys come out to feed. Also change up your retrieve with every cast you make with a streamer. Remember this, you will never be able to strip a streamer faster than a fish swims so strip as fast as you can.

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