Working streamers for bass or trout is one of the most effective ways to find big fish and one of my favorite ways to spend a morning is to cover a long stretch of water with just a spool of 8lb test tippet and a box of streamers.  One of the problems with covering long stretches however, is that at the end, you find yourself a long ways from the starting point and covering the same water on the way back never looks as appealing as when you started.  So why not go for broke.

I discovered several years ago that most small towns have good taxi services and ever better, they are inexpensive.  Where does this fit into covering water with streamers?  Simple. Park your car at your starting point and pick another access point down river.  You can make a day or a part of a day out of it and at the end, call a cab to take you back to your car or you can do it in reverse; park at the bottom end and have the cab take you to the starting point with your gear. It is seldom more than 15 bucks but it is worth every cent as you often get to water between access points that seldom gets pressured.

Assuming that you have an idea of what streamer to use, my best advice here is to work the banks, crossing the river where it makes sense in order to fish the most productive side.  I typically target structure in the form of hiding spots like cut banks, current breaks, back eddies or submerged debris and make no more than two or three casts before moving on.  If you have a piece of water that has given up big fish in the past, it may be worth changing flies and going back up to re-work it but budget your time accordingly.

A nice southern Ontario brown trout taken on an articulated leech.

A nice southern Ontario brown trout taken on an articulated leech.

During these long hikes, you will come across unproductive water that doesn’t warrant working but at each productive piece, work every possible lie and cover as much as possible. Typically, I am thinking ahead at least two targets.  This allows me to approach each from the best possible angle and give myself the best shot. Streamer fishing is fast but productive and it makes for great casting practice as you will, inevitably make a ton of casts over several kilometers of river.

Another side of this that is worth mentioning is that streamers will find fish!  They may to always take a large, aggressive streamer but they will more often than not give up their position if for no other reason than to chase your offering out of their lie.  What this means to you though is that you will no doubt mark a number of fish over a given stretch that you can later return to during a hatch situation.