Fishing with large streamers is a strange thing. It amplifies all of the weird psychological aspects of fishing. If you’re doing it right, you might catch really big fish. But even if you don’t, you get this opportunity to look at yourself, and wonder, how the hell did we get to this point?
For example, how many of you have looked at your streamer in the water and said, damn that’s sexy? I say it all the time. Now what the hell is going on there? Do I find the streamer… attractive? Or am I projecting myself on the streamer? Am I a sexy little bastard shimmying in the water? Are we slipping into the role of some archetypal trickster here? Is this drag? We’re trying to look sexy to convince someone to do something. That’s pure Bugs Bunny shit right there.
It feels weird when you start to look at it. You’ve got this jumble of desires you can barely disentangle.
There’s this bizarre dance between the desire for sex, for sinuous movement, and the desire for eating something (someone?) I guess? Y’all as anglers, we’re literally a handful of psychological revelations away from becoming a vore community.
I mean, the first big articulated streamer I ever seen was called the Sex Dungeon. Take a hard look at yourselves people.
Now back on more familiar territory, I can tell you the Game Changer pattern works well for big predatory brown trout. You probably could’ve guessed that, but I think it’s worth putting it into context: I am dude who has barely fished for the past 10 years. I tied a bunch of them and went to a river I didn’t know, and got the fish to bite them. That’s wild. It could’ve gone differently. Luck was involved. But the flies are solid.
A few lessons learned so far. Buy more fishspine shanks than you think you need. Buy the small ones (I love the 10mm), but maybe not the micro shanks (they seemed cool, but it’s not for me). Seems like stacking the small segments together allows for maximum movement and control of the taper.
These Fish Skull Masks are cool as hell. I was a little skeptical, but I’m on board now. Especially since I tried messing around with making my own epoxy heads. These are way easy to deal with and look better.
Also, I’m starting to understand the thinking behind the gamechanger chenilles. You want to have that 90-degree, stiff, trimmable, lightweight structure to build the body around. It is a big part of how the movement is created, that density is pushing the current, that swags the fly behind it. It’s a weird lesson to teach yourself, if you like me, have been struggling not to “overdress” your flies. I’m primarily fishing “Feather Changer” style flies. Soft hackles veiling a body. This stuff works.
I’m putting in my next order for materials. Post any comments if you can about your experiences tying and fishing these. Or tell me what strange depths of your psyche streamer fishing has illuminated for you.