Sunday Classic / Streamer Fishing – Hands on the Line at All Times

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Notice the large distance your hand has to travel to get back to the fly line. Photo: Louis Cahill

By Kent Klewein

Streamer fishing is a great way to catch both numbers and trophy class fish, but it doesn’t come without some negatives.

One of the biggest negatives with streamer fishing is you don’t always get solid hookups every time a fish eats your streamer. One of the biggest contributors to this is when a fish slams your streamer in between strikes and you’re caught off guard. Sometimes, the timing is so bad there’s nothing you can do about it, while other times, it’s 100% the anglers fault due to lolly-gagging around with their stripping hand. To minimize the chance of you missing streamer strikes in between strips, make a point to always bring your stripping hand back to your fly line as quickly as possible after each strip. This will make sure you’re in the ready position to quickly set the hook, even during unexpected strikes. On a recent musky fishing trip, I missed the biggest fish of the trip because of this. Pay attention to this concept next time you’re streamer fishing. You’ll be surprised the amount of time you don’t have your stripping hand in contact with your fly line while fishing them. It will take a while to break the habit of lolly-gagging, but if you’re disciplined and make a point to mentally tell yourself to bring your stripping hand back fast, muscle memory will take over quickly. As time passes, you’ll see your strike to hook up ratio drastically increase.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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3 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Streamer Fishing – Hands on the Line at All Times

  1. I missed a musky on a trip last fall because it finally ate the fly when my stripping hand was all the way back…and I missed the line when I moved it forward to grab it again.

    I think I said, “Shucks”, or something like that.

  2. Another tip can help too, always keep your rod hand and arm extended, your first reaction with a strike is to pull back, creating a hookset.

  3. One question; while this was a good article and something to keep in mind while fishing especially for me as I as I do a lot of large-mouth fishing on my home lake. My question is why is it the fish we miss/loose always the biggest fish of the trip???

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