Sunday’s Classic / Tandem Streamer Rigs Catch More Trout

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Louis Cahill with a nice Roaring Fork Brown Trout fishing a Tandem Streamer Rig.

There’s no doubt that Louis and I are both hardcore streamer junkies. We never leave home without our streamer boxes packed full. One thing we do a little different from some streamer fishermen on the water is fish a streamer dropper rig. Quite often we’ll tie on a nymph dropper off the back of our big gaudy streamer to increase hookups. Big fish are smart, especially during the busy season when their getting pressured, and they can sometimes get a little gun shy eating big streamers. If you’re on the water and you’re getting a bunch of chases or short strikes on your streamer, try tying on a dropper nymph. It will serve two purposes. First, it will be less intimiating to spooky trout. Secondly, it will often tempt a trout to eat that has turned off your streamer at the last second.

Case in point, last year Louis and I were on the Madison River streamer fishing with very little luck. Instead of giving up on the streamer bite, Louis tied on a size 10 golden stonefly nymph dropper and began putting on a clinic. Every fish ate the golden stone like it was candy and he brought numerous twenty plus inch fish to the boat that day. Experiment with tandem streamer rigs on the water. You don’t have to just use a nymph dropper either. You can also try trailing a smaller streamer in the lead or dropper position.  Fishing two streamers with contrasting colors is a popular choice of ours as well. Multiple flies are usually better than one, that’s our take on it at least.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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12 thoughts on “Sunday’s Classic / Tandem Streamer Rigs Catch More Trout

  1. Great article! I enjoy the continued emphasis in your articles on evaluating the conditions/scenarios and making adjustments to turn things around, especially if it means I get to leave the streamer tied on the end of the line…

    What do you call that stonefly imitation in the photo? I like the way that thing looks.

  2. Do you always leave the tag end of your leader so long? I cut it off close, because that’s how my grandpa taught me, but have often thought it might be better to leave it long.

    • Ryan,

      Funny you should bring this up, because I talked with Louis about this the other day. He said he had an interesting conversation with a guide that said, “If the fish don’t mind the tippet that’s tied to the eye of the hook, why should a longer than average tag make any difference”. I thought that was an interesting way to look at it.

      I myself, always trim my tags as short as I can get away with. Thanks for your comment.


      • That’s right. I always leave my tag a little long in case the knot slips. That one is very long. When fishing the nymph behind a streamer the take is vicious and the knot gets more stress than in normal nymphing. why not make that knot as strong as possible? No way the fish is going to see it when your stripping like a mad man. My general philosophy is to think about what your doing and make smart choices rather than following some dogma.

  3. Have you tried to tie the nymph first and the streamer at the end?

    I was wondering if that would mimic a fish going after a nymph and the (big) trout would say “me first!” and go after ….. Which one, the nymph or the streamer?

  4. Pingback: Double Streamer Rigs Catch Trout | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

  5. It’s the standard rig here in New Zealand – and it does not have to be a streamer + nymph either , it can be any combination , as for the Tongariro River you will require a BOMB then tie of whatever pattern you desire – in the winter it would be a bomb + glo bug 🙂

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