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 behind or even fish two streamers with contrasting colors. Multiple flies are usually better than one.


Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline

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10 thoughts on “Tandem Streamer Rigs Catch More Trout

  1. Am I supposed to write about this brown trout or just anything I like….

    Yesterday Jerry and I went for a ride on the bike. We planned to ride down to the lake for dinner but before we left town we stopped by her favorite spot on earth. It’s an old log cabin on 20 acres. The private drive way is almost a mile long and heavily wooded on both sides. I don’t recall one time I have driven down that road we didn’t spot deer along the way. The cabin with it’s wrap around porch sits on about a half acre knoll giving view to virtually the entire lot. Two of the property lines are creeks with the larger one being bordered by a five acre pasture. Where the property corners in the larger creek there is a change in elevation creating about a two foot water fall. It’s under the shade of a large beech tree Jerry has found her perch. Here she can easily sit for hours listening to the running water and enjoying the time with nature. Yesterday was a special treat for me.

    As we walked through the pasture, a good 20 feet above the stream I spotted a school of small mouth bass holding just in the edge of current. They had staged along side a sunken tree with the largest, about two and half or three pounds in front. I could not see what they were feeding on but you could clearly see their short quick strikes and then return to their designated spot. About six held in order of size right on the edge of the current but about two or three feet further from the current were something a little more than fingerling apparently waiting their turn. After about five minutes I was surprised to see the larger fish pull off his spot. I don’t know I he saw us, had his fill or just thought the fishing might be better up stream but for whatever reason he moved on. I watched him pull up stream and then disappear in the crevice of a deeper pool. The smaller fish stayed in position for some time while I whittled a sapling into an ultra light….

    Oh yeah, nice Brown : )

  2. Sounds interesting enough but do fish ever end up getting snagged on the dropper after turning on the streamer at the last second? It is a technique I would surely try if not for that question. I know how maddening it can be to throw every streamer in the box at them and having this as a go to would be a nice alternative to actually resorting to all out nymphing.
    Personally, I am struggling to see how I am going to avoid ass hooking all the snotty little jerks that follow, slash at, roll on, etc… that front fly. It’s usually all happening pretty fast on both ends.

    • Greg,
      Thanks for your comment! That’s a great question. If your snagging fish increase the length of the tippet between the streamer and the dropper. I go about 24 inches.

  3. I fish this way on an occasional basis and I have not ever had a snag on the trailing fly. Surely it can happen but I have never had it happen.

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