Imitate Tiny Fish
If you are serious about catching fish as a fly fisherman, your surest bet is to use the streamer lure. This lure is a type of wet fly that was designed to be cast forcefully into the water, imitating a critter that likes to dive. Trout seem to feel that these make for the best dinners of them all--perhaps it's the movement that attracts them or perhaps they've figured out that these kinds of critters taste great and are more filling. Whatever the reason, trout are the biggest suckers for the streamer.
These are not insects or bugs however, like the usual fly fishing lure, and some anglers staunchly refuse to refer to them as "flies". These lures are imitation tiny fish:
darters sculpins, chubs, minnows.
Streamers are weighted so that they will sink down deep into the water. They are also meant to get into underwater overhangs or crevices where some of the fish they imitate are known to dwell. And there's another kind of fish that likes to hang out there: the trout. Whole trout schools, in fact. It's elementary, my dear angler: the trout hang out where their favorite food resides. During spawning season, trout are fat and happy. They often turn away from the average looking minnow or chub. A flashy, colorful, properly presented artificial lure will often be irresistible to temptation. (Hey, they're fish: they may not be stupid but they sure can be dumb.)
Although these lures are attempting to imitate tiny fish, they still get tied with the usual array of materials such as bucktail, deer fur, rabbit fur, and hackles. Many fishermen have found that if "eyes" are depicted on a streamer it increases its attractiveness.
One technique experienced anglers love to use with these flies is attaching a split-shot on the leader that's just in front of the fly. This gives it more "bounce" in the water and in the brain of a trout it moves just like a wounded fish that's easy prey.
There is however a special member of this specie of lures called the Woolly Bugger. Believed to have been created by Russell Blessing ("Pennsylvania Fly Tyer") back in 1967 to resemble a hellgrammite, or Dobsonfly nymph, this takeoff on the Woolly Worm fly simultaneously imitates almost everything a fish will chase, giving it a "universal" appeal. Many anglers swear that the Woolly Bugger is their single most successful streaming lure.
Woolly Buggers and some streaming lures that aren't really modeled on any particular baitfish but just try to appear quick, shiny, and colorful to catch a fish's attention are known as "attractors." Attractors are great streaming lures for catching a plethora of fish and they can also be used as a "change up" when the “imitators” (artificial lures that are designed to look like the actual baitfish) aren't having the desired effect.
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