• Swing It! Spey Streamer Fly Fishing Tips
  • Post author
    Stephen Nymick
  • fly fishingfly fishing tipsfly tyingfreshwaterspeysteelheadstreamer fishingtrout

Swing It! Spey Streamer Fly Fishing Tips

Reddington fly rod stream

Everyone Has Their Own Style of Fishing Whether It Be With a Spinning Rod or a Fly Rod

Those of us who choose to pick up a fly rod also have our little own niches we choose to stick with.

This time of year bombards us with ample opportunities to catch fish on a variety of dry flies from Drakes and Salmonflies to the smaller Blue Winged Olives and Trico’s.

Unfortunately, we tend to put our streamer boxes aside during this time of year and stick to more traditional approaches.

Yes, it’s exhilarating to watch that giant brown trout come to the surface and take your size 18 dry fly as you fish a tail out of a pool or a nice steady run, but what's more heart pumping than watching that same giant fish chase your 4” to 8” streamer from bank to bank and demolish your fly on the strip or the end of your swing?

What’s unique about streamers is that year round across the continental U.S., you're able to fish streamers in some sort of form in any given water condition.

Streamer fishing generally targets the larger and more aggressive fish, which enables fly anglers to experience epic grabs.

Optimize Your Gear and Equipment

Skagit line

In today’s fly fishing industry, there's an insane amount of gear and equipment readily accessible to the average fly angler that can instantly give them a greater opportunity to catch the fish of a lifetime.

When streamer fishing, a faster-action rod is generally preferred to be able to punch large streamers through heavy winds.

Most of the time, the type of fly line you are using can dictate whether or not you are able to reach out and make longer casts to that fish as it waits behind that eddy or in front of that log jam.

When considering line types for streamer fishing, consider branching out and trying a Skagit Line system composed with a shooting head. These shooting heads make longer casts much easier to accomplish, especially in heavy winds.

Two-Handed Fly Fishing For Bull Trout: Setup, Methods, Flies, Locations

The guys at Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics offer a fantastic product that offers insane line distance with little to no room needed to load and cast the line.

A Skagit line paired with a sink-tip leader can be absolutely deadly when streamer fishing. You no longer need to add heavy split-shot that alters the natural movement of your fly.

These Skagit lines can be paired with your single handed big game rods all the way down to your 3 wt trout rod.

Read the Water

First and foremost, the ability to read and interpret water is essential to having a successful day on the stream.

If you plan on spending your day streamer fishing, understand and think where baitfish would dwell within the stream.

This Will Change the Way You Fly Fish Pressured Waters

Focus on structures within the stream such as logjams, runs, cut banks, tail outs and eddies. These are great places to find aggressive fish that are waiting to crush your large streamer.

Present Your Fly Softly

When making a cast, you want to make your presentation as soft on the water surface as possible. One bad clunky cast can end your opportunity on that fish.

Granted, there are times when your fly smacks the surface and instantly you receive that take. Generally speaking, the softer the presentation the better off you’ll be.

Movement and action of your fly could be the difference as to whether or not that fish will take your fly.

Fly Selection and Speed of Current

Streamer fishing enables you to strip and/or swing your fly depending on your preference.

When stripping the fly, don't be afraid to get aggressive.

Flies such as Tommy Lynch’s Drunk and Disorderly and other flies that create friction in the water column really attract predatory fish. The dunk and dive action of the fly imitates a wounded fish, which triggers the instinct of most fish species to take the fly.

Don’t Be Afraid To Leave Your Comfort Zone

Fish-Skull Senyo's Micro Shank intruder tied by Stephen Nymick

Micro intruder tied on the Fish-Skull Senyo's Micro Shank.

Ultimately, fly fishing is all about having fun, right?

If you want to go out and have a good time just by catching fish any way you can, there's nothing wrong with that.

There comes a point in every angler's life when they want to push the limits and try new ways of fishing.

Small Stream Fly Fishing Tactics

Sometimes we can be afraid to do so because we all remember what it was like to be a rookie angler on a stream not knowing what we were doing. The fear of change is something that impacts each and every one of us in some way.

There's a plethora of streamer tactics and techniques you can use next time you’re out on the water.

For those of you who aren’t afraid to try new things, here are some last-minute tips to remember that could be beneficial.

Fish-Skull Senyo's Micro Shank

The Fish-Skull Senyo's Micro Shank is designed for sparse streamer designs.

When tying streamers, in terms of material use always remember “less is more." You can achieve more action with your fly using less materials. Proper placement and specific materials allow for great movement and articulation, which should be the ultimate goal.

Be open to try new methods. There are countless materials such as synthetics and realistic materials that really increase your chances of catching fish.

Fly Selection: How to Choose the Right Streamer Color for Any Fishing Situation

For example, if you’re a trout junkie and love catching trout on streamers, try tying your favorite sculpin pattern on Senyo’s Micro Shank with a trailer hook.

Instead of stripping your fly, swing the sculpin deep through a run and wait for that trout to aggressively take your fly.

Before you know it, you’ll be addicted to swinging flies and you’ll buy yourself your first switch rod or spey rod.

Streamer flies

Big fish did not get big just by eating little nymphs and dry flies. There's a reason why that fish is the biggest fish in the pool.

Tie yourself a 4’’-6” streamer and throw it out there.

You’ll be surprised when a brown trout not much bigger than your fly decides he’s hungry.

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About Stephen Nymick:

Stephen Nymick is owner of Stephen Nymick Fly Fishing LLC, and a Guide for Steelhead Alley Outfitters. He began fly fishing at just 5 years old on his local streams in Western Pennsylvania. The day his father took him out to get his first fly rod, he also came home with his first fly tying kit. Stephen has been fly fishing exclusively for over 20 years and has guided for 7 years. Throwing big streamers or mice for brown trout and swinging flies for Steelhead are Stephen’s true passions. You can follow Stephen on Instagram @stephennymick. For further questions, email Stephen at paflyco@gmail.com. To book a trip, contact Steelhead Alley Outfitters at 888-453-5899.

  • Post author
    Stephen Nymick
  • fly fishingfly fishing tipsfly tyingfreshwaterspeysteelheadstreamer fishingtrout

Comments on this post (4)

  • Dec 03, 2020

    What’re your thoughts on the length and weight of trout Spey rods? Do you gain anything from using a longer rod? Would you go with a 3,4, or 5 weight rod? Any opinions about the redington hydrogen? Just trying to get started and understanding how to effectively Spey fish.


    — Spencer

  • Dec 03, 2020


    Thank you, glad you enjoyed the article. My email is listed (paflyco@gmail.com), please feel free to contact me via email and we can talk about places in Western PA for you!

    Thanks again,


    — Stephen Nymick

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Hi—been fly fishing for 40 + years and have never fished western PA. even though I was born and raised in New Castle. Live in CA. since 1959 and fly fish the Sierras mostly. But am coming back again to visit relatives. Could you give me places near New Castle to fly fish? Excellent article by the way. Rick

    — Rick

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Well done!!! Swinging is believing

    — VERN-O

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