Tag Archives: big streamers

Motivation to Use BIG Flies

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

Larger streamers, wooly buggers, and girdle bugs can provide exciting fishing. There’s nothing like the jolt of a large fish crushing a fly on the retrieve. However, as I have gotten older, my casting shoulder has become increasingly less enamored with throwing these larger flies for hours on end.

Then a couple of years ago I caught 29 fish that were 15 inches or bigger. That was my best year ever for larger fish. Over 80% of the fish were caught on a nymph including the 22 incher! The nymphs were sizes #16-#12. An additional 11% were caught on wooly buggers or girdle bugs sizes #10-#6. The remaining 8% came on #14 parachute Adams and #10 hoppers. I also fished larger streamers, wooly bugger, and girdle bugs over the course of the season, but none of my largest fish took any of those offerings.

This success in numbers and size shifted my strategy in subsequent years to focus on nymph fishing unless there was an active hatch. While I have not reproduced the number of larger fish, I have consistently caught the largest fish on a nymph in the intervening years. And, yes, I still put on larger flies for 10-15% of the time. This served to solidify my belief (or bias, if you prefer) that larger fish can be caught consistently on smaller flies. more…