Posted on 8 Comments

Tying Streamers

streamer collage

From my last several posts you might conclude that I’ve been working on tying some different fly patterns for fly tying contests. If you did, you’d be right. And by ‘different’, I mean fly patterns that I’ve never tied before. Tying new flies is very rewarding but … time-consuming. What I have done is taken the time and ventured into a category of flies I don’t fish very often called Streamers. If you don’t know what a streamer is then here’s a nice definition I found on the web:

Streamers are big flies used to imitate small bait fish and other moving aquatic invertebrates and creatures. The majority of the time these active flies will be given additional movement by different retrieves; also known as strips.


Going clockwise from the upper left, here are the streamers I have learned how to tie and will be submitting to a few fly tying contests that are coming up:

Fly Pattern NameContest CategoryCreature Imitated
Barr’s Meat WhistleTraditional StreamerSculpin minnow
Dahlberg’s DiverTraditional StreamerBaitfish
Muddler MinnowTraditional StreamerSculpin minnow
Big Eyed SempermouseArticulating StreamerSwimming mouse
Streamer Fly Patterns

For the complete details of how these flies are tied, please scroll through the following stack of Fly Tying Cards or optionally download the PDF.

If you’re interested in tying some of these ”different” flies, hopefully these Fly Tying Cards will save you some time so you can get right to it.

8 thoughts on “Tying Streamers

  1. Just wanted to point out that while the recipe shows that the rear hook sizes are about one size smaller than the front hook – I didn’t see that mentioned in the video when he started to tie the front section. But it’s pretty clearly documented in the recipe you posted Darrell. I’m presuming that the size 4 rear hook is paired up with the size 2 front, and the size 6 rear with the size 4 front – right?
    I haven’t had the chance to tie yet Darrell – I know… shame on me – it’s just been a busy time. But this tie has me excited! lol I may just have to give this one a go. I may substitute some real rabbit zonker but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Again – thanks for sharing your ties! UB

    1. On the webpage at AvidMax, they list a Size 10 for the back hook and a Size 2 for the front hook. However, during the video he says the back hook is a Size 4 (up-eye style) and doesn’t say what the front hook size is so I’m assuming it’s a Size 2. Then when he ties the back hook to the front hook he ties it with the hook pointing UP. Yikes! I just don’t see that working out very well in the water so I tied mine using a down-eye back hook with the hook pointing DOWN. I do think the front hook should be larger than the back hook so I used a Size 4 long streamer hook and paired it with a Size 6 standard nymph/wet fly hook. Those are the largest hooks I have of those styles so that’s what I used! I see I listed some fairly small hook size ranges on my Fly Tying Card but I’m sure you could expand those out a little if you wanted to. And yes, I think a real rabbit zonker would work fine as long as you can sweep the fibers back perpendicular to the hide. Hey, don’t they make crosscut zonker strips for that?

      1. They do make cross-cut zonker strips. One thing pointed out somewhere is that the synthetic will shed water better than the natural rabbit zonker strips. That’ll make that fly heavy to cast after a few casts – might act a little differently in the water as a result… maybe. … I’m not sure it’d matter – all depends on the fish (doesn’t it always? lol). UB

      2. That synthetic zonker has a really lightweight mesh backing instead of a strip of hide. The weight of the hide could be an issue when wet.

      3. I think you meant ‘front’ hook there in one of those… lol I get the idea though… the back hook is one size smaller than the front seems like to me. UB

      4. Yes, one size smaller for the back hook. I fixed the typo. Thanks!

  2. Nice ties all around Darrell! That Sempermouse is interesting indeed! They all look great though. UB

    1. Yeah, that Sempermouse is something else. The guys at AvidMax really did a really nice job on it. If you watch their video (my Fly Tying Card has the link and QR code) they show how it looks when it is “swimming”. Very realistic! Thanks again, UB.

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