Five Fishiest Streamer Tying Materials

My wife’s got a particular view on what it takes to make a good fly, and she’s pretty choosy about what she’ll tie on the end of her line. Which is ironic, given that she refers to fly tying as “Scrapbooking for Men.” Regardless of her derisive tone toward fly tying, she might be half right. You know the old joke, “I got into fly tying to save money on flies.” Nothing empties thinning guide wallets quicker in winter than a quick run to the fly shop to get some new materials. And speaking of materials, we’ve all got our favorites. Here’s a quick “High Five” of the fishiest materials for tying big streamers this season. Now, I’m not saying tie these five materials together and you got a fly that’ll catch fish- more like frankenstein on a size two hook- but adding one of these materials to the right pattern can turn a trout snack into trout crack faster than my wife can say, “You spent how much at the craft store!?”

Prime marabou. Like prime rib for hungry brown trout.

Quality Marabou
Is a streamer a streamer without a honking chunk of this stuff waving behind it like the grass skirt on a hula dancer? Don’t think so. This stuff is the underwater equivalent of nitrous balloons at a Phish concert- irresistible to hippies and trout alike. This is the key to big bugger-style patterns, and the many new offerings in the world of marabou keep things interesting. Barred marabou is one of my personal favorites for sprucing up streamers, though this year we’ll see how the fish like the new UV stuff being offered by Spirit River. From plain old black to Tiger-Barred UV2, Marabou is always welcome addition to your streamer patterns. Better pick up another pack while you’re at it.

Strip and jiggle. Rabbit strips.

Magnum Rabbit Strips

Bunny strips should be the opposite of fine women: big and hairy. (No offense to you if you’re a fine woman who is also big and hairy.) The single reason that Scott Sanchez’ Double Bunny had to be outlawed at the One Fly is the pure fishiness of not one, but two rabbit strips. One of the most effective flies I’ve used is little more than a wooly bugger with a marabou strip tied to the back- don’t forget the rabbit if you’re sitting down in front of the bench looking for a little streamer inspiration.
Flash like a Beyonce concert.

Krystal Flash

Plain old pearl, UV copper, purple rainbow sparkle horse, (not sure that’s actually a color.) whatever it is, flash means streamer action. There are more than a few schools of thought when it comes to adding flash to a pattern: there are the more the merrier guys, and those that count strands. No matter what camp you fall into, nothing is a more indispensable part of a successful streamer pattern than this stuff. On a budget? A hank of pearl and a handful of permanent markers and you’ve got most patterns close enough covered. Got room on your desk for more flash? go crazy. You’ll use it, and your patterns will thank you.

That’s the stuff. Senyo Laser Dub is a top material for streamers with a distinctive look.

Senyo’s Laser Dub

Tie it on, brush it back, good to go. Senyo’s laser dub has risen to the top of the streamer scene in recent years as a material that can do no wrong. Great for filling in bodies, adding flash and making killer heads this stuff is never far from the vise when the big hooks come out.
Crazy, sili, whatever you call them those rubber legs move water.
Rubber Legs
This is one of those materials you can never have enough of. From big dries to underwater bottom crawlers, rubber legs add serious action to all patterns. None less than streamers, though, where rubber legs truly shine at adding motion, flash and color to patterns and moving water to boot. Tying in another set of legs ain’t ever a bad thing when it comes to big streamers.

There you have it: five materials sure to inspire the streamer bug at the tying desk this winter. Each one is a proven fish finder. And remember that frankenfly we were talking about earlier? I bet it wouldn’t take long searching in your streamer box to find one with all five materials and then some. And I’ll bet you double or nothing it’s caught fish for you as well.

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