Tom’s Top 7 Early-Season Streamers

This springtime rainbow was holding in deep water below a highway bridge in western Massachusetts.
Photo by Joe Phillips

In a previous post, “How to Fish Streamers in the Early Season,” I explained that I prefer flies that have some movement of their own, like ones with marabou and rabbit fur, because they work best and have the best action when you’re fishing them slow. Flies with brass (or even better tungsten) beads get the fly deeper in a hurry, and color does not seem to be that important—although black in dirty water and white or yellow in clear water seem to offer some advantage. Change colors if you don’t get any strikes but don’t worry too much about pattern, size, or color. A size 6 or 8 fly that wiggles in the current should work fine. Here are my 7 go-to streamers for high, cold water:

Moto’s Minnow

Conehead Bunny Muddler

Conehead Marabou Muddler

Bead Head Flash Zonker

Tungsten Cone Head Woolly Bugger

Conehead Rubber Bugger


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