Streamers for Wisconsin Spring Creeks

Streamers can provide some important and largely overlooked fishing on many southwestern spring creeks. Big trout love minnows and sculpins and this is often the best way to hook into a true Goliath fish. Cold trout streams generally lack diversity in fish species (few fish are able to thrive in cold waters) and blacknose dace and sculpins are generally the only forage fish available. Streamers are most often fished with an active retrieve or swung in the current using mends to either slow down or speed up the fly. Pools, particularly the head of the pool where the riffle drops quickly into the pool are the best places to fish these flies.

Pattern Sizes Imitates Notes
Muddler Minnow #4-14 Sculpins and can be fished dry as a Hopper Probably the most used streamer pattern for good reason. I prefer to tie them with either marabou or woodchuck wings instead of the original paired turkey wings.
Clouser Minnow #6-12 Dace and other small, slender minnow species This fly does a good job of getting deep and can be fished in a jig-like manner. Tie is so the belly is light colored and the top of the fly is dark, to imitate most minnows. Particularly effective in deep pools and swift riffles.
Woolly Bugger #6-14 Pretty much anything that swims The woolly bugger can be tied in a variety of sizes, colors and is arguably the worlds most used fly. White, black, and olive are probably the most used colors.

Jason Freund, 1998 for Bob Blumreich and Silver Doctor Fly Fishing Services