Fly Fishing Tips: Using Streamers

Streamers are one of the best fly patterns

In Algoma Country, you have a lot of great fishing opportunities on a fly. One of the best fly patterns you can use is a streamer. Streamers work with smallmouth bass, brook trout, steelhead, lake trout and even northern pike.

Here are some tips to consider when using streamers in Algoma:

Brook Trout

For brook trout, try using black, white and olive streamers that have the silhouette of sculpin. Sculpins are a favourite food source for trout and swinging one of the common sculpin patterns like Zoo Cougars will entice explosive strikes.

Northern Pike

Northern pike love eating perch, walleye and whitefish. Try using large streamers (6 to 10 inches) that have the colouration of these sources of food. Full-sinking lines in 9 or 10 weight are ideal for pike and getting these streamers down in the water column.

Lake Trout

Right after ice-out, lake trout are on the prowl for food in water depths of 3 to 10 feet. Casting streamers in white, black, or purple with either a full sinking, the intermediate fly line is a great way to trigger a bite. Once you hook into a lake trout  hang on, this will be a significant battle of tug-of-war!


Steelhead are very aggressive when they come into rivers searching for food, or post-spawn. Black streamers such as woolly buggers and especially Black Matukas are very deadly. Swing the flies near or by where steelhead lie and hang on! The strikes will nearly jolt the rod out of your arm!

Black woolly bugger. (Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher)

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass eat lots of minnows and smelt, especially in the spring and fall. Try using intermediate lines married to fly patterns like Scotty’s McFly, the Gamechanger, or even the Grey Ghost to trigger strikes. Sizes should be 2 to 8. White is the number one choice in colours.

Whenever you come to Algoma, no matter what season, ensure you bring a number of streamers in your fly box. With a vast array of species and fishing opportunities available here, you are sure to hook into a trophy fish with a streamer.

About Colin McKeown

Colin McKeown is the producer of The New Fly Fisher Television Series, and several documentary series for the Outdoor Life Network, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. With a passion of fly fishing, Colin's goal is to help both novice and veteran fly fishers everywhere by giving them a top-quality fly fishing series that will make them better anglers. Known for his keen sense of humour, Colin has two wonderful children and is married to the most understanding and patient woman in the world.