Ripping Streamers Part III: Sinking Lines

What’s up, anglers?

I’m writing you after several recent and AWESOME days on the stream here in Colorado.  The weather has been incredible, and the trout are HUNGRY.  I can’t remember ever catching fish all day on a double dry fly rig in November.  It’s been insane, and I’m loving it!

But dry fly action isn’t what’s on my mind right now…  It’s streamer fishing.

The seasons are changing.  The time changed last weekend and winter is upon us. Fishing sub surface will be the ticket to landing tailwater trout for most of us until spring.

On that note… let’s get down to business and back to how to kick more ass while you’re ripping streamers.

In Part I, I discussed why you should try streamer fishing.  In Part II, I detailed the basic setup, streamer patterns, and technique.  All on still water, of course.

In this installment of the series, I’m gonna school you on the following topics:

1.  Why you might choose a sinking tip
2.  When to use a sinking tip
2.  The sink rating system
3.  Your options on sinking your rig and putting files in front of big ass trout

Y’all ready?  Let’s do it.

Why should I use a sinking leader or sinking line?
You need to get your flies in front of the fish.  That’s it.  Case closed.  Just the facts, m’aam.

When should I use a sinking leader or sinking line?
1.  When the water is deeper than the length of your leader and split shot isn’t getting your rig deep enough
2.  When you notice your rig is near the top of the water column on retrieval
3.  The water is deep, AND the water is moving
4.  You haven’t had a strike all day

How are sinking tips rated?
We measure the sink rating system in inches per second.  Sink ratings tend to vary from between 1.5-6″ per second.  The higher the number, the faster it’s going to sink.

What are my options when trying to sink my streamers?
1.  Add split shot, regardless of your sinking tip leader or line
2. If #1 doesn’t work, switch to a sinking tip leader, or switch to one with a faster sink rate
3. If #2 doesn’t work, add more split shot, or switch to a sinking line

The faster the water is, the less time you have to get your rig down deep before the current sweeps it into your swing.

How should I fish with a sinking line?
In still water, you just cast, count and retrieve like I talked about in part two.  This applies to a sinking tip line or leader.  The two will vary of course, and it’s up to you to experiment to see what works.   Remember, no two situations are ever the same.

In moving water, your rig isn’t going to sink as fast as it would in still water.  That’s because there isn’t a lot of time for it to sink.  You’re likely going to be fishing in the swing and following the swing with a retrieval and a twitch.  I’ll get into the swing in the next installment of this series, “Fishing the Swing”.

Are you ready to take your streamer fishing to the next level?  If you answered yes, then you need to get some sinking tip leaders and / or a sinking line.  My personal favorite for Colorado style fishing is to go with a sinking tip leader.  They work awesome for me on both lakes and rivers, and I think they’ll help you get into the strike zone of big trout too.

Click HERE to arm yourself my favorite sinking leaders in 7 and 12 foot lengths, with sink rates from 1.5 to 6 IPS.

In the next installment of this series, we’re going to talk about swinging streamers while fishing in moving water.

Until then, keep your mind on your streamers and your streamers on your mind.

CEO & Chief Trout Slayer
Fly Fishing Authority