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Four Trout Streamers for the Truckee and Beyond

Fly Fishing with #Streamers is super fun and rewarding. Its not a high numbers game here in the Truckee area. In fact, some days you don't even get at strike. When you do get a strike it will probably be a really good thump. No mistaking that something wanted your streamer and the fish on your line is usually really nice! There are a ton of choices in the streamer bin of the local fly shop. Here are four patterns that have worked well for me all throughout the west over the years. #woolleybugger #sculpzilla #dollyllama #peanutenvy

Trout Streamer Flies
Most shops have a wide selection of streamers

First is the Woolley Bugger. Probably the oldest and most successful fly ever. It works well in the river and stillwaters. The Woolley Bugger is a utility type fly and mimics many types of trout food. It is pretty easy to tie and the size and color combinations are endless. I always have a few in my box: size 6, weighted and unweighted in olive and black .

Second is the Sculpzilla. The Truckee River is full of Sculpins and other small baitfish and this guy fits the profile pretty well. The Sculpzilla, though small, has a big heavy conehead and gets down pretty well even on a floating line. I find that I use the smaller size 8 the most in grey, white, and olive.

Woolley Bugger Fly
Smaller Trout Streamers

Third, is the Dolly Llama. A very popular fly anywhere there is big predatory fish like in the Truckee River. Olive and white and Olive and black have been good to me. It has one trailing hook similar to the Sculpzilla in design but BIGGER.

And the fourth fly is the Peanut Envy. One of the many Kelly Galloup patterns, this one has been the most effective for me. The olive or white get the nod here. It is also a tandem hook set up so those short striking fish usually get hooked.

Dolly Llama trout streamer
Larger Trout Streamers for the really big fish

Now a bit about how I fish them. The timing is a big factor. Early or late in the day is best as the big fish are not usually out and about mid-day. Another good time is on an overcast or stormy day. Next is the retrieve. The retrieve is import and it seems that no two days are the same around here, so mix it up. Stripping slow or fast, swinging down and across, or hucking it up stream and letting the current rip it downstream are all worth a shot. Finally the rod line setups. The Woolley Bugger and Sculpzilla I would consider to be utility streamers. By that I mean that they can be fished many different ways with a floating line or sinking line. They are smaller and allow me to fish them on a 5wt without issues. For the Dolly Llama and the Peanut Envy I find them more pleasant to fish on a 7wt with a sinking line. The type of line really depends on the water depth and flow rate. In shallow water 2 feet or less use a floating line with a long leader. In water 2-5 feet use an intermediate line. In deeper water over 5' I use the heaviest sink rate. Some of this also depends on the how much current there is. And again, mix up the retrieve to find what the fish want that day. Cover the water and move on. The results can be very rewarding. Good luck out there.

Four Seasons Fly Fishing is the premier #Orvis endorsed #Guide service in the #Truckee #Tahoe area. We offer walk/wade trips on our rivers and on the local reservoirs, as well as #flyfishingclinics for beginners to experts in all styles of Fly Fishing. Give us a call to book your adventure today 530-386-0525 or, email

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