Streamer Fishing For Trophy Trout with
Review by Joe Cornwall
not bass. We’re reminded of this by virtually every magazine, video, book
and fly fishing club meeting. In the fly fishing lexicon, the trout is
the nexus; it is and has been the core and the focus of the sport. If you
live in trout country, that’s fine. But for the rest of us, it seems a
bit unfair. The industry has overlooked the fact that trout are piscine
predators that share many traits with black bass, temperate bass,
cichlids, toothy members of the essox clan, and a host of others.
they get big enough to demand a meal of fresh meat, most freshwater fish
(especially in rivers) behave similarly, if not identically. That’s why
this 6-year old video is so important to the readers of the Fly Fish Ohio
on-line magazine. I found it particularly rewarding when Kelly Galloup
hooked and landed a smallmouth bass in the video, though I found the
background comments to be a bit off-putting.
released on DVD in 2004, this video hasn’t aged a bit. Shot on the
Madison in Montana, the production only suffers from its lack of a
widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio and availability in a 1080p Blu-ray format.
Image quality is better than average, well light and in great focus. The
soundtrack, mostly voice narration, doesn’t demand a big surround sound
presentation but benefits from the atmosphere a quality installation can
is squarely educational in nature, forgoing the “fish porn” so much a part
of so many contemporary fly fishing videos. There are no yaks, no
breathless breaks where the hero has to use gaffing tape to close a wound,
and no spectacular risks that make even the best outing you’ve ever been
on look like a “You Must Be This Tall To Ride” junior adventure at Disney
World. There is just solid, clearly communicated and superbly useful
chapters in the production include The Predator Theory, Rigging for
Streamers, Holding Water, Fishing the Far Bank, Wade Fishing Streamers,
Jerk-Strip Retrieve, Boulder & Pocket Water, Mid-River Holding Water,
and Streamer Flies for Trophy Trout. Throughout the video, Galloup
emphasizes reading the water and presenting the fly from the proper angle
and approach. He also demonstrates his technique from a wader’s
perspective, while explaining how it would differ if the angler were in a
boat. This is a great way to present the information, as so many of us
fish with our feet on the streambed. There really is something in this
the warm water enthusiast, particularly for the smallmouth junkie, there
are three chapters that deliver an invaluable return on the price of the
disc. In the chapter Holding Water, Galloup describes in detail
how a large, predatory brown trout uses structure and current. Large
brown trout and smallmouth bass behave in a very similar manner. What
works for one will definitely work for the other. The micro-structure
holding and feeding stations identified by Galloup are precisely the spots
to which I’d cast for big bronze. While some of the spots are obvious to
even a slightly experienced angler, many are nearly counterintuitive. In
particular, this is true for large fish holding on inside bends in
shallow, featureless water. Good fish in these areas often surprise
nonchalant fly fishers after they’ve been spooked. Galloup explains why
these spots are so attractive to apex predators, and shows effective
methods for approaching these challenging holding spots.
Jerk-Strip Retrieve is the star of the video. Galloup
espouses a very aggressive approach to hunting for big, active carnivores.
His technique of manipulating the fly with the rod tip and controlling the
line with the left hand is pure gold. More than most predators,
smallmouth bass are opportunistic feeders. It’s rare that a sulking
smallie can be tempted
a dead-drifted nymph like a trout might be. Instead this little
gangster eats meals a substantial portion of his own body size, and then
fades under a rock to wait for the next delivery. Provoking a
reaction strike is the key to taking bigger fish, and the jerk-strip
method is the ideal system.
this system a full-sinking fly line is used to move a large streamer
quickly, at depths from a few inches to a few feet. Galloup emphasizes
that casts are almost never more than 40-feet, and the retrieve starts the
moment the fly splashes down. Galloup has gone the extent of designing a
task-specific fly line for this technique – a fly line that the Fly Fish
Ohio team will be reviewing in detail in an upcoming article. Galloup
also specifies that the flies are to be un-weighted and fished on a short,
simple leader. This description bears an uncanny resemblance to many
stream smallmouth tactics. The flies Galloup describes are themselves a
perfect choice for the bronze battler. And just to remind you, Galloup
lands a nice bronze slab in the video while targeting big, aggressive
browns. He demonstrates, perhaps unwittingly, that for smallmouth the
method works, and works well.
the chapter Mid-River Holding Water offers a lot of great advice
about reading water that is typically difficult to read. The mid water
areas hold a lot of fish, especially under sunny conditions when the
broken surface offers overhead shelter. But it’s a game of subtleties out
there, where most things looks like most other things. Amazingly, some of
water I’ve passed over in the past Galloup identifies as prime spots!
There’s a lot of water flowing through the typical shute in a smallmouth
creek, as there is in a trout stream. Knowing how predator fish will
utilize the microstructure in these key holding areas is paramount to
taking fish from them.
While there's no fly tying per se
in this video, the final chapter is a tour through Galloup's fly boxes.
The flies he suggests are a great selection for just about any freshwater
(or saltwater for that matter) gamefish. From the Zoo Cougar to the
Stacked Blonde to the Twin-Tailed
Madonna, what the viewer will be struck by is the shear SIZE of the flies
he throws for trout. It's refreshing to see this as I often pick
size 2 to size 2/0 flies for smallmouth, much to the horror of my
trout-oriented compadres. If you want to tempt the baddest boy in
the brook, you need to offer up a hunk of meat. Watching this
segment of the video alone will prompt you to get Galloup's fly tying DVD
to learn the patterns!
This is a great instructional
video. It's a solid primer if your intent is to hunt trophy brown
trout. What makes it so exciting is that, if you substitute
"smallmouth bass" for "trout" in the soundtrack you'd have a world-class
warm water instructional video, too.
Streamer Fishing For Trophy
Trout, ASIN: B0006OA992, is available for $34.95 on DVD and is
published by Fly Fish TV. You
can also rent it from
Netflix if you
have a subscription. It's definitely a video worth watching!