Top 10 Jig Streamers
When most people think streamer fishing they think big flies and big trout. There’s no doubt that this works, but it overshadows another modern trend: small to medium jig streamers. In contrast to their larger relatives, jig streamers are often a couple of inches or less. Imitating sculpin, juvenile trout, baitfish and other small forage, they’re truly deadly. Whether tight-lined with euro nymphing techniques, drifted under an indicator, retrieved on the strip, or swung these flies are extremely versatile. What’s more, they’re the perfect size to entice even the largest trout in a river to eat. If you’re looking to try some out yourself, the list below will walk you through some of our favorite options.
A generalist baitfish imitation, this pattern is very effective on a euro nymphing setup. With the dark barred marabou body, it works especially well in darker streams or on cloudy days. Additionally, the natural movement of the marabou makes it vey lifelike while on a dead drift.
Croston’s Silver Fish is very similar to his Jig Minnow. However, its lighter color makes it deadly in lighter streams. The silver flash makes it an excellent attractor pattern as well, and it’s profile covers a wide range of baitfish. If you’re looking to fish small pockets and runs with a streamer, this one will do the job.
The Woolly Bugger is an all-time pattern. Time and time again it saves the day. Now, with a tungsten bead on a jig hook, it’s become even more effective. Whether a crayfish, baitfish, leech or large insect, the Jig Bugger is so effective because it represents many different forages in one. With a range of color options, you can match it to your water clarity and stream bottom to get the perfect imitation for your local streams.
Many streams, rivers and lakes are home to a healthy crayfish population. It’s something you should always have in your box. One of our most popular streamer jig streamers at the moment, Joe’s Mini Crayfish will never steer you wrong.
This egg-sucking sculpin imitation is tied on a jig hook to allow for less hang-ups when drifting through likely holding spots. Heavily weighted, it will get down into the zone quickly to allow for extended drifts. Both steelhead and large browns will happily eat this fly.
The Flash & Grab is a go-to streamer on rivers like the Beaverhead, Big Hole and the MO. Some days the fish just want something flashy, and this is the perfect fly for those days. Not only is this one of the most effective jig streamers for trout, but it works extremely well in warm water applications as well!
Tim Flagler’s Swiming Crane Fly Larva is an excellent representation of a staple in the trout diet: crane flies. When this fly is dredging bottom, the zonker strip pulsates giving the fly a realistic motion just as the natural would behave. This fly is also a winner when fishing high water against a grassy or muddy bank as it’s a perfect imitation of beetle grubs getting washed into the stream.
Sculpin are everywhere, and they’re a staple forage for most river fish. Whether on the olive or brown spectrum, this fly holds an excellent profile, which makes is a great sculpin imitation. With a heavily weighted head you can get it down into deep pockets quickly and then jig it through the zone. No predatory fish will be able to resist.
This fly was designed specifically as a crayfish imitation for huge bass. It’s a wildly effective fly in that application. However, many trout also eat crayfish, so this should stay in your box when you head to the trout stream as well. The fluid movement of the rabbit strip and flashabou give this fly crazy movement under water, which is an extremely effective trigger.