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Why I Love Articulated Streamers When It's Cold

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November 02, 2011

Why I Love Articulated Streamers When It's Cold

By Joe Cermele

Articulated streamers aren't exactly a new concept. If you grew up anywhere steelhead abound, you've probably been fishing them for quite a while. However, in the last few years these streamers--with bendable, flowing bodies and hooks seated at the tail--have grown in popularity with trout hunters across the U.S.A. Growing up fishing the streams of New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern New York, the only streamers I could bank on finding were wooly buggers, Muddler Minnows, Mickey Finns, and Black Ghosts. Today I can find Voodoo Leeches, Willie Nelsons, and several other articulated creations that have hit the scene recently in the same shop trays.

I discovered articulateds during my first visit to Alaska a few years ago, even before my local fly shops carried them. There I learned they were a must for big Alaskan rainbows that have a nasty habit of short-striking a fly or hitting and spitting. They worked incredibly well, and it dawned on me that the habits of those rainbows during Alaska's summer were exactly the same as those of my local trout in late fall and winter. My success rate at home during cold season increased so much, I can't remember the last time I cast a non-articulated streamer this time of year.

The brown trout above fell to the Sculpzilla variation at left last weekend. What I like about these flies when it's cold is that it takes very little stripping to get them dancing, which is important when trout are hunkered down and not in the mood to chase. I can slowly tick this fly across the bottom and let the current impart most of the shimmy, of which it has plenty because there's no hook shank running down the center to make the fly stiff. But most importantly, when that trout gave a subtle nip, the rear-swinging hook made the play. Think about how many times you've missed a trout that's pecked the tail of a wooly bugger. It was enough motivation for me to fall in love with articulateds.

Comments (9)

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from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I love using them also this time of year, hope my buddy doesnt see this article, he never understands why my "streamers" catch more trout than his do...... Ive never let him in on why!

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

A "Willy Nelson?" I could only guess what that's about. An articulator weaving through the water like Willy drives down the road.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

And Joe, where do you store these articulators when not in use? Great flies, but they sure take up room in a fly box.

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

True, Sayfu. I like those Scientific Angler waterproof boxes. The lids dome way out, so they don't crush the flies and have extra room for bushy articulateds. I always keep them in their own boxes. Like you said, they don't mix well with others.

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from ckRich wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

How can you not love articulated streamers? They work.

As for storage, I went to the local craft store and bought a plastic craft box, a couple different colors of foam, and some 3M spray adhesive. The result was a $12 homemade Cliff box. Plenty of room to tie up a handfull of each pattern and let them lie in wait for their turn in my large streamer box.

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from labrador12 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I've had 2 hooks come off while fishing silvers. I keep my flies in a fly wallet. The fish don't seem to care if they look a little scrunced. Those silvers bend most hooks fairly quickly anyway!!

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from xiaomei wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

http://ygn.me/Gj79l1Q

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

i am so gonna tie some of those! thanks!

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from weedless97 wrote 2 years 10 weeks ago

They work well at all times of the year!

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from weedless97 wrote 2 years 10 weeks ago

They work well at all times of the year!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I love using them also this time of year, hope my buddy doesnt see this article, he never understands why my "streamers" catch more trout than his do...... Ive never let him in on why!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

A "Willy Nelson?" I could only guess what that's about. An articulator weaving through the water like Willy drives down the road.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

And Joe, where do you store these articulators when not in use? Great flies, but they sure take up room in a fly box.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe_Cermele wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

True, Sayfu. I like those Scientific Angler waterproof boxes. The lids dome way out, so they don't crush the flies and have extra room for bushy articulateds. I always keep them in their own boxes. Like you said, they don't mix well with others.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

How can you not love articulated streamers? They work.

As for storage, I went to the local craft store and bought a plastic craft box, a couple different colors of foam, and some 3M spray adhesive. The result was a $12 homemade Cliff box. Plenty of room to tie up a handfull of each pattern and let them lie in wait for their turn in my large streamer box.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I've had 2 hooks come off while fishing silvers. I keep my flies in a fly wallet. The fish don't seem to care if they look a little scrunced. Those silvers bend most hooks fairly quickly anyway!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from xiaomei wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

http://ygn.me/Gj79l1Q

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

i am so gonna tie some of those! thanks!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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