I fish streamers a lot. You are never going to hook or feel every pick up but you can get pretty good at detecting and hooking most of them.
Originally Posted by appalachian angler
I second the above quote as well as keeping your hooks razor sharp.
The key is to keep tight with your fly even if you aren't actively stripping and trying to retrieve it in. Use the tip of the rod to keep tension on the line when you are in between strips. Don't just hold the rod still; think of it as an extension of you arm that you use to follow and tend your fly and flyline with. While following the fly/ flyline with the rod tip try and keep the tip of the rod right at the surface of the water. Keeping the rod tip even an inch above the water will create a small belly in the line in between strips that is actually slack and preventing you from keeping tight and feeling your fly. Once you get the hang of it you can learn how to keep tension and feel on a streamer while you are dead drifting it like a nymph.
Watch your line like a hawk. Any twitches, movements, or pauses where there shouldn't be any are most likely a fish picking up your fly. Strip strike at everything that could be potentially be a fish. You will be surprised at how many times it is versus it isn't.
If I leave to go fishing without a file I will turn around to get it or buy a new one before I get to the water. When I am fishing hard my thumbnails are usually chewed up because I am always testing my hooks on it. The bones in a fishes mouth are made from the same material you fingernails are. If your hook won't grab your nail then there is a good chance it won't grab into a fishes mouth. If it grabs and sinks into the thumbnail with only the weight of the hook then it is sharp, if It doesn't get the file out. Every time you catch a fish check the point, every time you grab bottom check the point, every time you suspect you fly has touched anything other than water or air check the point. It doesn't take much to fold over a really sharp point. When you take new hooks out of the package, check the point. Some are sharp and some aren't. I have had different hooks from the same package where some needed sharpening and some didn't. I like a long four sided point versus a short three sided one. For me it is a little easier to do on the water and it takes away more metal from the hook shaft keeping the point thinner and easier to sink into harder parts of the fishes mouth.
I can go on and on about this but I will leave it at this. Learning to really fish and get the most out of a streamer can be a lot of fun.
Last edited by Micropteris; 08-01-2013 at 06:17 PM.
Your hooks sharp????