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2/01/2024 5:20 pm  #1

Streamers and trolling flies

Hey there!
Saw some older threads on fly fishing in the park.
Digging into prepping for an early May trip. Looking for suggestions on patterns and sizes to tie up!
I have some half and halfs and Clousers tied up in a few colours, plus some smaller Mickey Finn's. I love being able to customize the colours and sizes.
Anyone use nymphs with success? Thinking about drifting the outflows of rivers we paddle through or past.
Bringing 2 reels probably, one with a full sinking line and the other with a floating line. Could add a third with an intermediate line for casting at the shores... See how much room I have.
Only a few months until paddles hit the water.


2/01/2024 6:12 pm  #2

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Now we're talking. I sure miss the fishing discussions we used to have here. But now it seems everyone is too frightened to speak about catching and, dare I say, eating a trout or any other fish for that matter. We used to have some interesting tackle discussions.  Anyway, I digress.

Back to your question. Yes, bring Mickey Finn's for sure due to the color match of the dace that are in many of the lakes and river systems. You only really need about a dozen flies/streamers to be effective in May. And no need for full sinking line either. Water is cold and fish are shallow, but I mostly use bead head BH versions early spring.

My goto fly selection for the Gonk are;

Mickey Finn - various sizes
BH Muddler Minnow - yellow brown
BH Zuddler Minnow - olive brown
BH Pheasant Tail - brown and black
BH Sculpins - olive
BH Woolly Bugger - olive and black
BH Prince Nymph - natural
BH Hairs Ear Nymph - natural

You can pack a few favourite chironomids if you see them active in a shallow bay, especially in the sun. I now pack two fly rod setups #3, and #6 to toss both light and medium/heavy streamers, and in case I break one..did that few years ago.  Both are wound with double taper in case I run into an issue that requires me to flip it around. Keep it simple.

Hit the rivers and play in the eddys, slack water, cut banks, and target the seams..the usual stuff.  Oh, and bring a small Mouse or Rat pattern if you are hitting any of the river systems that hold 4lb + brook trout.  They absolutely clobber these patters when they're on. Nothing larger than a 4.

Lastly, if you tie your own, terrific.  But if you dont and are looking for the most inexpensive BUT amazing quality of online flies/streamers go no further than  Their pricing is unbelievable and they have everything.

Edit: forgot to inlcude that I bring a hand full of EGB's (size 2 pattern #330) and a 7ft ultra light spinning rod spooled with mono and a flouro carbon leader. Brook trout are the only species I use mono as a backing when fishing them. Everything else is braid

Last edited by Swift Fifteen (2/01/2024 6:20 pm)


2/01/2024 7:28 pm  #3

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Hey swift, thanks for the input! Going to give a longer reply but later (just getting the kids to bed), but the mouse idea I had definitely not thought of! I want to hear more on this idea.


Last edited by Hobbes (2/01/2024 7:29 pm)

     Thread Starter

2/01/2024 9:19 pm  #4

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

I have a couple muddler minnows and a few bunny muddlers, I suppose it makes sense to get a couple zuddlers in there too! 
Sculpins I definitely don't have and will tie a couple up!
As for nymphs for whatever reason I haven't tried a prince nymph tie yet, maybe it's the wings  , but I just pruned my nymph box.  Lots of space for all the hare's ear or pheasant tails I can get through. Just picked up a few different hareline dubbing colours to play with. Does size matter with these fish? I was going to keep them on the slightly bigger side. Probably won't have too much time to get fussy with it all. Few different bead colours to boot.

Going to bring the 10ft 7 wt with a few reels and lines and my 7 ft spinning rod to toss or some spoons, but hoping to spend most of the time with the fly rod.

Now back to the mousing. I'd love to hear more about the strategy! Time of day dependent? Strip and pause across the river?

     Thread Starter

2/02/2024 9:51 am  #5

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

The mousing idea I lifted from a fishing guide who is well known to this forum and the majority of hard core brook trout anglers.  I tripped over one of his videos he posted on YouTube where he and a friend headed up to the Sutton River system to target the healthy brook trout population that thrives there.  He mostly used streamers and some hardware, but pitching the mouse on a #6 rod was extremely successful.  This was about 11 or 12 years ago. 

Then the New Fly Fisher came out with a terrific mousing video, again on the Sutton River, and from there I was hooked - pun intended. 

For the Fly Fisher video check out time stamp 8:55 and 9:10 of this video, these are the ones I use

Edit: you can start here in your search for mouse pattrens, or if you simply want to purchase them already tied.  Amazing deals through this Canadian website. This is where I purchased mine -

Last edited by Swift Fifteen (2/02/2024 10:22 am)


2/02/2024 10:48 am  #6

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

              white streamers flies with lots of sparkle work for me,,

Last edited by swedish pimple (2/03/2024 10:40 am)


2/03/2024 9:30 am  #7

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Here's a terrific video on mousing using the popular Mini Mr. Hanky to get the juices flowing -

If you tie your own flies this is a perfect tutorial -


2/03/2024 10:28 am  #8

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

I tied the tightline productions version last night of the Less Mess Morrish mouse along with some prince nymphs (again tightline productions, the dude is amazing for his instructional videos, especially tips for the tail and wings here) and my own version of a stonefly.

That Sutton River video is so awesome! I am definitely going to get a trip in to one of those northern Ontario, Hudson Bay tributaries, no question about it.

I also tied up some streamers with stinger hooks. Had started thinking about that then saw Moonman post about it on a thread from a few years ago.
I'll double check the regulations but I plan and going with 2 streamers on the line when trolling. Heavier Clouser as the bottom point fly then a lighter fly from a tag a 2 or 3 feet above it. Maybe add a tiny bit of buoyancy to the upper fly to keep them separated and I don't need to stay all that deep.
Also thinking about a few bigger dry flies to do dry/dropper setups for nymphing the river (chatted with a very nice YouTuber named Derek and he mentioned he does that, and you can see him employ it with success in his videos).

Just need to get my hands on some bathymetry maps for big crow and Lavieille, although probably not as important in the spring. Still I love to know the layout of the bottom structure before hitting up a lake.

Last edited by Hobbes (2/03/2024 10:29 am)

     Thread Starter

2/03/2024 10:30 am  #9

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

What's a good way to share pictures here? I'll post some pictures of the stuff I tied if anyone is interested.

     Thread Starter

2/04/2024 10:51 am  #10

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Moorish Mouse is a fabulous example.
You honestly won't need tandem trolling setups on lakes.  But a dropper in some of the river systems can work well.
Again, no need for sinking lines or sink tip since I discovered polyleaders. Super easy to swap out for any application other than fishing deep rivers or lakes.

For photos you have to ask someone else, I don't believe I've posted one here.  Maybe PEEK can help you.  He seems to spearhead the WIA forum and posts photos frequently. Shoot him a pm


2/04/2024 12:11 pm  #11

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Ah yeah good thought on the poly leader. I was funny enough thinking the opposite, going with the sink line and then just running a longer thick mono rig on the end for the dry fly or nymph/indicator fishing. Only downside is I find roll casting basically impossible on the mono rig vs floating line, not sure how much I'd care about that in the park. I also like more tightline approach keep line off the water. But I'll consider the polyleader setup instead. I can see the strong argument for it. I LOVE thinking about this stuff. Great suggestions!

     Thread Starter

2/06/2024 2:45 pm  #12

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Here's a dump of all the recent ties from the last month and last fall. Should all fit in a few small fly boxes that I'll bring in with me.

     Thread Starter

2/08/2024 10:12 pm  #13

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Wow, what a selection, you got it all covered. Good job, Hobbes.


2/09/2024 9:23 am  #14

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Beautiful!  Nothing gives me the itch more than these pre-season threads!


2/09/2024 10:46 am  #15

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Hey there Hobbes nice looking flies! I love your enthusiasm and it’s obvious it’s helping everyone get excited about their spring trips!

Like many I’ve been tying like crazy and I already literally have thousands of flies! I’ll share a few things I’ve learned and maybe add to all the great advice from the other guys above.

First thing is almost everything works lol. Brookies and lakers in spring are seldom picky, it’s more your presentation on a decent lake or river that makes the biggest difference. Saying that, there are times when colour or particular pattern can make a difference.

One thing for sure is that the best line for spring fishing (in my opinion) is a clear intermediate slow sink line. This is the line I would take if I can only take one line. Most active fish are in that 5-15’ water depth along drop off etc and this line excels there. It also casts like a rocket. If you have a canoe partner using spinning gear and trolling/casting along that break line the clear intermediate line is perfect. Saying that, I would never go without a full sink type 5-6…i use this line when trolling very large lakes out in open over deep water during day…caught some  huge lakers that way…even though yes gosh are often shallow, some are deep too…I have loops on my backing and fly line for easy loop to loop line changes…a lot of times I have two fly rods with the two lines…

For flies, you look good, again if a fish is around they are likely to hit most things, sometimes though I have noticed a difference ….for example I’ve found a marabou Mickey Finn better than standard bucktail version….also have had very good luck on a zuddler version of a Mickey Finn….trolled on the clear intermediate …deadly. The only other thing is that I have seen brookies be more selective on smaller lakes where there are no lakers. At times in early spring they can feed on callibaetis nymphs (and ignore other lures/flies …seldom but has happened several times over the years), so maybe a couple of those can be added. Final thing is dragon fly nymphs and damsels too…..if you happen to eat a brookie and check stomach you’ll know why!



2/09/2024 12:07 pm  #16

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

Yes! Love the chatter. It's fueling my obsessiveness of this all to the fullest extent .

In the end I'll probably end up bringing at least 2 reels with full sink and intermediate sink lines on them. My debate will be do I go mono rig for the dries/indicator/tight line, or normal floating line which would mostly be beneficial for either roll cast ability or if I need to send dries out at a longer distance. The big pro of the mono rig is I don't have to change out any lines, just add on the longer/thicker mono leader to whatever line I currently have on EZ PZ.

Awesome tips about the flies Moonman. I'll look to add your suggestions to the boxes! Still a few months until paddles hit the water so I can put that energy into more flies haha.

Also, I FINALLY found an old bathymetry map of Lavieille so planning my trolling routes accordingly.


     Thread Starter

2/09/2024 1:06 pm  #17

Re: Streamers and trolling flies

If you are bringing an intermediate line I would bring the full floating line instead of the mono rig. Reason being, you can use a balanced leech/bugger under an indicator with the floating line and pick up fish from shore (if you have casting room)….it’s always good to have options and no harm in bringing multiple line options if you can manage the additional weight and bulk (pack room)…also fly lines are shockingly expensive so unless you have lots of $ just laying around you have to pick and choose your poison…ultimately my biggest problem is bringing too much gear lol, but having several line choices really helps when conditions are tough.



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