The Baby Doll White Single Hook Streamer is primarily a stillwater fly fishing pattern, this effective streamer was devised in 1971 by Brian Kench for fishing on Ravensthorpe reservoir. It is taken by trout feeding on the fry of roach and other fish that have reflective flanks.
STREAMER WET FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 8 - $US each
This baby fish imitator should be fished with erratic but continuous retrieve. It is worth a try when trout are feeding on small fry in the margins, but performs better at greater depths where less light penetrates. It also acts as a reasonable imitation of certain large emerging sedge pupae when tied with peach or orange wool. It should be fished right on the bottom and given a twitching retrieve, an inch or two at a time, once every three or four seconds. In dirty water, very poor light or when the fish are showing no interest, tie on a bright colored Baby Doll Streamer Lure, to give electrically charged retrieves. Towards the end of the season trout go on a feeding spree to build up strength for their annual orgy. More trout show cannibalistic tendencies at this time of the year than any other and eat trout fry (baby fish). These small fish congregate in areas that suit their needs like marginal weed beds or entrances to feeder streams. The streamer lure now comes into its own. These fry imitations flies are probably one of the leading Streamer Lures at this time.
Streamers are normally tied on long-shanked hooks. They may be tied as 'deceivers', which are imitations of local various kinds of small minnow like baitfish or as vivid colorful 'attractors' that suggest something alive, edible or a threat. The attractors are also designed to stimulate a predatory fish's aggression. They are usually a little heavier than the nymphs, and the wind resistance can vary depending on the particular fly. In Britain this type of fly is called a Lure or wet fly.
Historically, feather winged streamers belong to the American east coast, while bucktail hair winged streamers come from the west coast. Credit for designing streamer style flies cannot be given to one person. Here in Britain, during the reign of King George III, about 200 years ago, minnow imitations were being used. As dry fly fishing was the only accepted form of fly fishing at the time no recognition was given to the designers of these flies. Fly fishing was a sport for 'gentlemen' and you had to play by the rules. Streamers, wet flies and nymphs were not allowed. The Victorians 50 years later still believed that a streamer could not be considered a fly as it represented a young or small fish and not a flying insect. In their view anyone that used them was a streamer fisherman and not a fly fisherman. If you made them you were not a fly tier but a streamer tier instead, a lesser being. Over time these silly views changed.
The people lower down the social scale used what ever fly caught fish. Some of them emigrated to North America and took their knowledge of streamer patterns with them. There are American records of bucktail hairwing streamers being tied in the USA during the early 1870's and being offered for sale in the 1890's. They were mainly being used to catch small mouth bass. William Scripture was designing and tying streamers in Rome, New York during the first years of the last century. A Maine Fly tier called Herbert L Welch was investigating the the streamer style of fly tying in 1902. He has been credited as one of the first to use the longer shanked hook. Later came Carrie Gertude Stevens who was a prolific fly tier. Many of her patterns are still in use to day like the Gray Ghost. Many of the more colorful streamers originated in the North Eastern American States. You can see the effect the Atlantic Salmon flies have had on the designs of these emigrants.
In Britain during the 1960's stillwater fly fishing became popular on lakes and reservoirs throughout the country. The streamer became an accepted tool. Designs like the Cats Whisker, Baby doll, dog nobbler and numerous others gained notoriety. They are still discouraged on certain rivers. In Scotland the use of Salmon flies have made use of streamers more acceptable. The word 'Streamer' originally meant a feather winged pattern. In the 1930's bucktail hairwing variations were introduced where the flies wings were made of hair instead of feathers. Even now there are fly fishing purists who will still not call a bucktail streamer a streamer. It is not just some British fly fishermen who bring misplaced snobbery to our sport. There are American fly fishing snobs as well. Most fishermen have evolved beyond this pettiness. Flies like the woolly bugger do not have a wing and therefore are not true streamer patterns, they are leech patterns. It still does not stop you fishing woolly buggers to imitate a small bait fish, exactly as you would a streamer pattern.
The nice thing about small fish compared with tiny insects and crustaceans is that, to a great extent, they can oppose the current. Being strong swimmers, they commonly dare to enter more open and rapid water As a result, the fly-fisherman can fish his flies almost anywhere he likes: up or down or across the stream, either fast or slow. The fly will be equally attractive in all cases, and you need not worry about whether the fly will drag. Really large fish have long ago given up eating small insects in favor of more substantial young fish. Otherwise they would never have reached the size that makes them so desirable to us!
Trout are the commonest guests of our fly rods when we fish with streamers and bucktails. Grayling prefer insects and other small creatures, although this does not prevent large grayling from occasionally taking a small streamer When it comes to trout, one can get the feeling that not even the largest streamer is large enough. The great majority of small fish in flowing waters are definite bottom-dwellers. They not only live on the bottom, but actually spend most of their time resting on it. All this means that the flyfisherman's long-shanked flies should be fished as deep as possible. You can fish rather daringly with these big flies: fast or slow, upstream or downstream. There are unimagined possibilities of variation, in contrast to the usual fishing with wet flies or nymphs.
It is more than a matter of using your imagination. If the fish does not take a freely drifting streamer, try instead taking home the line very quickly. Make your fly look like a darting small fish. Now and then you can even "awaken" a lazy trout by letting the fly splash down right on top of its head. One must admit that this is not an elegant manner of flyfishing, but it can be extraordinarily productive. Trout are aggressive fish that defend individual territories in the stream. They are aggressive all year round, but this behavior becomes ever more apparent as the spawning time approaches and they defend their territory with fury against any intruder. The fly fisherman can take advantage of this situation when the fishing season is coming to an end and the trout's spawning time arrives. Then the fish may be hard to attract with ordinary imitation deceiver flies since, having feasted all summer, they are less interested in food and increasingly concerned with spawning.
It is then time to serve a big, colorful attractor streamer or buck-tail - a fly whose size and hue can, by themselves, give the fish an impression that some possible rival is encroaching on its territory. This method of fishing can be pretty exciting. It is important to have a good knowledge of the locality, so that you know exactly where the fish are holding. You have to seek them out with streamers and bucktails of large size, and present the fly right in front of them repeatedly until they react. Often nothing happens on the first cast, so you must continue stubbornly. For the more glimpses the fish gets of the fly, the more irritated it becomes. Finally it cannot endure the temptation and tries to chase away the fly.
At first you frequently feel only a strong blow against the fly, without hooking the fish. The fly has thus only been hit, not taken in the fish's mouth. Yet there is a good chance that one of the following casts will result in a solid strike by what may be the season's largest trout. In any case, such fishing is fascinating once the quarry has been aroused. In Alaska and British Columbia, every year sees a rather special kind of streamer fishing for large rainbow trout and Arctic char. It takes place when extensive schools of baby salmon smolt, which emerge from lakes upstream in the water system, begin their migration downstream toward the Pacific Ocean. The trout and char gather at the outlets of lakes to feast on the young salmon. If you stumble upon such a smolt migration, you are sure to have exceptional fishing experiences for quite a while. Streamers and bucktails are the only thing worth putting on your leader
Towards the end of the season trout go on a feeding spree to build up strength for their annual orgy. More trout show cannibalistic tendencies at this time of the year than any other and eat trout fry (baby fish). These small fish congregate in areas that suit their needs like marginal weed beds or entrances to feeder streams. The streamer lure now comes into its own. It is also important to give the fly some action. Your aim is to make your streamer look like a live appetising minnow who has seen it is being hunted by a bigger fish and is trying to swim out of danger. If you see a big brook or rainbow trout following your fly do not stop the retrieve. If you do the predatory bigger fish will just swim away into the depths and look for something else to eat. It will do this because something has registered in it's small brain that fleeing baitfish do not stop to let it catch up and eat them. Make sure you keep the fly moving, speed up and change direction like the natural baitfish would do.
One of my favorite use of smaller streamers is the sport of trying to coax trout that lurk in deep plunge pools to rise up to the surface and take my presentation. They normally will not do so for a dry fly. It has to be a more substantial meal to be worth the effort. I try to imitate a small fish that has been temporally stunned as it swam over the waterfall and landed in the plunge pool. Cast your streamer as near to the waterfall as you can. Give it a few moments to sink and then begin the retrieve to imitate the fish recovering and quickly swimming away from it's vulnerable static location to safety.
Using the same idea look for deep slow pools near where a stream is forced to drop suddenly due to a narrow rock channel. Small fish will be forced down with the strength of the current before they can quickly swim off to the relative safety of the bank. Drop your streamer into this current and let it sink. Then start you retrieve. Trout can be teased into chasing your streamer.