For the final part to this fly proportion series we are going to take a closer look at streamer flies. Unlike the other fly styles discussed earlier, there are many different tying variations (with proportions) to specific patterns depending on the type of fish being targeted. For example wooly bugger streamer patterns tied for bluegill generally have shorter tails compared to buggers that are tied to catch pike (the reasoning here is the smaller the size of the fishes mouth you are trying to catch the smaller the proportions need to be in order to hook up).
Streamer flies are fly patterns that mimic a lot of the larger food sources that fish like to target like leeches, hellgrammites and minnows. These flies use a combination of special materials like marabou, round rubber and zonker strips that seem to almost come alive when they enter the water. Get accustomed with the streamer proportions below as these flies will become a staple in your fly fishing arsenal.
Anatomy of the Streamer Fly
- Tail — The tail for streamer patterns varies greatly depending on the type of pattern that you are tying. For bugger patterns/minnows the tail should measure the length of the hook shank. For traditional hair wing streamers the tail should be approximately 1 and 1/2 times the length of the hook gape.
- Wing — The wing should length of the hook shank plus the tail.
- Body — The body for streamer flies should measure two-thirds the length of the hook shank and taper from the hook eye to the hook barb.
- Rib — The rib for streamer flies depends on the material used and the length of the hook shank. In most cases the ribbing in streamer flies should be somewhere between 4-10 wraps.
- Beard — The beard length should be equal to the hook gape distance.
- Head — The head should be 2-5 thread wraps wide (or as small as possible while still holding the hackle or wing or in place securely). The head should be covered with hardener or paint to protect the fly.