The best streamers for smallmouth bass are…

If you do a search for “best” or “top ten” streamers for smallmouth bass, you are presented with an eclectic mix of patterns, typically opaque, with big googly eyes and using all kinds of new-agey materials — often accompanied by seductive promises of fish-catchess prowess. And oh, by the way, you can’t have the recipe, but here’s where you may purchase the wonder fly.


I can’t claim to be an expert on the lesser pie-holed cousins of the bucketmouth, but when I sat down at the vice this weekend to tie some smallmouth streamers I kept things pretty basic. I have a strong suspicion this selection will be met with approval by the target audience — the key word being selection. Some will ride topwater. Some will swim just below the surface. Some will plumb the depths and jig on the retrieve. They feature colors that range from earth-tones to fluorescents. You know the drill: give the fish a choice.

Now, I just gotta get them wet.

Clockwise from bottom left: Gartside Gurgler variants (size 2), three sets of Woolly Bugger variants (sizes 4-6), Deep Threat variants (sizes 4-6), and in the center, some neutral buoyancy thingy I tied on a whim.






7 comments on “The best streamers for smallmouth bass are…

  1. plsullivan62 says:

    You could use a brown Wooly exclusively and do just fine

    • Steve Culton says:

      Yup. But I like fishing bright colored streamers in clear flows — assuming that’s what the fish like — because it’s easy to track the fly throughout the presentation, and I’m a visual kind of guy. 🙂

  2. Alton Blodgett says:

    And a fine looking bunch they are! Good luck and I’m looking forward to the field testing results.

  3. RM Lytle says:

    I was not a fan of the Clouser until earlier this year- but I’ve been using them more often now and they are AWESOME smallmouth flies! They stick fish mouth like a three trebled jerk bait too, it’s really amazing for a fly with such a small hook compared to the length. Your Deep Threats are my third favorite bass fly.

    • Steve Culton says:

      I don’t really fish Clousers anymore, but there is no doubt that they are a classic and super productive smallmouth fly. Glad the Deep Threat is working for you!

  4. Dick Heffernon says:

    Anything that looks like a crayfish works.

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