Troutbitten on the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast — Talking Streamers

by | Mar 8, 2019 | 8 comments

It’s a strange experience, being around long enough to see things change. No matter what you’re into, you eventually find yourself looking around and thinking about what happened in the last five years, ten years, two decades. How did I get here? How much has changed around me. And how did it all happen so quickly?

Parenting is a series of those kinds of moments, really. Just the other day, my wife and I stared at each other mesmerized as we realized and said it out loud: We’re halfway done. In another eight years, our youngest son will have his driver’s license while our oldest will likely be out of the house and moving on to wherever his fate takes him. Neither of us want to be done.

Anyway, like the rest of life, the fly fishing industry moves fast too. And as so much evolves or circles back around to lap itself, it’s interesting to see which things grow with the industry and which things fall off the speedy ride.

The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast is one of those things that’s in for the long haul. I’ve been listening to Tom Rosenbauer from the beginning. And I’d argue that Tom set the model for a fly fishing podcast, which many other quality podcasts have built upon.

So I was honored to join Tom on his show. We talked about streamers, mostly. About how fast the industry has moved into what I think of as the modern streamer code. And about how, in my mind, I juxtapose that with an old-school streamer style that (maybe) a lot of anglers have forgotten about.


I’ve written my thoughts about this in a number of articles, and like everything else that happens around a river, they continue to evolve. But essentially, a modern streamer presentation asks the trout to come to the fly, while an old school style brings the fly to the trout.

READ: Troutbitten | Streamers as an Easy Meal — The Old-School Streamer Thing

Now, that’s a drastic simplification of the two methods, but I talked about it a little deeper with Tom on the podcast. We got into some Mono Rig tactics, brought up the streamer head flip and considered the size of the forage that trout are really eating — yes even the big ones.

I think I made it clear that, for me, this is not an either/or proposition. It’s both. I throw and strip streamers in just about every way imaginable. And it all works — sometimes. But I do have a preference for more of the old school tactics. Especially when I’m wading, when I can’t cover miles of water in a day, I must make the most of my limited opportunities, to convince a higher percentage of trout that might see the fly. We got into a lot more of that on the podcast.

Thanks to Tom and Orvis for the chance to talk for a while about how so many things change so fast, but at the root, a whole lot stays the same.

You can find the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever else you download your pods.


Here it is on the Orvis site.

And here is a direct link.


Fish hard friends.


Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky



Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Streamer Fishing Myth v Truth — Eats and Misses

Streamer Fishing Myth v Truth — Eats and Misses

Over time, over endless conversation, cases of craft beer and thoughtful theories, we came to understand that our hook sets were rarely at fault. No, we set fast and hard. We were good anglers, with crisp, attentive sets. The high percentage of misses were really the trout’s decision. We summarized it this way: Sometimes a trout misses the fly. Sometimes a trout refuses the fly. And sometimes a trout attempts to stun the fly before eating it . . .

Night Fishing for Trout — Location, Location, Location

Night Fishing for Trout — Location, Location, Location

It took me seasons of trial and error to understand this truth: On some rivers — especially those with larger trout — much of the water after dark is a dead zone. Nothing happens, no matter what flies or tactics you throw at them. Drift or swing big flies or small ones. Hit the banks with a mouse or swing the flats with Harvey Pushers. It doesn’t matter. On most rivers that I night fish, there are long stretches of water that simply won’t produce.

But in these same waters, there are sweet spots to be found — places where the action is almost predictable (by night-fishing standards), where two, three or four fish may hit in the same spot. And then just twenty yards downstream . . . nothing . . .

What does it take to catch a big trout?

What does it take to catch a big trout?

For many years, I believed that it takes nothing special to catch a big trout. I argued with friends about this over beers, during baseball games, on drives to the river and through text messages at 1:00 am. My contention was always that big trout don’t require anything extraordinary to seal the deal. They need a quality drift, a good presentation, and if they are hungry they will eat it. I frequently pushed back against the notion that big wild trout were caught only with exceptional skill.

So for all who’ve heard me make this argument, I’d like to offer this revision: I still believe that large trout don’t need more than a good presentation. But what is GOOD may actually be pretty special. Meaning, it’s rare to find the skill level necessary to consistently get good drifts and put them over trout (large or small).

Here’s more . . .

Streamer Presentations — The Cross-Current Strip

Streamer Presentations — The Cross-Current Strip

There are a lot of ways to retrieve a long fly after the cast. And that’s really what’s so much fun about the streamer game. Fly anglers might spend hours fretting over the imperfection of a drag free drift on a dry fly or twice as long considering the depth and drift of a nymph, but when the streamer is tied on, it’s a chance to let loose. Nothing else in fly fishing allows for such freedom of presentation. “Everything works sometimes.” No other fly type fits that tenant so well.

But what will trout respond to most? That’s the question. And on many days — most perhaps — the answer is a cross-current strip. Here’s why . . .

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.


  1. Nice. Have you tried getting in touch with Roger Maves? He does podcasts on his Fly Fishing Internet Radio program; all podcasts are archived.

  2. Congrats on the accomplishment. Well deserved! Can’t wait to listen to the podcast. Awesome opportunity to talk to a legend in the sport.

  3. You were spot on Domenick with your streamer podcast, trout don’t eat large Gallop style items all that often. I love tying them but hate loosing them..keep it smaller and you’ll be more successful.

  4. The story to start reminds me a lot of our conversations walking to path on Spring. Was a great podcast and a joy to listen to. Congrats on the achievement again and thanks for being a great steward for educating people in this sport!

  5. I enjoyed listening to that. Thanks Dom.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

Pin It on Pinterest