The Streamer Head Flip VIDEO

by | Mar 29, 2023 | 6 comments

My favorite streamer presentation and my best trick for convincing trout to eat a streamer now has a companion video.

I first wrote of the Head Flip almost five years ago. Since then I’ve shared this with many friends, and we’ve talked about the tactic on the Troutbitten Podcast. But what seems like a simple enough tactic — changing the head angle of the streamer — can get a little complicated once your feet are in the water.

READ: Troutbitten | Streamer Presentations — The Head Flip
PODCAST: Troutbitten | Streamers — All About the Head of the Fly

The head flip helps seal the deal on tough trout that won’t commit, and it’s a great look for almost any streamer — big, small, heavy or light. It’s a presentation that I use every day, because it works in so many situations.

Watch the video, then read below for more tips.

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A Few More Points

The 2018 article holds all the information you need, so I won’t revisit much of that here.

READ: Troutbitten | Streamer Presentations — The Head Flip

But here are a few more things to consider, regarding the Head Flip:

— The video above shows the streamer just under the surface, so you can see it. But the Head Flip can and should be performed at all levels. A deep flip, right near the riverbed and around a rock can be deadly.

— Trout absolutely do know where the head of a streamer is. And manipulation to our streamer always starts with the head, as that’s where we attach the hook. Honorable mention goes to the crayfish, which lives life backward. However, but the same principles apply here. We flip a cray pattern the same way.

— The Head Flip often does bring the fly toward you a bit, especially on a tight line rig. But it does not bring it across seams or downstream or up through the column like a strip, jerk or a jig.

— Head Flips can be fast or slow. Try everything.

— The double flip introduces a touch of slack on that second flip. And if your fly is weighted, it falls a bit with that slack. BAM! I get a lot of hits right there.

— Use the Head Flip, and mix it in with your other presentations. Strip, strip, pause, head flip, strip, lane change, speed lead. Recast. That’s a good drift!

— I purposely left out much talk about rigs in the video, because for streamer presentations, many leader systems can work. We fish streamers most often under tension, and you can impart that motion to the fly and manage the tension effectively in a variety of ways. The Mono Rig works exceptionally well for the Head Flip. But don’t let that limit your imagination.

Fish hard, friends.

 

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Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

 

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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.

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6 Comments

  1. I always wondered how you made that work. Showing us made a big difference

    I fish more lakes than streams. In The spring fish are along the edge of the lake in shallow water. I am going to try this technique with a floating line. I will let you know how it works

    Again thanks.

    Reply
  2. I’ve been practicing this a lot over the past few months after one of your podcasts. Two questions for you: (1) Your arm movements look fairly large to set up a flip, but the close of the flipped fly looks almost too subtle for such a large arm movement. My guess is that a smaller arm movement might be better for a closer presentation. Or maybe with the tip closer to the water, a smaller arm movement would be best. (2) Do you feel that eyes on a streamer is a strong trigger? I go back and forth with this and don’t have a strong opinion. Thanks much! Toney

    Reply
    • Hi Toney,
      Yes, on a tight line you need to move the rod from all the way left to all the way right to get the head to turn 45 degrees. Try it and you’ll see what it takes.

      Also, I’m not a big believer in eyes on a streamer being all that important. Can they be a good trigger? Sure! Anything can. But they can also turn trout off quickly. I think what we see as good eyes can look very fake to a trout.

      Cheers.
      Dom

      Reply
  3. Ahhh….finally understand! Video is great to show this!

    Reply

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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.

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