4 Elements for streamer fly design


There is a methodical process when it comes to designing streamers. Here at Meat Market Flies we have a 4 point system of elements that we strictly follow. Tying and fishing streamers is an investment make sure you get these elements down, and I can promise you your flies will be more successful

  1. Profile

This is so important when it comes to fly design. If you’re tying a baitfish it better have a baitfish profile, that classic tear drop shape where it starts wide at the head and gradually tapers to the tail. Many times, all the fish will see is just the profile of your fly and not all the cool new material you added into it, so make sure your profile is right! After finishing a new fly ask yourself does this fly have the profile of what I’m trying to mimic.

The Tear Drop has that perfect baitfish tear drop profile that many predators key in on.

The Tear Drop has that perfect baitfish tear drop-ish shape that predators key in on.


  1. Movement

This is just as important as profile. Your fly must have some movement for it to be a successful streamer! I have recently been seeing on Instagram a great looking streamer tied out of a zip tie. It looked fishy, even had a cool realistic fish head on it. So, I figured “shoot I’d fish that”. Tied the entire thing pulled it off the vise, and I was left with a great looking fish imitation that was stiff as a board. It was almost hysterical as to how bad this thing looked in the water, and to make matters worse the company who “invented” this fly sells it on their website for $50! $50! For a fly that has literally zero movement! The point I’m trying to make is that in today’s world of natural and synthetic fly tying materials there is no excuse that your fly shouldn’t undulate tantalizingly in the water. Combining natural marabou or rabbit strip, with some synthetic flash or barring is almost a sure-fire way to land a fish! Let’s not forget these trout, bass, pike/musky, GTs, whatever you’re fishing for are serious predators and some undulating motion combined with the right profile can have amazing results!

The Furburger has a free swimming rabbit strip with the hook at the real, which creates unbelievable motion in the water. 


  1. Color

The truth is color matters. You’ll hear people say it doesn’t matter very much but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Color is extremely important, at Meat Market Flies we use color to help us better imitate the baitfish or crustacean we are trying to mimic. We also use color to get the fish’s attention for example, a hot orange and pink winter steelhead fly swung through a clear coastal river is going to get every fish in that areas attention. Same thing with throwing a brightly colored chartreuse and white dragon tailed streamer for stripers. They’re going to know it’s there. I believe using these bright colors can cause strikes out of agitation as well as an opportunistic strike especially if the fly appears to be a high calorie offering.

This Magic Dragon is designed to have a color combination that's going to let that predator know it's in the water!



  1. Patterning

This is an important element to understand. I make a lot of observations in the field, for a living, as well as in my free time and one of the most reoccurring themes is that in nature, almost no matter what, a living organism that’s an active predator or prey is going to have some form of camouflage. Usually this comes in the form of barring. That is why on so many of our patterns we add barring to them. Whether its micro barring in the form of Senyo’s barred predator flash, larger barring from a barred rabbit strip, or even adding the barring ourselves with a marker you will see some element of this on almost every single one of our flies. This is not exclusive to barring (although barring is extremely common and easily accessible in the fly tying material world). You can also do dots, or even splotches. Over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution fish have adapted to key in on these patterns and you’ll notice the difference in the fish to hand ratio just by simply adding some patterning to your fly.

The Peach Panther has that subtle barring that comes from the fine barred marabou added to this fly. 


-Lukas Ferrenburg


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