At CeeDee we consider Tandem streamers the best imitations to troll for Landlocked salmon. Effective at any speed and imitating the rainbow smelt, the preferred food of landlocks, streamers will trigger strikes when nothing else will. If the action is slow increase your speed. Remember, aggressive fish will follow a bait and get a sense of it before striking. Action is as important as form.
Fish feed on instinct. Not when the are hungry. Notice in this picture the small Landlocked had already swallowed a huge smelt but still struck a trolled streamer. Instinct strikes are the norm
While cleaning this salmon the stomach contents had both smelt and nymphs. This provides intel on what the lake has to offer for food. In this case while smelt is preferred the fish was also feeding off the bottom. The clue here is that using darker single hook streamers or wet flies will produce. The fish taste better when feeding on nymphs also.
A nice 4.4 lb rainbow that hit an orange ghost mid-summer
This fish had a 5" smelt in its stomach but also struck a 3" Ice Out pattern. Fishermen often think that the size of the bait is critical to match the size of what the fish are feeding on. Not always true. Form and function are more important. If it looks like and acts like (jigging it) a smelt they will strike.
Here is a handful of the young of the year (YOY) smelt. Notice the very small one where all you see are the eyes. Eyes are key on streamers to matching the real thing.
Here is a beauty, over 7 lbs caught on a Cognac by the guy that the RJs Red & Gray Tandem was named after.
This 7 lb laker struck a Ten-Ten that was being trolled fast for Salmon. Trigger the instinct and any fish will strike.
Throughout this website we talk about trolling for trophy fish. All salmon we catch are trophys to us but some are special. Getting every advantage you can with controlled trolling speeds, good fish finders, which are critical for targeting big fish, and trusting your equipment to handle the battle are the first primary focus. You also must believe that the lake you are on has trophys and in our experience they all do, but these fish are seldom caught. At least when they are trophy size. You must trigger their instinct when you have their attention. This is done by jigging a streamer that matches the form and function of the preferred food for that fish. If I were to pick one variable that makes a streamer most effective it would be its ability to naturally manipulate light.
Very rewarding to get the younger generation landing nice fish. Here's a perfect example of a trophy caught on a streamer named after him. The Tan Man!
Rainbow Smelt.....notice the colors and the refelctive lines in the scales