By: Adam Spence
This week on Big Fly Friday, we’re taking a look at a streamer that’s near and dear to my heart: The Home Invader. During Spring Break last year, Matt, Randy (from True North Trout), and myself had our own little streamerfest on the Au Sable. We had boated a few decent fish and moved several more when on the second day, I laid down a nice shot underneath an overhanging tree and next to a submerged log. The river had a bit of a stain, but I was still able to see my best trout to date come out from that log and kill my brown/yellow Home Invader. It was one of the eats you feel lucky to see, and one that I won’t forget.
Main target species: Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass
Prime water to fish it in: I like the Home Invader in water that is slightly higher than average and with a little stain. It’s not a huge, bulky streamer, but the Arctic Fox Tail head pushes enough water in these situations. On smallmouth streams, I’ve done well in low water by bouncing it on a rocky bottom, which probably looks a bit like a crayfish to bass.
How to fish it: I’ve had luck on intermediate and full sinking lines with a shorter, stout leader. This helps you to get the fly down in high water. If you opt to go for a longer leader, you can change the action of the fly to being more jiggy. Floating line and a long leader can be another option if you want more of an up and down motion and are fishing in a way that gives you time to let the weight of the fly get it down in the zone.
Action: The Home Invader won’t swim like an articulated fly, but it still has plenty of action. Attach it to your intermediate or sinking line with a 3-5′ leader and you’ll have a streamer that darts like a baitfish swimming for its life on your retrieve. I use quick short strips when I’m rigged like this. Or, if you go with a longer leader (7-9′), you can utilize the weight of the eyes to your jigging delight.
Colors: I connected to my big brown trout on a brown/yellow/olive combo, so I’m partial to that scheme. During the same trip, yellow/copper (like the one in the picture) was also productive. Black/purple and chartreuse/white are great combos as well.
The Home Invader is a relatively easy fly to tie, so I recommend churning some out on the vise to fill your streamer box. Whether you fish it up and down or darting away quickly, this is a fly that has the ability to connect to a trophy fish.