hillbillies) casting must rank as the most frustrating aspect of small-stream fishing. The line is going to follow wherever the rod tip goes, so make sure when you’re making your presentation cast that it is pointed directly at the spot you are trying to hit. So, using your 6 weight while throwing a size 22 midge would not cut it. Question: When my dad and I go dry-fly fishing on small streams in western North Carolina, he’s always telling me that I’m spooking the fish. I can and do make that cast successfully from time to time. (Note: This practice must be performed on the water since contact with the water is necessary to load the rod, and prevent the fly from slipping toward you when you throw the line forward away from you.) This can be accomplished by shortening the front taper of the line, or by using one line weight more. Photo by Phil Monahan . Stepping foot into a new trout stream can be exciting, with opportunities aplenty for a day to remember! “Retro” type fiberglass rods such as Orvis’ new Superfine Glass rods are slower action style rods that are perfectly suited to small streams and short casts. This may mean oversizing your presentations with large stimulators or terrestrials as well as large subsurface imitations. All 7’ 6” or less, most impressed with the glass Superfine. You also don’t have much of a backcast due to the brush behind you, so you’re going to have to steeple cast the fly above you but still get it to lay out quietly just in front of the fish. This passion for me started off on the River Blythe in Staffordshire. What you don’t want to do is keep whipping that rod back and forth until every fish in the pool sees it and darts for cover. Tag alders swamps typically only grow tag alders, so there will be no overstory of trees. Orvis Superfine, Scott F series, and Douglas Practice from a crouched position too, as you will on the stream. Problem is, the fish is twenty feet away and you only have an eighteen-inch space between the tag alders to land the fly. So my hand is up across from my ear. When trout see little forage … Shipping Policy Then alternate stripping and stopping to make the fly dart and stop, rise and sink. Fly casting to a trout that is holding under a bank only ten feet in front of you on a stream that is only six feet wide can be a tough shot. In its most basic form, fishing for trout with streamers is one of the easier ways to catch fish with a fly rod: you simply cast across the river or across-and-downstream and then strip the fly back as it swings through the current below you. Fly fishing small streams for wild trout is without question my favorite piscatorial endeavor. He set the hook and chaos ensued as his line rooster tailed through the water. It is especially helpful to learn how to mend in the air so as not to disturb the water (and the fish) once the cast is made. Maybe all you need is to throw  a little squiggle into the cast to get a drag free drift. Those two casts- a tight single hand cast, and the roll cast are the basis for small stream fishing. More than 95% of trout are caught within 10m, and in small streams even closer. Alex made a single cast, and his fly disappeared with a loud slap. Cinda Howard, a guide with Fly Fish Arizona and Beyond, shares some of her techniques for fly fishing a small stream. Give the fly a second to sink, and then strip like mad to pick up the slack and make contact with the fly. The problem is that … Having an efficient cast, with as little motion as possible to start with, gives you the leeway to make a steeple cast. When fly fishing small streams you can see the underwater structure, which makes reading the water much easier. Not doing this is one of the most common mistakes I make. You also need to develop accuracy. Much of this problem, we believe, stems from the way fly-casting instruction began several centuries ago in Europe, where most fly fishing occurred on small streams not more than a few yards wide. It’s nice when you get to those long straight stretches of stream with a bit of holding water at the head of it. This is the challenge of casting on small streams. Next, practice your roll cast. If you’re fishing upstream to sneak up on trout facing into the current, remember to consider your float. A steeple cast in tight quarters is just one skill that is helpful to have on a small stream. For short casts you want to pick up and deliver that fly in a one-two motion. Learn how to load that rod and deliver in one cast (I’m here defining a cast as one back- and one forward cast). This is one of the more common examples. Opinions would be appreciated. These too will help load the rod with very little line beyond the tip. Be patient. The fish turned and swam back up to Alex, then ran back downstream, streaking past my leg on the surface- the biggest brook trout I’ve ever seen outside of Canada. Fly casting to a trout that is holding under a bank only ten feet in front of you on a stream that is only six feet wide can be a tough shot. Most anglers cannot consistently cast further than about 20m, yet they have no trouble catching fish. But, moving downstream in tight quarters will sometimes spook your quarry before you can get into a good position to make a cast. I don’t know if it is taught in any books or videos, it’s just a hail Mary cast. It’s something to get used to and can only be learned while spending time on the water. Required fields are marked *. What defines a small stream is rather subjective. The sheer numbers of fish that we typically expect to catch in small streams make up for the lack of size. There’s a million ways for this to go wrong with results that aren’t family friendly. Here’s some other skills you should learn for small stream fishing. Newsletter, 300 E Front Street, Suite 101 Traverse City, MI 49684 Many light line weight rods are designed in short lengths because they load more easily and manufacturers expect anglers to use them in tight conditions. What Are Brook Trout? How to Prospect for Trout in Small Streams. My disclaimer that I will now make is that I am no casting instructor. Answer: If he weren’t catching so many fish, I’d tell you to ignore the old man, but he’s probably right. I do this a lot and am occasionally surprised by a fish that eats once I get it right. It is that frustrating. The fish, seeing the commotion, scoots for cover. Quietly you wade up around the bend, moving slowly so as not to push water, because upstream you can hear a good fish feeding. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Tips for fly fishing small streams. There's a high-angle roll cast up here, you can make a sidearm roll cast, you can also roll cast over your opposite shoulder. Joe Brooks was the master at these. Accuracy. Favorite Appalachian small stream rod? Perhaps the biggest challenge with small stream fly fishing is the problems associated with casting a fly when there are obstacles everywhere ready to ruin a cast and spook a trout. This type of combination can be deadly! Even better if you have room for a back cast. Keep in mind these couple of important principles of roll casting: Keep the fly on the water, aim low toward your target, and apply the power late in the stroke. As an example, if you are using ten feet of leader and cast forty feet upstream, beyond the first ten feet of float, you will have “lined” or spooked the fish. All aspects of trout fishing the commotion, scoots for cover freshwater that... From bushes is no fun in the mountains fish a lighter weight to it away from the masses the with! 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