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RiverBum Fly Fishing Blog

Fishing Small Streams

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I moved from Spokane, WA to Mountain Top, PA a little over a year ago. It’s been an adjustment. I really haven’t gotten out as much as I would have liked with the demands of a new full-time job, two daughters very active in soccer and seemingly a tournament every weekend, and the chores of normal everyday life.

The biggest adjustment for me from a fishing perspective has been the water. The Inland Northwest, Montana, and Idaho have some legendary waters. Big water, too. Rock Creek in Montana is no creek by East Coast standards.

Here in PA we have bodies of water like the Delaware that are large, but there are an enormous number of creeks and streams. This can make for some interesting fishing.

The Gear is Different

There’s no 9’5wt action here with 9’ or 12’ leader. I picked up a sweet rod from Chris Reilly at Reilly Rod Crafters, a 7 ½’ 3wt Kildare and use 7 ½ leader. I love the feel and control of the fiberglass. This is a fantastic rod. I’ve got great control and it’s compact enough for the wooded areas.

Saying Goodbye to Two-Fly Guy

Speaking of wooded areas, I’ve been a two-fly guy my whole fly fishing life, or so it seems. I’m changing up though. Fishing the small streams is more precise. Everything is more compact. So is the fishing and wading. There’s limited cover for the fish, limited feeding lies. You can bet your bottom dollar that the biggest fish is going to dominate the best feeding lie. Go tromping into the stream…. say goodbye.

Small Stream Fishing is Much Stealthier

You can make some mistakes on the bank of a river that’s 40-50 foot across and still catch fish. Not so much when the stream is less than 10 feet. On the plus side, you can fish the whole stream. Everything is available to you.

One thing I’ve found so far is that the white water holds fish. I’m thinking its cover providing as much as anything. A small waterfall, a boiled-up run…all seem to present themselves great opportunity. I’ve had very good luck with  AdamsCoachmanTrudesElk Hair Caddis, and Parachute Hare’s Ear for dries. For nymphs, I haven't really gotten that creative. I’ve done well on the good ole  pheasant tails and prince nymphs.

As my adventures continue…I’ll keep writing about them.

Tight Lines and Screaming Drags

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