Loading... Please wait...

RiverBum Fly Fishing Blog

Fishing Small Streams

Posted by

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

View Comments


Picking a Fly Fishing Guide

Capt. Jim here, and this month starts "fishing season" April is the first real days of spring weather for many of our states. From Florida to Maine, and From Arizona to Washington. We all begin to notice more consistency in the warmth of days. We all have students locally out for "Spring Break", and just [...]

Read More »


Wet Fly Surprise

Love it or hate it, Facebook has some good stuff and some not so good. One the good side, a memory feed came up for me that was a picture of me and my then 7-year-old daughter on a fishing trip to the St. Joe River in Idaho. On the bad side, I think I was about [...]

Read More »


​High Water Fishing

Just got a foot of snow here in Pennsylvania……. but that rodent promised spring would be right around the corner. Personally, I don’t even believe a meteorologist when it comes to predicting the weather…. but that’s another story. The calendar says spring will be here. I can’t wait. For many regions of the country, that means snow [...]

Read More »


PA Trout Opener

In PA we are getting ready for our Trout Season opener on March 31st (Regional) and State wide on April 14th. Some Anglers have been dormant all winter long. Either tying, resting or just sitting on the couch watching TV. For those of us anxiously waiting, I have a few tips for getting your line ready. The last thing [...]

Read More »


​Don’t Match That Hatch!

What? Isn’t matching the hatch and presenting with a drag free drift the most prolific method to catch trout? Why yes, yes, it is. I would garner to say it has probably caught more trout than any other method. So, what am I talking about?  I'm talking about when there is no hatch, or you don't see [...]

Read More »


Why You Need a Landing Net

There are mаnу tуреѕ оf gear аѕѕосіаtеd with fly fishing. Landing nets are a staple for nearly every angler because netting the fish makes landing a quicker process for the angler and the fish. If you just use the reel and rod to land the fish, you risk not only losing the fish, but can harm it in the process [...]

Read More »


The Sweet Salt

When thinking of fly fishing, most anglers and non-anglers alike often envision a windy mountainous stream or river with gin-clear water gently flowing alongside stretches of river rock cobble bars and lush green trees. The seclusion, the invigorating sound of the water in the riffle, the sometimes deafening singing of cicadas and the hunt [...]

Read More »


Winter Fly Fishing Tips and 6 Favorite Winter Nymphs

With cold winter water the fish tend to hug the bottom of the deeper pools, drop-offs and slower tail outs.  This time of the year you need to get your bugs on the bottom and in front of the fish (low and slow) they can be lethargic in the cold water and will not move far or fast to [...]

Read More »


​Bass On The Fly

It’s all about the bass, about the bass, about the bass….no treble!So, it should be perfectly obvious that I let my children play Kidz Bop in the car way too often and my mind is shot! I’m positive my wife would confirm I should probably be in a padded room. That all being said, I think [...]

Read More »


Sign up for our newsletter

View Cart Go To Checkout