Although it's always fun to chase the big boys in the big water there is something soul soothing about a little time by yourself on a small mountain stream. Last week I was lucky enough to get out for a few hours on just such water and although most of the fish I landed were well under a foot I had a blast. Here are few simple things I like to do to help enjoy fishing small water:
1. Use appropriate gear. A 2, 3, or 4 weight, dry flies, and light tippet help even small fish turn into trophies.
2. Fish all of the water. Especially where there are browns, be sure to check all spots in the stream not just the most likely ones. I've been surprised by several relatively big trout in skinny water.
3. Remember to turn your stealth up. Small fish are preyed on more than large fish so they are often pretty skittish. Stay low and use shadows to mask your shape wherever possible. Think feline (catlike), not ursine (bearlike).
4. Continually monitor your casting lanes by watching not just in front but behind you. If you look first you'll at least know how to squeeze your back cast through a gap even if the execution isn't always perfect. And don't fret over caught branches, it happens.
Hopefully these few simple tips help when you get the chance to hit some special small water this summer.