Master Fly Fishing Small Streams

An interesting stat that I found was 70% of anglers kicked off their fly-fishing career by fly fishing small streams. 

Numbers never lie, and these show how small streams have a huge preference. I don’t know the exact reason for these, but one thing I know is that the serene beauty that is found near streams offers a good learning point. 

Angling here is made to be fun, and these keep you motivated, the entire adventure.

This does not mean that survival in the small streams is a walk in the park. Though with some essential tips it becomes easier. This is what we shall discuss in this article.

8 Tips for Success

1.| Use Stealth Approach

An important trait you need to possess is being stealth. If you make a mistake, and stand exposed on the edges of the river. 

You will notice the sudden rush for safety by the fish. This will fail at first attempt. Remember that fish is a clever animal (especially trout) and with such signs, it will not fall for the fly no matter what. 

Therefore, you need to be tactical and ensure you sneak and make a cast unnoticed. I know you may feel tempted, but be patient.

Study the fish first and prepare promptly. Most fish love to face the stream’s source, and therefore, they move upstream. 

With this as a fly fisher, you are obliged to approach from downstream. Ensure you don’t make any noise. With the target looking up make a cast, and your chances of success will be far greater. 

Note, that in large streams you may need to approach downstream.

2.| Shorten The Distance

When casting this is not the time to implement your distance fly casting skills. Here, you need to make a short cast. This is because the trout is just a few feet away from you. 

What I have learned is that you don’t need to put in a lot of energy. If you are used to fishing populated areas these might be a challenge, but with practice all will be well. 

The lucky fact is that mastering a short cast is easy, it is even a default skill to most.

In most cases, fishing in small streams is attributed to obstacles surrounding it. This leads to higher chances of a successful forward cast than a backcast. 

When there is little space then you have to master roll casting. You can also go for a backcast, if there is ample space. 

Remember a successful forward cast is equally valuable to a successful backcast.

3.| Fish Small Mountain Streams

Fishing in the small mountain streams is a very vital tip for success. Whenever I go fishing in a stream this is where I start with. This is because I mastered the secret that such places possess. 

You will notice these with other anglers too. Why are these places that crucial anyway? The reason is using a limitation that is found here for our success.

Such places are characterized by the availability of limited food for the fish. They will, therefore, sample almost everything for food. 

This means that as an angler you have a higher chance here. Introducing a fly here is like telling a fish “come here there is some food for you” . Innocently, the fish will fall for the trap and this means success to you. 

Isn’t that luring tactic amazing? Then make sure you use it next time you go fishing in a small stream.

4.| Watch And Keep The Fly Close

You can’t say that you are fishing if you can’t see the fly. This is because you will not be able to monitor the fish patterns. The fish may outsmart you by splitting the fly and running away with it. 

While that is the case, the solution is as simple as keeping close eye to the fly. Through this you will be able to know when to set the hook. You should also avoid casting past an obstacle that will hinder you to see the fly.

Monitoring the fly also helps ensure the color is visible. In case the color is invisible. This will be a call that you need to make adjustments to the fly.  This is especially when it matches the surface of the stream. 

Make sure to choose a visible color. Consequently, you will know whether the size and shape are suitable. Thus, for success in small streams, you need to see the fly.

5.| Don’t Underestimate Pool Sizes

Many times when I was beginning, I used to only fish in the deep ends. I had a mindset that this was the only place I would find fish.I later realized that even though the fact is true, there are still many fishes that reside in the shallow ends. 

Especially if they realize that the deep end is posing them a lot of danger. Therefore, don’t be choosy when it comes to pool size.

You just fish anywhere. When you do this you will have more harvest than when focusing on one area.

This tip will help you succeed because you will monitor the fish pattern. You will know where to find fish in different weather conditions. Furthermore, fish in different streams have different natural habitats. Be careful to utilize these opportunities without partiality. 

I always say never over fish in only certain areas. Give the fish some time to multiply.

6.| Focus On The Fish

In as much as you need to keep an eye on the fly. It’s good to ensure that you are simultaneously doing the same to the fish. This will help not lose focus on the fish. Imagine concentrating on the fly and then the fish swims away without your consent. 

You will end up wasting a lot of energy only to realize  that the fish disappeared. Is that what you want? Then ensure you are watching their moves.

Through this, you will also know clearly where to cast. You cannot cast just anywhere. Check for the place where the fish are. It is said that if you have something to increase your chances of fishing, do it. 

Provided it does not cause harm to you and the fish’s habitat. If you have to lure the fish with some feed do it. This is good to keep them close to your casting area. I advise you to also use sunglasses in case seeing clearly becomes a challenge.

7.| Assess Before Casting

Just like other activities. Where you need to make assessments before performing the activity. Fly fishing small streams also calls for the same. 

Make necessary assessments to ensure you are set. These evolve from yourself to the fishing tools and even the stream itself. This ensures that everything is in check.

The following are assessments that you can make

  • Be on the right side of the stream depending on the sun position to avoid casting your shadow on the fish.
  • Ensure all the tools are working appositely.
  • Check the surroundings to avoid obstacles i.e. while making a cast.
  • Identify the potential target, preferably, one with a high number of fishes.
  • Then strategies on the approach you will use.

Make all the assessments above to ensure that everything is in check. When you do these you will be prepared to launch a fruitful cast. The other tips are dependent on how you prepare.

8.| Enjoy The Moment And Have Fun

This is not a casual activity where seriousness is required. You need to enjoy what you are doing and have fun. This tip might seem unnecessary, but it is the backbone of the other success tips. You need to enjoy what you are doing. 

No success can be achieved if you are not happy. How will you even know that you are convinced with what you are doing? Have fun in what you are doing.

The secret going forward is accepting where you are. Ensure you celebrate the small victories. If you have been struggling to make a successful cast, and then you make it (even if it’s one) celebrate it. 

That’s how you improve because you will desire to celebrate more, hence, more success is bound to come.

After some time those small victories will become a successful process. I will give you a task that the next time you go to that small stream ensure you are enjoying it.

Final Thoughts

When I look back I remember that there was a period I felt like hanging my boots in fly-fishing. It was not easy, but I kept on pressing. 

The tips above really help in a great way to craft your skill. You also should be optimistic and use the above tips. They will be of great help and you will be better in fly fishing small streams. 

Related Questions

How do you fly cast in small streams? – There are two main ways in which you can fly cast. You can forward cast in scenarios where there is little space or many obstacles. Next, you can backcast, suitable when space is abundant.

What weight is a fly rod for small streams? – The fly rod used in small streams is the smallest in the category of fly fishing rods. It weighs about 3 wt. This is with a typical Length of 6-8 feet. 

How do you fly fish in a small creek? – You should fish up the creek. This is because most fish tend to head to the source of water. They move against the current and this will ensure you complete the mission unseen. The source of the water is equivalently the source of fish.

How do you get trout fish in small streams? – The availability of trout in a stream is caused by the meandering and bending of the stream. This is where they like to stay. You can also get them in streams that are connected to warm lakes.

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