I’ve always liked small streams, and fishing with the sense that I don’t have to worry about fishing behind another fisherman or having one come up on me. Recently, we seem to have more fishermen than most summers and I’ve been spending time on smaller waters that most don’t bother with. A couple of the last few trips have been to a tributary stream I used to visit regularly 20-30 years ago but haven’t much of late. There’s pretty much at least a half hour of footwork to access it, some working through rhododendron thickets, and I take a short rod. But there are occasional pools where even a 7’6” would be useful.
That’s probably the biggest pool, but those type of areas are separated by rhododendron tunnels, log tangles, and rocky cascading structure.
Above that and a few more like it, there are bookies, but that gets pretty tight to fish and you have to work in and out of the rhododendron to get to a spot to get a fly on the water, even dapping below a 6’ rod. The stretch I’ve been fishing most has lots of 5-6” rainbows, but a few bigger, and the better ones have come from log pockets, quick drifts, and close work. Typical lies in the pools seem to hold the 5-6 inchers. No pics of the fish, but all bows.
The rods I’ve used have all been short 5wts; 5’3”, 5’6”, and 6’. The 6’ length is probably more useful, but a little more trouble crawling through the rhododendron, and once or twice I have to choke up on it to get a fly into the pocket well. I may try a longer rod next visit but the two best fish have come from where shorter is better, and if a good fish takes, its activity can make a longer rod a detriment. Flies have mostly been 12 royal trude, but sometimes the swift water, heavy shade, and rainish weather makes it hard for me to pick up even that on the surface before the fly’s out of the quick hitting zone.
I don’t take a lot of pictures, but I keep my phone with me and every now then remember that it’s a camera too, so I thought I’d try to show my main strategy for dealing with current conditions.