Small mountain streams...... I do not expect to catch trophy Trout there but I do expect uncrowded water, pristine scenery and freedom of not paying for gas, taxes and the American Dream. I enjoy the solitude but its the adventure that keeps me coming back.
Today Andy and I visited a favorite creek, one that we both frequent a few times a week. I was surprised to see how low the water was and realized that the low snow pack could have a big impact on these delicate streams. ...Andy casting to rising fish
Fishing a small stream is not the easiest thing to do. There are no wide open spaces for a back cast, brush seems to be a constant enemy and don't forget about the sunken snags at almost every good hole. Tight casting combined with spooky fish can make a mountain stream a real challenge. The good thing is that it can make you a better fisherman. Matching a hatch is not as important as getting the right drift, having line control and being able to tie funky looking flies. These places do not have a high population of fish per mile, so you need to bring your game every time. To be blunt, this is a obstacle course from hell. It never ceases to amaze me of all the unconventional ways I find to get my fly out there, anything goes. These fish don't really care about your exact replica of an insect that you know the genius of, what kind of materials were used, what major mall brand you were shopping at nor do they care about your name brand equipment, line weight, bank statement, 401K, sunglasses and they don't give a second thought to the car you drove/pushed to get there. They can skunk the greatest of fishermen, break the most patient man and make rookies feel like hero's. Because here its all about the perfect picture. When you get all the factors right they will let you know by attacking everything that you through at them... over and over and over and over. These fish can attack a fly ten times their size with shocking vengeance, I have been in awe thinking that this little 8 inch fish hit my fly harder than most larger river fish. When you get it right, this art can be some of the fastest fishing you have ever encountered.
A birds eye view of Andys strategy, yep he got one on that cast.
To me small streams are a beautiful place to fish and there is no place that I would rather go. I have gone back to where I started my love for fishing, small mountain creeks. I guess its the lure of the unknown that takes me to places that only a map and compass are familiar with. Call me crazy but a 8 inch fish in the middle of nowhere is what I call heaven.