September 4, 2012

The Frustratingly Small Stream

Over the Labor Day weekend, my wife and I went back to our ancestral home to visit her mother. Through our hometown runs a little creek that I have never fished. I see cars occasionally parked in some of the turnouts on the road that overlooks creek and I have wondered if these people were actually fishing this small water.

The creek is a very small and very brushy. It is possibly only 4 to 5 feet wide and as I stated is heavily canopied with willows, dogwood, scrub maples and other trees. Because of this I have always thought that fishing it would be nearly impossible. Despite that, I thought I'd try.

To fish the creek I started with my Orvis Superfine 6' 6", 3 wt double taper line, and a 6 foot furled leader. I thought the creek's canopy was way too tight for my Soyokaze 27SR (9ft).  Probably due to its short length the Orvis did not perform like I would have hoped. Since I could not cast any distance I could not control the line. After stumbling around for a while without catching anything I decided to head to a different part of the creek.

I parked at another turnout and due to the frustration I had experienced with the Orvis Superfine I decided to string up the Soyokaze 27SR with an 8 ft #3 line. I entered the water just where the creek gets ready to go under the local highway. The trees hugged right over my head so tightly that I could not even stand up fully. I did a bow and arrow cast up the creek. As the #10 red hook Utah Killer Bug flowed down around a rock a fish took the fly. Because the branches were tight in all directions I could not set the hook. That did not matter -- I had seen that it was a decent size fish; there had to be others!

I wanted to move upstream, but the trees blocked my way. So I left the water, grunted up the steep bank and struggled my way through the tight barrier of trees finally coming to a pool that would have been impossible to work from below. I hunkered down next to the water and cast down into a nice pool. The fly hung for a few moments then was sucked under a large boulder. Suddenly there was a strong pull and I was into a 8 inch brown. I landed him without issue, took his photo, and let him go. I was stoked! A nice fish from such a small stream!

The fish
The pool
From there I began working my way upstream. Where the canopy opened up I would steeple or roll cast. I was able, in one section, to actually cast "normally". I fished for about two hours hooking eight trout and bringing four to hand. Most were 8-9 inch browns but one was 10-11 inches! I did hook one little guy that I launched into oblivion when I set the hook.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited to catch fish in the creek of my boyhood hometown. I'll be going back for sure. I just need to find the right rod for such tight creek. In the meantime it is time to move to larger waters!

A marginally open stretch of the creek

The 10-11 inch brown


  1. Tom, just curious, did you try to fish with one or maybe two sections colapsed?

    1. I used one section collapsed, but it was still a really tight stream.



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