November 13, 2014

Does size matter?

Every fishing publication I have, or every one that I have seen, shows off the the size of the fish caught. The fish are always huge, requiring two hands to lift to be presented to the camera. You never see little fish. I guess it would be like having a normal appearing women in a business suit standing in front of a muscle car, rather than the hyper-proportioned, scantily dressed "beauty" which is customary. Sex sells and large fish are sexy.

Some guy's monster. Lifted from here

I guess I'm odd, but I like normal. I like small fish. Or I guess I should say, I like fish, trout in my case, which come from small, hard to fish streams. These streams are my muscle cars.

When I fish a small mountain stream or creek, I go for the experience. Sure, I like catching the trout that reside in them, but it's the total experience that draws me in. I like being in the water. I like to fill it pushing me around and the challenge of staying on my feet. I like the sound as it rushes over, around and under logs and rock. I like small streams.

In these waters most of the fish are small. You won't see them on the cover of fly fishing magazines. You won't see them being presented as great trophies, but non-the-less, they are my favorite quarry.

I like the occasional moderate size water, where trout of 14-18 inch reside, but give me a small creek, cascading over moss covered rocks, surrounded by trees and bushes and I'm in heaven. The more impossible the cast, the more I enjoy it (even when I'm yelling at the trees for stealing my flies I'm enjoying it!).

I recently visited one of my favorite creeks. It's high in the mountains and soon the road will close due to winter. I fished it one last time this season.  Most of the trout are 6 inches, but I landed a 13 incher this trip. Wow, a 13 incher. A trout that size would garner a condescending look from many fly fishers, but to me it was a trophy. When the water is only feet across, a 13 inch trout is huge!

My monster.

Now that winter is here I'll have to be content with fishing larger waters at lower elevations. But you can rest assured that when late spring/early summer comes I'll be found crawling up small creeks looking for that impossible cast and small trout.

Here is a video of the trip:


  1. I totally share this viewpoint, the race to always bigger trophies is in my opinion a source of frustration for many fishers who do not understand that in most of the streams they fish the trouts can not grow so big.

  2. What a great little stream! The second best thing about streams like that is you always have them to yourself. The best thing, of course, is all the hungry fish!

  3. I love your videos and look forward to each new one as well as your reviews. Between you, Chris Stewart and Jason Klass I think I will get there.

  4. Don't like muscle cars, i'm more inclined to a VW beattle.
    Those small streams are deceiveng and rewarding in ways a big fish fan would never figure out.
    A friend says that fishing for monster fish is a donkeys' fight, one on each end of the line ;-)

  5. A very nice video of a very nice stream. The smaller fish I've caught have been among the most beautiful. You are very lucky to have so many great little creeks to yourself.

  6. Great post.....I find in Oregon that the lure of salmon and steelhead leaves the little creeks to the few the really appreciate them. I find gorgeous little fish minutes from my house, some of which jump clear out of the water chasing a dry fly. The tenkara rod is perfect for them. Thanks for all your insight and video!


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