Driftless Trout Anglers

Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

2 Pages12>
Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
billybigbilly  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2017 8:51:20 PM(UTC)
billybigbilly
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/9/2017(UTC)
Posts: 7
Man
Location: Central MN

Hello Everyone
I would like to know how you guys fish very small streams. Things like what size rod, what type of tackle and just any other general pointers.

The stream I fished the most last year was a very small brook trout stream. When fishing it i divide the streams in two parts, the lower pool and the upper stream. the lower pool is the deepest part of the stream, about 3 feet deep near one bank. This is where I've caught my biggest trout a 10 inch one. since the pool is pretty wide I have had great luck with my ultra light spinning reel combo and small hair jigs. The upper stream is totally different. The stream is tiny at most places it is under a foot deep. there is watercress growing almost across some parts. the only deep parts a some small pools about 4 feet in diameter. I have seen some very big trout in this section though and have caught quite a few to. Since the water flows under the plants the fish love to hide in it. To fish this part I use my fly rod which is 9ft i think to lengthen my reach and jig with a lady bug nymph. I am able to get strikes but it is hard to set the hook. It is also very hard to sneak up on the fish to. The water is the clearest water i have seen and since the stream is so small and shallow it is hard to get close to the trout. to make matters worse the shoreline has lots of bushes and tall grass which makes casting from the bank almost impossible, and since the stream is so narrow it's even more challenging. even fishing in the small pools is hard since there are bushes that grow over them. so i end up having to sneak up as close as i can and slid my rod in between the branches and jig for fish.

As hard as the stream is, it is my favorite stream and i love fishing it. so does anyone else fish streams like this? or have any neat tricks to better fish them? Thank You!!ThumpUp
shebs  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:51:18 PM(UTC)
shebs
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 5/12/2014(UTC)
Posts: 785
Location: Mpls

Thanks: 3 times
Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 1 post(s)
I'm a big fan of the tiny overgrown streams too, but that sounds even more brutal than what I would fish LOL

Usually in something that small and close-quarters, I'd use my 4'6" spinning rod with a worm, or a small marabou jig. When I first started trout fishing, I'd sometimes use floating jig heads to fish in those watercress choked spots. Nowadays I usually just don't bother if it's really that tight, but if it's the closest water to you, sometimes you gotta do whatever you gotta do.
Even the smallest spinners tend to spook fish on water like that, but it would probably work on the more open lower part.

Edited by user Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:51:56 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 12:39:24 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,827
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 2 times
Was thanked: 20 time(s) in 17 post(s)
Ah... a subject near and dear to my heart.

I too love small stream fishing. There's nothing more satisfying than figuring out these tricky little ribbons of water and finding the Trout that live there. You would be surprised at the number of Trout fisherman who would pass right by a stream like this one, convinced that there's nothing there worth fishing for. How wrong they are!
UserPostedImage

Because I fish small streams most of the time, I have no need for a top end fly rod with expensive fly line. My $140 8 foot 4W loaded with $20 WF fly line is more than adequate to work these waters. You won't be making any 75 yard heroic casts here. Accuracy and presentation are everything. You need to be able to hit a Frisbee with your fly from 20 feet away, because in many cases this is the size of the holding water where the Trout hide in a small stream. A rock, a chunk of overhanging sod or grass, or even just a small sliver of shade along the bank - these are the places Trout occupy on small streams.

The biggest challenge on clear running small streams is getting close enough to see the holding spots and cast successfully without alerting Trout to your presence. Those tall weeds and bushes along streams are a pain in the butt, but they can also be your friend. Hide behind these and learn how to cast around them to hide your profile. If you're fishing a freshly mowed cow pasture there may be few things to hide behind. Getting low is your best bet. Kneeling and even crawling to get into position may be your only choice. Otherwise you will just end up chasing fleeing Trout.

One tactic I use when I've identified a likely spot that can't be approached from downstream, is to hike well upstream of the spot and drift the fly down to the holding water. I bagged a really nice Tiger Trout that way with a hopper back in October. There was simply no way to cast or approach from below without spooking him, so this was the best option.

When there's a big rain event, many fisherman stay home because their favorite streams are over their banks. The advantage to the small stream angler is that these streams will be the first to clear. But a little stain is a a great equalizer on small streams. When the water's cloudy, and there's a solid overcast blocking the sun, Trout lose much of their inhibitions and move into water they would otherwise avoid to risk exposure. If you're familiar with the stream and know where the Trout like to lurk, this can really work into your favor. You can walk right up and drop your fly into the best spots.

Late in the summer hoppers fly and Trout really put on the feedbag. Problem is that most of the small streams they lurk in look like this:
UserPostedImage

The good news is that the Trout feel pretty secure under that shady canopy and there's plenty of bugs falling off the grass for them to eat. The grass also shields your approach - you should be able to get right on top of them. The bad news is it can be nearly impossible to work a cast though the small openings. The solution is a short stiff fly rod with a heavy short leader that will allow you to slap the line down and through the bushy stuff to the water. You're going to get hung up on the grass from time to time, just accept this and keep trying. The stiff rod and heavy leader will help you rip the fly off the grass, and the short leader and rod will give you better control. When you do find the water you may be greeted by a fat Trout ambushing your fly. Don't let him dig under the grass bank or he'll get hung up and you'll lose him. Get him to the surface and move him quickly to an open spot where you can net him.

Dapping is another effective tactic. A better description might be dipping, but it really works well on canopied streams. Simply extend you rod to a hole in the grass and drop your fly in. Letting the wind carry your fly into position is another good tactic, provided you can get the wind to cooperate. Because the Trout are usually pretty complacent under their grass shield, they won't be spooked very easily. Soft shoe your way into position and drop your fly in. A Tenkara rod is a great choice for this option.

Probably the best advantage to fishing small steams is what I mentioned early: most of the crowd will be on bigger water and you're much more likely to find a spot to fish on small water. Most popular Trout streams have smaller tribs that are often ignored. Explore these and you may be surprised what you find.


-Bill

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
billybigbilly  
#4 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:44:34 AM(UTC)
billybigbilly
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/9/2017(UTC)
Posts: 7
Man
Location: Central MN

the second picture looks kinda like my stream with less bushes though!Razz i have been using the dapping technique quite a bit for these fish, i am looking to buy a few cheap tenkra rods to in hopes the ill be able to weasel the line through tighter spots than i can currently with my fly rod. i wonder if a small ice fishing rod would work to? Thank you for the advice guys!
shebs  
#5 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 2:08:06 AM(UTC)
shebs
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 5/12/2014(UTC)
Posts: 785
Location: Mpls

Thanks: 3 times
Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 1 post(s)
I've met a few guys who do use ice rods for small streams. I don't know that it's a whole lot more effective than a short ultralight, but it would depend on the stream I guess.

Bill, those type of streams are the ones I loooove to fish. Caught my first 20 in a similar stream.
But having fished a few a of the brookie streams in central MN (where I assume he's talking about), that is wide open in comparison.

My mental image is something more like this, but narrow like your pictures.

UserPostedImage

That's the type of stream that borders on unfishable.
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
billybigbilly  
#6 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 2:14:43 AM(UTC)
billybigbilly
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/9/2017(UTC)
Posts: 7
Man
Location: Central MN

Haha that looks just like the stream, and yeah that's the area i am but keep it quiet Razz and my only reason for thinking about the ice rod is i have a lot of those so i'd rather try that instead of buying a new rod. And i guess as long as the stream looks unfishable people wont try to fish it, and thats fine by me!
weiliwen  
#7 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 2:26:40 AM(UTC)
weiliwen
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 4/16/2014(UTC)
Posts: 225
Man
United States
Location: Lincolnshire, Illinois

Thanks: 17 times
Was thanked: 15 time(s) in 12 post(s)
Whenever I go up to the Driftless Area, I pass by a small stream along the side of the road. There is actually a big turnout there specifically for fishermen and women. The first 2-3 times I went there, I walked up right to the stream. At that point, there is a 10-foot deep, and CRYSTAL clear pool, but most of the stream you could hop across. The pool is 5 feet across and 15 feet long, the widest on the entire stream!

Of course, every time I walked up to the pool, I'd spook 2-3 big fish, stupid me. I started to get smart, and now when I stop by there, I will crawl up to the pool andsnake my rod tip through the brush and bow-and-arrow the fly into the water, so the fish never see me. I caught a couple 12" browns that way, but I know there are bigger ones in that hole. I need to figure out a way to get the fly at the very top of the hole and let it drift down, but haven't figured out how to do that yet. Even the movement of the rod tip will scare the trout. Tough spot, and all the more because it likely gets looked at several times a day.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
shebs  
#8 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 3:23:40 AM(UTC)
shebs
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 5/12/2014(UTC)
Posts: 785
Location: Mpls

Thanks: 3 times
Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Originally Posted by: billybigbilly Go to Quoted Post
Haha that looks just like the stream, and yeah that's the area i am but keep it quiet Razz and my only reason for thinking about the ice rod is i have a lot of those so i'd rather try that instead of buying a new rod. And i guess as long as the stream looks unfishable people wont try to fish it, and thats fine by me!


LOL Don't worry, I don't think too many guys are gonna make the drive to fish a stream so small you need an ice rod to cast into it...now if you were pulling 18 inch brookies out of there, that might be a secret worth keeping!

As someone who considers myself a small-stream-brook-trout-fishing-badass, I commend you for even trying to fish some of the stuff up there. A sidewalk creek down south is a cakewalk compared to some of the brush choked trickles you see up north. My advice: make the drive south (or north - I love the north shore, but most of the water is like you describe) - the fish are bigger, more plentiful, and the fishing easier Flapper

That said, there is a supreme satisfaction that comes from catching a fish in a stream most guys won't even get out of their car to attempt. Post some pics at least if you manage to trick some! ThumpUp

Edited by user Thursday, November 30, 2017 3:26:02 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
Gurth  
#9 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 4:47:38 AM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 527
Man
Location: Madison

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 19 time(s) in 14 post(s)
Count me as another who loves small stream fishing although I equally love bigger water - enjoy hitting lots of different environments.

Small stream and sidewalks though.... love the challenge and problem solving that's required. Really appreciate even smaller trout that I get out of tough spaces.

Had a fly fisherman watching me towards the close of season and he remarked, "I don't know how you do that... I'd pull my hair out."

Laugh

Lots and lots of reps.

On stuff like that, I take my 4'8" Ugly and cast 1/16 or 1/8 PMs.

I did try an ice fishing UL once this past summer and it sorta works, but I'd need more reps with it as casting a lure with it was very different than what I'm used to.

Want to take it with me to the tag alder infested sand county streams that I hit last summer and the north woods streams that I go to.


Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
rschmidt  
#10 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:46:30 PM(UTC)
rschmidt
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 1/16/2015(UTC)
Posts: 360
Location: West WI

Thanks: 4 times
Was thanked: 9 time(s) in 5 post(s)
Dink and Dunk is the way to go!!!

R

Users browsing this topic
2 Pages12>
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2018, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 0.785 seconds.