There are so many small streams in my area, and most of those streams are full of tasty little trout. Successfully fishing in the quiet streams requires finesse and a light touch for the proper presentation of the fly, so gearing up light is the key to landing fish. Here’s our take on what you should bring along for some excellent light fly fishing.
SAGE Accel 4 weight rod
We took out the new Sage ACCEL 4 piece about a dozen times over the month on light streams in Northern California. The mountain trout were skittish so a light touch was perfect for planting the fly right where it needed to be. Such a light rod takes a bit to get used to, as the loading is difficult when the small fly rigs carries so little heft. For the first hour I was untangling line as much as I was casting, but after that the technique smoothed out and I was amazed at how easy the casting became, with an excellent connection and feel for hits on the line. The rod was responsive enough for controlled casts in narrow areas, and still had enough pull to land the fish well once on the line.
The medium-fast rod features chromed snake guides, and a Fuji ceramic stripper guide which felt smooth and effortless while stripping line. Other nice touches include a clean anodized aluminum reel seat with rosewood inlay, and a smooth corkwood handle that feels great while casting.
Hardy Fly Ultralight DD Reel
This lightweight open frame aluminium reel comes in flashy chrome, or gunmetal black for a nice stealth rig that won’t spook fish. The large arbor narrow reel design keeps plenty of line available with fast stripping and retrieve in a compact space. Tension adjustment is fast and precise with the large disc drag system. The open design of the arbor allows for thumb tension when needed to land those feisty trout. Fast release and tool-less design allows for field changes without bringing along bulky tools.
Patagonia Stealth Atom Sling
Wading small streams is hard when strapped down with too much gear, but bringing a bit of gear along is a must when fishing small streams. Always having the small items, extra line, and other essentials makes it easy to enjoy the day by being able to stay close to the fish. Patagonia’s Stealth Atom Sling is a great bag with plenty of pockets and access points, but it’s svelt design easily swivels out of the way when not needed. The trim bag sits well on the back, safely out of the way while casting or wading, but a quick pull puts it right across the chest with access to a large fly pocket waterproof electronic pocket, and big main compartment for everything else. The bag also features a water bottle pocket, and plenty of loops to attach tools across the strap.
Guidelines Strike Polarized Sunglasses
I still remember the first time I put on a set of polarized sunglasses. The glare from the water immediately disappeared and I could see everything that sheen was hiding. When it comes to fishing, getting eyes on the fish is one of the most important aspects to success so a quality set of lenses is the way to go. I took at a set of Guideline’s Strike Polarized sunglasses and the performance was exceptional. The aluminum framed glasses are hefty enough to feel durable but fit snug without hurting behind the ears like so many do. When not on the water, the glasses go the nod from my better half to be worn just about anywhere. After a few months, they’re still referred to as her “favorite pair” on me.
Chaco Outcross Lace Shoe
A nice set of shoes makes the day so much easier during wet wades. For years ratty old tennis shoes were my wet-wading staple, but they lacked in grip, and stayed soggy for days. Chaco’s Outcross Lace are a hybrid sandal and shoe that provide support and toe protection, but still drain fast and dry in a flash. The grippy soles make them a perfect pick for walking slippery rocks or mucky mud, and the open sides allow most of the small sand and debris to exit the shoe fast.
Olympia RG850 Flashlight
Sometimes (almost every time) it’s dark on the way out and back in from my fishing trips. Having a solid dependable light that’s bright enough to be useful is a huge bonus while out on the water. Olympia’s bright 850 lumen light is waterproof, durable, and is small enough to stow easily in a pocket or in the included belt case. The light has different intensity modes to fine tune the beam for whatever task you may find yourself working on. The micro-USB rechargeable LED light shined bright for hours without dimming and made tieing on the first rig of the morning much easier.
Howler Bros. Horizon Hybrid Shorts
When we reviewed these shorts this summer during our hiking roundup, they really impressed us with the durability and fast-dry capabilities. The shorts are made from nylon ripstop materials that look as great on the street as they do on the river. The shorts dry insanely fast so they are perfect for wet-wading into small streams to get right where you need to be without the bulk of waders.
Now get out there and enjoy the wild streams around your stomping grounds, one cast at a time.