Several times a year, I find myself up logging roads toward upper drainages/tributaries of big rivers. I string up the 9′ to 9’6″ rod and set forth weaving my way, this way and that way, through the trees toward the waters edge. Once on the water, I scout the canopy and other over hanging growth to not only avoid hanging up the fly + tippet, but also to avoid smacking the rod tip.
The confines of a small stream quickly reveal the tangled web we weave when at first we use too big a stick on a small stream. Recently, I was privileged to review some DVD’s by Ed Herbst and in those DVD’s I noticed he was wielding short rods on narrow streams. He moved with ease, in stealth mode, and waved the little wand to delicately present his flies.
Now, this initially contradicts my impulse toward bigger waters, longer rods and more power. I have those rods and love them. But, those small streams are another enviro that beg the small stick. So, I invested in a couple Loomis rods, both 3 weights and shorter (7′ and 8′). For the last few years, I have used a 3 wt. (9′ St. Croix Legend) more and have handled some substantial trout on the 3 wt. These shorter rods have a softer, medium action and will most probably meet few fish beyond 14″….more like 6″ to 10″. If I do connect to a larger fish, it will be an epic story.
These are not rods for big rivers and big fish, which to my thinking would be potentially irresponsible if I am seeking a humane catch and release. These are sticks for little streams, the intimate confines and small flies. I am excited to use these on those private little escapes. Some of my best life time memories while fly fishing were on small streams.