Tackle for the Little Streams

by Fly Fisherman

The fishing tackle required to work the little streams can encompass an almost complete outlay down to an economical set-up costing just about nothing. I have observed boys and men carry their stuff in a pill box and it consisted of a couple of bait hooks, some split shot, a chunk of leader and a few feet of level fish line or just a piece of strong kite string. Maybe it was an extravagant outfit and boasted of a few flies and spinners, too. Their rods were supplied at the point of action from nature’s bounty and their bait, if used, was found under rocks, off the bushes, in the grass, from the soil, or nymphs and muddlers from the stream itself.

On the other hand, he who enjoys the use of good rods and tine equipment can go as far as he chooses in outfitting himself. In the meadow flows the angler may please to use his finest rod, his double-tapered fly line and his trout net but in the “bush” they’re out of place. The sweetest fishing rod for thicket maneuvering is one from four to six feet in length and it shouldn’t be too delicate or too limber. in this type of fishing one rarely has the opportunity of playing his fish—that would be quite one-sided in favor of the fish.

When a trout has been caught, usually the fisherman lays to and, if the alders permit, throws him skyward in hopes he’ll land where he can be found. I built a very serviceable rod from the tip and mid-section of a discarded bamboo three piece that didn’t have too much of a set. Building a new grip with cork pads, using the old reel seat, increasing the size of the guides to allow more freedom in letting out line and I had the ideal instrument for the brush. A trout net is just a troublesome luxury when crawling on hands and knees through a copse of cedar, scrub oak. alder or laurel . . . every protruding twig grabs hold of it with intent to keep forever.

The lure or lures to be used is pretty much an opinion matter and I’m guessing that about three out of five resort to worms, grubs, nymphs and of course grasshoppers when in open runs where the hoppers are in evidence. Many use cheese, fresh meat pieces and salmon eggs where it is legal to do so—some even employ the use of small minnows. Then there is another fifth that use spinners, small spoons and fly rod and spinning lures. The last fifth use artificial flies both wet and dry. I know of anglers that are good fly fishermen and that feel that the use of bait is a fall from grace.

 I can make that statement without hesitation because I went through that phase. Most of the time, in brook fishing, bait or spinners is the only lure that will attract fish for some fishermen and more power to them. I’ve used both and will again if I have to when I want action and my flies won’t produce. Because I belong to the fifth that use flies is no sign that I believe it’s the only way. 1 do it because I selfishly enjoy it above all other methods and because I, personally, have found that I can do better with flies under every condition that I have encountered so far.

Now that we have the prologue out of the way let’s take a jaunt up “Lost” Creek or over on Perkin’s pasture and see if we can’t snare us a mess o’ trout for supper.

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