- Oct 7, 2010
Are you fishing the old lake bed?
thanks for the advice gdI have a 7ft/3-4wt rod that I use all the time for that kind of fishing. Try a size 14-18 Royal Wolfe or Elk Hair Caddis or similar with a 7 ft 6X or 7X tapered leader an 18-24 inches of 2-4 lb tippet. Sometimes I go down in the evening and catch 25-30 fish before the bats come out. Oh, and when the bats come out quit fishing or you'll be catching bats instead, you don't want to do that!
Ive found old fishing reels, and boat motors in there elk hunting, its pretty crazy. 'Lilly pads' off of log trim ends the size of a dinner table. South Fork of the Siletz comes out of it. They took the dam out in the late 80's for the steelhead. (PS they're talking about putting a 100' tall dam on it again)
I love fishing small streams.
My favorite rods for fishing such waters are short and light. I absolutely had a blast with a 6' 2wt TFO Signature Series that I sold because I needed cash. Perfect small stream rod! The 2 wt would lay a fly down super delicate, and you really don't need anything heavier for the average fish you'll get there. Fish upto 18" are fine with a 2wt. You could, of course, go with a 3 or 4 wt and have more "backbone" - but when you're fishing 2 and 3lb tippets, it doesn't matter how much back-bone a rod has.
A good all-around small stream rod, that can work on larger bodies - would be a 7 or 7'6" 3 or 4 wt. I would opt for a double taper line, 7' leader, and not use a tippet thicker than a 4X. I usually fish 5X when fishing dries, and fish 6x or 7x with small droppers tied to the hook bend of the dry. The dry fly serves doubleduty - both to catch fish, and serve as a strike indicator
Right now, my shortest flyrod is an 8' 4wt - that I underline and fish a 3wt double taper floater on. It's nice little WW Grigg made rod.
YOu could, of course, swing the other way - and go with a long rod, say a 9' 4wt. The long rod would limit your casting in tight quarters - BUT you would be able to dap more easily with such a rod. And with a properly built leader - you can cast just the leader with a flick of the rod tip. I'd fish a 9 or 10 foot leader with the longer rod, tapering down to a 5x tippet.
In general, most of the small, coastal streams I fish better with a short rod. It allows me to cast under the overhanging canopy more easily, and shorter casts are a bit more accurate with the shorter rod.
I had no problems casting #10 bead head woolly buggers or bead head nymphs with the 2 weight. Most small-stream casts are 20 feet or less anyway, if you're fishing right.
A good inexpensive option for such a rod would be Cabela's Three Forks 3 piece 3 weight. I loved loved loved mine. Like a damn fool I sold it when I got my 2wt TFO - since I had the 6' 2wt, and an 8' 4wt - I figured I no longer needed the Three Forks rod - so I sold it off to a fellow on iFish years ago. I hope he loves that rod like I did!
I've also had thoughts of replacing my TFO with something like likes of the Orvis One Weight, but if I can find one, I think I'd just as happily get another of those TFO's
You won't find a 3 weight reel pre-loaded wth line. The thing with ultra light flyrods - they're a bit more expensive than the bigger 5,6,7 weight stuff. A good inexpensive reel is Albright's little click-pawl reel. I forgot the model number - but River City sold them. I wouldn't cheap out on a line either - not for a light flyrod. When I initially got my Three Forks - I bought the combo. Back then, it came with a POS graphite reel, and a cheap Rio line. The line was junk, as was that reel (it froze up tight as a drum the first time I tried casting it on the lawn). I broke down and bought a nice reel, and a good line - at the time it was the Orvis Rocky Mountain 3/4 reel, and an Orvis Hi-Flote #3 Double Taper line. That setup lasted yeeeeeeears, until I finally broke the reel when I tripped over a rock and dropped the rod. BUsted the handle off. I replaced that reel with the Ross Flywater, I think it's the #2 size. The Flywater reel set me back over a hundred bucks - but it really is worth it, at least to me. It's a sweet, sweet reel that is light weight, and every bit as durable (if not more so) than the Orvis reel, and that Orvis reel took a LOT of abuse and hard use. When I finally wore out that Hi Flote line, I replaced it with a Scientific Angler's Mastery #3 double taper. I got it on sale for about $40 - I think the Mastery Lines run anywhere from $50-60. I've been using that line and reel for 5 years now, and the line is still in great shape.
If you buy just the Three Forks rod, it's $49.99, Ross Flystart reel Model 1 for $55, and and the SA Mastery Trout DT #3 Floater for 69.95 - you're looking at about $175 plus shipping. While it might seem like a lot - the reel and the line will won't have to be replaced if you decide to upgrade rods in the future. Also, the reel is machined aluminum, instead of crappy injection molded plastic aka "graphite". You could probably go cheaper on the line, like the Cortland 333+ DT3 Floater - which is 29.99 - so you'd look at about $135 plus shipping, the 333 lines are fine, basic lines. I like the Mastery line more - it's just a higher quality line, and personal preference - I don't skimp on my lighter weight outfits, especially since the smaller spool diameters of the lighter weight rigs will mean tighter coils to stretch before fishing. The higher quality lines don't have as much memory.
That'd be the route I go for a good starter small stream, light weight fly setup.