If you’re a fly fisherman, John Gierach’s name will be a familiar one. The author of many fly fishing books including:
Gierach’s amusing and witty narratives are full of hard-won fishing knowledge that is relevant for beginners and experts, alike.
In Fly Fishing Small Streams, Gierach provides excellent advice on how to stalk and catch the smaller fish that live in smaller streams. Equally relevant for traditional fly fisherman and budding Tenkara anglers like myself, Gierach explains how small streams differ from larger ones in an engaging manner that anyone can understand without a lot of technical jargon.
He argues that fly fishing small streams, beaver ponds, and feeder creeks to small lakes, is nearly a different sport than traditional fly fishing where the object is to catch the biggest fish possible. That won’t happen if you fish a small stream where there’s less food to “make” big trout and where the waters are so clear, that they’re easily spooked.
Stealth, he explains, is the key to catching trout on small streams. Don’t wade. Crouch down low along the bank and hide behind boulders when making your cast. Upstream or downstream casts, drifts, and dapping are fine. Dark day, dark fly. Whatever works. Trout behave like trout, no matter what gear you use to catch them.
I’ve taken Gierach’s advice to heart in my struggle to become a Tenkara angler, or more precisely an angler who doesn’t use a reel since I do whatever works. Stealth really does work and my success on the water has risen dramatically since I took this to heart.
Fly Fishing on Small Streams is an enjoyable read packed with a ton of technical knowledge and experience. The writing style is light and casual, but don’t let them fool you. Gierach knows how to catch little fish and you will too if you put his experience to use.