Small-Stream Fly Fishing
Small-Stream Fly Fishing, by Jeff Morgan. Published by Frank Amato Publications in an 8.5 by 11 inch format. 142 pages, all color; softbound. $24.95 retail. Available in some fly shops, from the publisher, or online (google title and author. Can also be ordered direct from the author; send an email to Jeff Morgan (email@example.com) for details.
hy do people fish with flies: to catch big trout, or for the aesthetic experience? Most people will admit to the latter.
And where can you get the best aesthetic experience: shoulder-to-shoulder with other anglers on a big, famous river, or on a solitary trip to a small stream? Again, most people will go with the second answer.
So the 64-million-dollar question is: Why do so few fly anglers seek out small streams?
I think there are three major reasons. The first is they don't know where to go. The second is that they don't know what to do when they get there. And last, they have misconceptions about fly fishing on small streams.
Those reasons would vanish if more anglers read Jeff Morgan's book, Small-Stream Fly Fishing. This is a terrific book for anyone who enjoys fly fishing. Even if you don't intend to drop your fly into a four-foot wide creek, you'll pick up invaluable tips that will help you fish anywhere.
Exploding the Myths
In the first chapter, Morgan explodes several small-stream myths:
And so on. One-by-one, Morgan looks at the small-stream misconceptions held by most fly anglers, and corrects them.
True, you're not likely to find five-pound trout in these waters, but with a little work you can find your own liquid Eden with enough fish over 12 inches to give you perma-grin.
Morgan makes the point that large rivers are the homogenized result of many small streams, but each small stream that makes up a large river tends to be unique. That individuality is their charm, but it's also their challenge. A stream's unique geology, trees, vegetation, and hydrology drive the insect population and hence the trout population (or lack thereof).
Thus, in order to fish a small stream well--and to know what makes it different from its neighbors--you have to understand what makes it tick. Here, Morgan shines. He goes into the ecology of small streams, showing how to observe and analyze their features, then draw the right conclusions about flies and tactics.
Next he goes into small-stream entomology, explaining clearly how it's different from that of big rivers. In that chapter you'll find 100 fly patterns (many of which are on Westfly) that are especially suited to fly fishing small streams. For each pattern there is a photo, recipe, and commentary about when and how to use the fly.
Additional chapters go into Tackle and Equipment; Common Types of Small Streams; and Technology, such as using maps, GPS, and the internet to find suitable creeks. The book's final chapter includes case studies that show how to analyze and fish several small streams (sorry, but the real names are not revealed).
Find Your Own Eden
Westfly users are familiar with Jeff Morgan through his fly tying column. I sometimes think that three decades from now the only thing I'll be remembered for is as the answer to a fly fishing trivia question ("Who gave the famous Jeff Morgan his first opportunity to write a regular fly fishing column?").
I like his thorough, analytical approach. Jeff is always thinking, always asking "why?" and always ready to buck the conventional wisdom. Those qualities have produced the definitive book on a subject that should be close to the heart of western fly fishers.
If you like the fluffy, simplistic style of most popular fly fishing magazines, don't buy this book. But if you want hard, in-depth knowledge that will let you find your own fly fishing Eden--and let you fish it productively--than go to your local fly shop and get Small-Stream Fly Fishing. Then read every page; you'll be glad you did.
Bottom Line: Stop complaining about crowded rivers and learn how to find big fish in small streams. Reviewer Rating: 5
5=tops 3=average 1=low
Rated as 5 by magic wand on 04/29/2008
Rated as 5 by The Surgeon on 05/02/2008
Rated as 5 by Shucks on 06/07/2010
You must be registered and logged-in to submit review comments. How to do this.