by Tom Rosenbauer
For most of my small stream fishing, I like a Superfine rod between 7 and 7 ½ feet long. So much of this fishing is in pocket water and I often find the best fish in the tails of pools. In order to avoid drag and keep most of my fly line off the water, I have to keep my rod tip high and these rods do it best. But there are times when it’s fun to go even shorter.
Where I live in southern Vermont, deep in the hills (and sometimes surprisingly close to town) are tiny little trout streams full of wild brook, brown, and rainbow trout that may never see a fly. If you live in trout country, regardless of whether it’s Pennsylvania farmland, the mountains of East Tennessee, or on the Continental Divide, you probably have some of these little gems closer than you think. Most fly fishermen look at them and wonder “How would I ever get a back cast in there?” Well, sometimes you can’t, but where there’s a trout there’s a way to get a fly to them. When I was a kid I’d add a split shot just above a streamer and jig the fly into holes between the brush. I don’t use that method much any more, because I really like to cast, but I’ve found the rod that will let me cast in places no other rod can go.
When I saw the new 6-foot 2-weight Superfine rod, I knew it was one I’d have to try. And I plotted exactly where to use it — spots on the upper UNNAMED Brook behind the old factory, the headwaters of the UNNAMED River, and at the headwaters in UNNAMED Hollow. Places I could never fish properly with any other rod.
The first thing I noticed was walking through the brush on the way to fishing. That little 6-footer dives right through the brush without struggling and it cuts down my time walking to the river because I don’t have to stop to untangle my leader from the hawthorn bushes. Why don’t I wait to string up my rod at the river? Mainly because I remember a friend who didn’t string up his rod on a long walk through some heavy brush and dropped his tip section. Two years later we still look for it every time we go there.
Once I got fishing, I notice that I was not catching my fly in the trees as often. A full 12 inches less of rod tip swinging through the air sure makes a difference. And when setting the hook, instead of whacking my rod tip on the trees, I was able to strike without interference. And the casting? Despite the fact that the little 6-footer has a full-flex action, the short arc the tip goes through creates a tight loop that fires a loop under the brush both in front of you and on the back cast.
In really tight spots, here are a few hints. First, it’s perfectly OK to use almost all wrist for short casts. By not using much forearm, you’ll swing the rod through a shorter arc and there’s less chance to get hung up. And by holding the rod close to your body, you’ll be able to shorten up just a bit more. Finally, for the really tight spots, choke up on the rod and cast by holding the lower butt section of the rod rather than the handle. You’ll be amazed at how close you can keep your casts.
There are always times when you have to roll cast, even though you’d prefer to use an overhead (or more likely side-armed) cast for better accuracy. Because it’s a Superfine rod, you can be sure this little 6-footer performs superbly in that respect.
Did I catch trout in all these little streams? Yup. Did I catch any monsters? Absolutely not. Did I catch some great fish? If you call a great fish one that has been born in the same place you catch it, and is on fire with the hues of a wild trout and fins so smooth and clean they could have been cut with a razor, then, yes, I did catch some great fish.
Did I see another fisherman? No. And I don’t ever expect to see anyone on these streams, except the occasional kid fishing worms.
I guess most important is that every little trout made this tiny rod dance. Get your six-foot, two-weight Trout Bum, or any other Superfine Trout Bum rod, today, and go wild on small trout streams.
View the Trout Bum 602-4 Fly Rod at Orvis