“The Littlest Birds Sing the Prettiest Songs”
-The Be Good Tanyas
When I moved to the West to fish its many trout streams I was anticipating the big fly hatches: Salmon flies; Golden Stones; Green and Brown Drakes; etc. I soon realised the emergence of these exciting big bugs is often brief and unpredictable. What was reliable, however, and brought trout to the surface day-after-day all season long and then some, was the small stuff. It was the littlest bugs. That’s what I consistently caught my best fish on. Quickly my fly boxes started being filled with tied Midges, Olives, PMD’s, Tricos; small Caddis flies; and little Beetles. Just about all of the trout featured in this blog have been caught on small stuff (small dry flies).
Then one day I came across a book that clearly described what I was experiencing on the rivers in my region: Small Fly Adventures in the West, Angling for Larger Trout by Neale Streeks. Neale, a seasoned and observant Missouri river guide, wrote about why smaller flies are often more effective at catching more and larger trout. As I turned the pages I kept saying, “Yes, yes…yes”. What he authored matched what I encountered every time I slipped into my waders.
If you fly fish tailwater rivers, spring creeks, and other rich (alkaline) flows with dry flies you owe it to yourself to find a copy of this out-of-print book. It will make you a better angler and you’ll end up enjoying sweating all the small stuff!
Here are some photos from a recent outing. All the trout featured were caught on small flies (PMD’s).
That picture of the little bird with beautiful sky background … wonderful!
Humberto: While i was watching the water for trout that bird perched 2 or 3 feet at eye level and observed me for several minutes. I took it as a compliment that i was blending in with my surroundings…eventually decided to take a photo of it and liked the clouds in the sky. Thanks for the comment. I’ve been checking your blog and see that your season has come to an end. Enjoyed your season and look forward to next season in Argentina.
Bob, I just got a copy of Spring Creek by Nick Lyons. Now I’ve got another book to hunt down. Geez, thanks a lot!