Trout from Small Streams (Second Edition) by Dave Hughes


Like many fly anglers, my first experiences were on small streams. I plied Trout Creek, Rock Creek and other small waters in south-central Washington.


On these tiny streams--seldom fifteen feet across--I learned about casting, reading water, presentation, drag-free drifts, dry flies, wet flies, and other fly fishing essentials. An added benefit: I never saw another angler, so I could develop my skills without embarrassment.


I was reminded of those small stream joys last month when I fished a tributary of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette, up in the Cascade Range. My companions were Dave Hughes, his wife Masako, and Michael T. Williams, a guide and fly tyer from Eugene, Oregon. We traveled light, waded wet, and sometimes fished with Japanese-style Tenkara rods. The trout ranged from small native cutthroat to ten-inch stocker rainbows.


So it was most appropriate that I read Dave Hughes' book, Trout from Small Streams (Second Edition), when I got home.


When you read a book on this subject, the first question you might ask yourself is, "What is a small stream?" The second question is, "Why would I want to fish one?"


The answer to both questions is the same: Intimacy. On a small stream you have that special sense of being close to the natural world and away from the aggressive, ego-driven crowds you sometimes find on big, famous rivers. On a small stream you see it all--the trees, the rocks, the water--in one glance. And you rarely have to share it with anyone else.


In short, small streams are where you go to remember why you took up fly fishing in the first place.


Dave Hughes will be our presenter at the February 2017 General Meeting of TVTU, jointly hosted by the Stonefly Maidens.