We’ve had some tough fishing in the Adirondacks this summer. Hot and dry conditions made the big freestone rivers too warm to ethically fish, with water temps consistently reaching 70+. Small canopied mountain streams with wild fish became the go-to.
I love these small brooks. They are the best way I know to spend a hot day. I love exploring them, and the way they make you feel like you’re 12 years old again- climbing around, wet wading etc.
The fish in these brooks are some of the most beautiful fish I’ve ever seen, no matter what species. A big fish is 8” any bigger is a monster! I like to use small, soft fiberglass rods like a Scott F series 6’6” 3 wt. They are a joy to cast and play a fish on. My preference is always a dry fly, with the Fulling Mill Balloon Caddis #14 always doing the trick, the fish are opportunistic feeders and will attack large dry flies on the surface. There’s nothing like watching an aggressive take of a brook trout. Occasionally I’ll get to a good looking pool and not get a hit. This is when I’ll put on a nymph. I like the Fulling Mill Czech Mate Series as they will often get the bigger fish, dropping down deeper into the pool… Stealth is very important when fishing these brooks. A quiet upstream approach is mandatory. Keep low and watch for shadows. Look for current seams and converging currents. The same type of things you look for in a big river.
Next time things get steamy where you live, remember our fishing in the Adirondacks and go look for some new water. Get out a map, or go online to google earth and start exploring the steep grade blue lines… get out there, explore and have some fun!
(This is often the case in the U.K too, check out this great blog article on fishing small streams from Pete Tyjas)