Small stream fly fishing expectations.
I’ve never been interested in chasing the biggest fish, and I’ve never been concerned with how many fish I net on any given day.
In most cases, small stream fly fishing doesn’t afford the luxury of either of those things. Small mountain streams aren’t usually known for their abundance of fish, nor the sizes of fish that are found in most of them. And I’m perfectly content with that. My expectations have been set by years of fly fishing on small, backcountry streams. I expect the trout to be small, and I expect to only catch a few, if any.
My enjoyment of fly fishing isn’t dependent on how many trout I catch, nor is the day a bust because I didn’t land my next Instagram slab.
These days, I find myself more enthralled with how I catch them, not really how many I catch. My enjoyment lies in catching them on a fly pattern that should never work, or catching them in a spot that other guys would swear to you doesn’t hold a single fish. I find enjoyment in the challenges of fly fishing. Some days that means netting 10 fish. Other days, though, it means netting nothing.
Sometimes exploring new small stream waters, or trying out new methods of fishing are more fun than simply seeing how many I can net. And many of those that I do net are small. It’s an acceptable part of the game for me.