Float Fishing Articles & More! Centrepin Articles & More! Video Vault Filled With Instructional Footage Great Lake's Steelhead Gear Reviewed Here! Club Events, Upcoming Seminars, & Local Get-Togethers Posted Here! Visit our forums and discover a down to earth place to learn, teach, and share the float fishing obsession!

"Small Stream Trout:

Dry Fly Flicking & Centre-pin Angling"


      ďWe are united in our differences.Ē Although this statement can be applied to just about anything, nothing could be truer than in the category of angling.  There are simply too many ways to enjoy this sport!  I suppose there are many factors that shape us as hunters of fish.  Geographical regions, species, wealth, education level, personal convictions, our parents tutelage and a host of other factors play key roles in shaping who we are as mature fishermen.  I find these differences very interesting and always worth mental exploration.  Iím committed to remaining a student of the sport and as a consequence; I am committed to never being shoe-horned into a single style or technique.


     With that said, there is a certain personal satisfaction achieved when transforming a fly fisherman into a centre-pin fly floating angler.  Making the transition, applying the working knowledge of many different styles and finding success through another method has always been personally gratifying.  But witnessing a life-long, hardcore fly fisherman float a swim for the very first time, hook up and fight fish after fish is almost as exciting as if I were working the run myself.


     My adoration for steelhead, rainbow, brown and brook trout has matured to an appreciation for the various ways all species can be lured into striking.  Iíve had the pleasure of being introduced to backpacking, hiking, and solo tent camping by a fly fisherman that I hold in the highest regard, an accomplished angler that appreciates trout and trout fishing as much as the outdoors and nature itself.  Something I can certainly relate strongly too.  These symbiotic activities have changed the way I approach rod building and angling in general.  With the mind-set of an ultra-light backpacker, Iím forever dreaming of ways to develop functional rods that multi-task.  As weight plays a controlling factor when hiking into remote trout destinations with every ounce counting, Iím constantly on the prowl for components and means that will lessen the burden.  Naturally, a rod design that can handle double duty as a dry fly flicker and a subsurface fly floater has its advantages.  To ease transportation, a nine foot, multi-piece rod in a 3-5wt. classification is ideal.  Constructed with an abbreviated length, an all cork sliding ring reel seat and low height, single foot fly guides, this rod becomes an extremely effective tool that is capable of handling both fishing styles with ease.


     There are only minor differences between steelhead and small trout float fishing. The most dramatic being the size & rating of the gear involved.  Because of the habitat that small trout typically reside, a shorter and lighter action rod along with a smaller diameter center-pin reel is ideal.  Small centre-pin reels are not mass produced and are typically handcrafted by a competent machinist.  Two important factors that effect centre-pin reel trotting performance regardless of the target species are inertia and momentum.  Too heavy and the spool will require more effort to begin spinning.  Too lightweight and the reel will not feed line at a steady and consistent pace.  The design principles are a balancing act based on the application.  For small trout fishing, the overall size of the reel is a non-issue if weight can be reduced significantly.  As a consequence of aluminum, a small reel diameter becomes necessary to reduce weight to a minimum.  The reel should be chosen based on the hydraulics of the stream.  A higher gradient, high flow stream, regardless of size, will likely facilitate the need for a reel with more mass and permit the use of a steelhead size centre-pin.  A small stream with slow flow lacks the hydraulic forces to push the terminal tackle and pull line from the reel evenly.  In this situation, a larger reel can be used, but manipulation of the spool may be necessary to attain a steady float trot speed.  Finally, the quality of the bearings (whether brass bushings or ball bearings) cannot be stressed enough.  Premium bearings offer superior operational performance and can make up for a majority of the mass/inertia criteria.


     What is it about centre-pinning small streams that makes it superior to other methods?  The truth is in the fact that it isnít necessarily superior in any way except one:  allowing a drag free drift and with proper execution, a completely natural and active subsurface presentation with increased distance.  Dry fly fishing, on a cold water, spring fed mountain stream, has inherent advantages that cannot be surpassed with a float fishing rig.  It is only when the stream takes a more subtle course, a meandering and moderately descending flow across the terrain that it begins to show an effective advantage.  Surface dry fly presentations in 6Ē or less of water are likely to out fish subsurface offerings in about every situation, but throw in a deep plunge pool transitioning into a long tail out and suddenly the float rig capabilities and advantages begin to materialize.


     One of the most effective places to centre-pin float fish, in many cases, are the areas that cannot be targeted with other means.  The fast head of pools, the turbulent aerated flows within the plunge of a water fall, the funneled cuts and chutes of channelized streams are known trout habitat.  Maintaining a fly on the surface and within plain view is a sometimes daunting task.  In many situations, the drifts are over before the chance to make the first mend.  The swiftness of the water surface above is so fast that it prevents the fish below of having a chance to examine the offering.  Switch to a centre-pin and float rod and suddenly these parts of the stream are fair game to picking out fish that have seen little angling pressure and are willing to take an offering without hesitation.


     Small stream centre-pinning is not about replacing an admirable and noble style (fly fishing) with another, but about adapting through versatility to do both when the conditions warrant.  With this ability, there is never a stretch of water that I pass without thinking, I wish I could hit that spot right there, but canít.  The possibility is always there as well as the ability to capitalize on it.


We'd like to hear from you!  What areas would you like to see more online information available for?  ANY suggestions will send us on a quest to find the most experienced in that particular field. 


Please let us know what you want to know more about by sending an email.















copyright © 2008-09 Float Fishing Connectionô

Advertise with us,

click here

SR Trout Supply, LLC