430-003-02Last year I experienced something in North Carolina that, while not new, truly irked me. While on a trip to Watauga County to get a little fishing in, I saw something that I’ve never seen before to this extent. Well, I actually didn’t see anything and that was the problem. Normally when walking along the shores of our hatchery supports streams you will see the trout in pools and eddies, but over the course of 2 days we didn’t see anything, we didn’t catch anything and neither did any of the other fishermen with whom we spoke. Even in some of the pools that normally teem with trout, we saw nothing.

Off we went on the hunt for a stream that was less  traveled. We found a couple very nice small streams, but they showed signs of heavy traffic upon a better look, so the hunt continued. We eventually found a stream that had promise. It was a hatchery supported stream, but since it ran perpendicular to the road instead of parallel to it, we had hope. We parked, grabbed our three weights, and minimum gear for a bit of wet wade fishing. Not four minutes into the creek I landed a beautiful 6″ Brookie and my partner hooked a nice little Rainbow. Long story short, we worked our way upstream and both caught several nice trout in the process. At one point I stopped to change flies when may partner caught up to me. I told him to go on ahead and I would fish is wake. As he when around me he managed to catch the end of the St Croix I was using under his boot. It didn’t survive the step so I was out of the game until I could get back to the car and retrieve my five weight.

The next day I fished with the 5wt but the 7-1/2″ length was just too much for these tiny streams and the NC overhang. I eventually gave up after umpteen zillion snags and decided that on my next trip, I would have redundant small stream rods. When I returned home, I sent the 3wt off for repair and started searching for an even tinier rod. I was looking for a backup rod, so I spent a good bit of time looking at the features of lower cost line of the manufacturers I have already owned or used in the past.

I settled on the Lefty Kreh Signature Series from Temple Fork Outfitters. I’d always wanted to own a 1wt just because it was a 1wt. I figured it would offset the 15′ Spey I own and have not used since 1999. Well, TFO didn’t offer one so I got the next best thing, a beautiful little 6foot 2wt two piece for a mere $109. I figured it would be the perfect backup for my St Croix 3wt and in a pinch it was small enough to use as a backpack rod.

The following trip to the aforementioned stream found me giving it a try just to see how it behaved. Three days later and the St Croix 3wt never left the car. In fact, now I almost always go to this TFO first on streams smaller than 10 or 12 feet wide and the 3wt is now my backup rod. This diminutive 6′ long rod seems like it was just made of North Carolina’s small, heavily overhung streams that rarely product a fish longer that 9 or 10 inches.

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