By Joe Martino
One does not have to look
very far in this portion of the country in order to
find decent stream or river fishing. Unlike lake or
reservoir fishing, stream fishing usually does not
require a lengthy drive or waiting in line at the boat
ramp. In fact, all that is required for a successful
fishing outing on a local creek is a rod, reel, line
and lure. A sense of adventure doesn’t hurt either.
The serenity of the time spent in the stream is
another plus. How much closer to nature can you get
than fighting a scrappy Smallmouth in his living room?
The first time that an acrobatic smallie jumps at eye
level or makes a run between your legs, you’re hooked.
One of the great things about stream fishing is that
it is easy to do. I enjoy getting off from work and
heading to one of our local creeks for a couple hours
of wade fishing. It is something that can be enjoyed
on short notice, and does not cost an arm and a leg to
get into. With a handful of inexpensive spinners and
crank baits, anyone can enjoy this pleasurable
If you plan to be in the water when the temperature is
still cool you will need a pair of waders, but in the
heat of the summer many people enjoy the rush of the
cool water against their legs. If you are like me, a
pair of waders generally does not do you much good, as
I tend to get wet anyway! Which brings up another
useful item when wade fishing – a wading staff. A
staff is always a good bet because it enables you to
feel a hazardous object before you step into it. A
staff is useful for discovering rocks, logs, or holes
before you step into them, thus reducing the risk of
injury. When selecting a staff, it is a good idea to
choose one with a soft tip. By doing so, you will
greatly reduce the amount of noise and vibration that
is created as the tip of the staff comes into contact
with rocks, gravel, etc. This, in turn, will result in
fewer spooked fish.
Whether you are fishing for smallmouth, walleye, or
any other fish, nothing beats fighting them in a
current. I often hear other river fisherman say "I
would rather catch fish in a creek or river any day".
This is because landing fish in a current adds a whole
new degree of difficulty to the sport. Once a lunker
bronze back makes a run and gets down stream from you
for instance, you better have a lot of faith in your
Another advantage to stream and river fishing is that
it can really improve your fishing abilities. While
conditions in lakes and reservoirs do change
regularly, the conditions are never going to be the
same twice in a creek or river. The water level will
never be the same as it was the last time you were
there. Holes may be washed out, or new ones created.
Logs may have drifted off or drifted in. The water may
be clear, or it may be stained. There are numerous
changes that take place constantly in a moving body of
water. This demands that a fisherman be adaptive to
any given situation. You are not afforded the
opportunity to become complacent with an area. I
personally believe that if a person can consistently
catch fish under these circumstances that they can
catch fish anywhere.
Probably the most exciting thing about wade fishing is
that you never know what you are going to catch. You
may catch a mixed bag of fish containing everything
from rock bass to northern pike.
Wade fishing also enables one to relax and enjoy
nature at its finest. Wading in a small stream creates
the chance for you to get away from it all and enjoy
some quiet time in peaceful surroundings, that is
until the creek explodes with a fish on!
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