Mark Raisler

Summer is moving right along here as it is time to get out your small stick! Yeah, you could fish those larger rivers and lakes with your 6 weight, tossing grasshoppers and streamers searching for the big lurking brown trout. You could. But I find myself looking forward to doing a bit of late summer exploration using those fantastic lighter weight fly rods in the 2 to 4 weight range.

Yes, the tiny rod is perfect for those smaller creeks and streams that are not as travelled as the more famous resources in your local area. While others are wearing out their arms chucking oversized foam hoppers and Chubbies you will find solace creeping and crawling around with a 3 weight in your hand.

Sage may not have been the first to introduce small rods but they were the first to get into the micro sizes. Remember the 0 weight? The Double 0 weight? They may have passed but Sage offers a number of lighter weight rods to choose from. I am currently throwing the Little ONE in a 8’ 2” 0 weight.

Yes, the Little ONE. Does it have enough umpphh to cast to an Elk Hair Caddis? Oh yeah. Love this tiny rod. Makes those smaller trout on my local creeks feel like a teenager all hopped up on Doritos and Mountain Dew! I make my living casting to bruiser browns with streamers as well as casting to techy, trico sipping trout in the wind with a 9’ 5 wt. Sage X. So the Little ONE is a real treat.

Small Sticks

Smaller rods for smaller resources. It just makes sense.

I also have a 3 weight Sage PULSE coming in at 7’6”. If I am casting in a bit of wind or needing a rod that I can nymph with in those high mountain creeks, or even find myself in a situation where I want to dredge a deep pool, this is the rod of choice. A bit more backbone and easy to maneuver in the tight quarters I commonly find myself bushwhacking through.

Summer is the ideal time to go out and explore. I used to live just outside of the National Park in the Mount Rainier region. Within 30 minutes of my home I could fish dozens of small creeks and high mountain lakes. I would buy the USGS Topo Maps and then start exploring. It is really that easy. All you gotta do is toss that rod in the back of your fishing rig and turn the key. Adventure waits.

So what are you waiting for? Summer into Autumn moving towards fall. The weather is perfect. The streams are ripe with trout. The water temps are falling. Creek fish love grasshoppers, ants, and beetles. And they gotta be fed!

Mark Raisler is a Sage Ambassador and co-founder of Headhunters, a fly shop on the Missouri River in Craig, Montana.


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