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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Catoctin Mountain Fly Rod Weight and Length?

Since I live the Catoctins and have to drive passed Fishing Creek, Big or Little Hunting Creek to get home, I looking for a fly rod for those small streams. My 8’6” 5wt feel like a telephone pole there. I was thinking a 7ft-ish 3wt or should I go smaller?

What would you guys recommend?

Thanks,
Walt
 

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9' 3 wt. Longer rod gives better high sticking when nymphing the pocket water and you can have little flyline on the water. Also gives better reach in dapping beetles in hard spots aroung edges. A 3 weight will also work on the Savage most of the time as well as the Gunpowder and most Pa spring creeks. Try a double taper line; when it wears out on one end, reverse it for another seasons use. Its not like you will be blasting 50 foot casts and a weight forward line is not necessarily needed. I fish floating and sinking beatles all year on those 3 creeks and usually nothing else.

Greg
 

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I use a 7'9" 3-weight up there and love it. It suits me well--long enough for decent line control but short enough to cast beneath overhang. But as with all rods, to each his own. Greg likes the 9-footer, and I can understand why.

best,

Dave
 

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7'9"

Walt, I'm with Dave on this. 7' or below is just too short for me. I once had a 6'6" 3-weight and I just didn't like it--couldn't cast it worth a darn--so I sold it and now have a 7'9" 3-weight, which I love. 9' is too long for me as well, you don't need it for such a small stream and it really likes tree limbs and bushes, or perhaps I should say they really like it.

FF
 

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Just got mine in the mail today, its a TFO 7'6'' 3wt, 4pc professional series. I got the outfit that comes with the prestige plus reel and line. Everything for 200$. HIGHLY recommended.
 

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I lived in Emmitsburg in the early 50's when there was still a fountain in the square.
Rode my bike with a 5'6" bamboo stick to Catocin, that was before there was a gate.
My flies came from the Spiegel catalog. I did not know the name at the time, but I was daping. Its hard to cast in the thickets, and that is where the fisk were.

Dick
 

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Its either good or bad news, depending on how you look at it, but no one rod is gonna do it all. Which means you get to buy several! I agree with the others that for nymphing or dapping a longer rod works well. And if you do get out to the savage or the PA limestoners it will be perfect. If your looking to cast dries then anything between 5'6" and 8' will be good, depending on your preference. 3-5 weight rods work well on the Catoctin streams. My personal preference is for a 5 weight between 7 and eight foot. And bamboo! The heavier line helps it turn over on the shorter casts and handles weight for nymphs. Learn to bow and arrow cast and it will help you immensely on small streams.
 

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My go-to is a 7 1/2'/ 5wt. I agree with the heavier weight, just seems to cast easier on the small water, and I get enough reach with it. I've used 8 1/2's up there and I find it too hard to mange the long rod, plus it's a pain in the rear moving around with that long a stick. I dug out my old 5'/5wt Mitey Mite and used it on BHC last week and it worked perfectly, casts like a dream. No issues at all with backcasts on that short rod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your inputs

I have a 5week old daughter at home so I'm going to try to say local with quick trips to these streams. There are plenty of good fishing spots with in 5 minutes of the house.

Thanks for your inputs. I think I'm going to go with my original thought with your backings of the 7-ish ft 3wt. Now to go look.

So if you see a tired looking big guy 6'3" 330lbs with a new 3wt tangled in the branches it's me, Say Hi!

Thanks,
Walt
 

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8shot -
that three will be great for your dry fly fishing, but if you also plan on using weighted nymphs until the surface activity starts, I'd recommend you see how that rod roll casts a 5wt line. You've already admitted to the need for short trips, so not all of them will be during surface feeding times. Turning over 9 feet of leader and a weighted nymph is a lot easier with a 5 wt line than the 3 wt, and you're not overstressing anything since it's all short distance work. Fishing similar streams, I usually have short rods, (6 - 7.5ft) both cane and graphite, in the 3 or 4 wt range, but carry an extra reel with the 5 wt line for any subsurface work. I'll also usually have a 9ft 4wt standing by in the car...ya never know!
...and given you've been blessed with generous size, consider a set of knee pads for both comfort and stealth on those small waters.
Report back and tell us how it all works out for you.
Good luck,
DF
 

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I fished the streams you mentioned for 25 years before leaving MD last summer. I fished them with fly rods from 5' to 9'. What eventually became my favorite length rod was 7' which I fished in 3, 4 and 5 weights depending on what kind of flies I would be fishing. In late summer during low water conditions when I knew I would be fishing only small dries, I fished the 3 wt. If I knew I would be fishing a lot of nymphs, I fished the 5 wt. But for the most part I fished a 4 wt.

The streams you mentioned are all pretty small. The fish are also very spooky. Over the years I found that to me long leaders were not worth the effort. In the last five or six years I fished the Catoctins I never used a leader over 7'. I also found that, again for me, short casts were much more productive than longer casts. The streams are so small and so full of rocks that I found it virtually impossible to get grag free drifts except on the largest pools. I also found that those larger pools are where everyone fishes because they can see the stocked fish in the pools. So I tended to avoid the big pools concentrating instead on pocket water.

I learned to make accurate short casts while keeping my profile very low to the water typically casting while hunched over while on my knees. Typically on both Big and Little Hunting Creeks, I would only have my 7' leader/tippet and 7' to 8' of line out 90% of the time I was fishing. I would aim for small pockets next to rocks that were typically no more than 12" to 15" across. A 6" or 7" drift is usually all I would get, but that would be enough for a fish to dart out and grab my fly. There are an amazing number of fish in the pocket water of BHC primarily wild browns and brookies as opposed to the big stocked rainbows and brookies you will find in the larger pools.

Good luck.

Guy
 

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I would pay close attention to what Guy has to say. For myself, I have acquired the Diamondglass 7' 3wt for those small waters but a 3wt has limited versatility. I really like overlining my 7'6" 4wt with a 5wt line because it really helps with the short casts (as Guy writes about above). I also bought a 7'6" Fenwick fiberglass 5wt (circa 1974) off of eBay, which may end up being my fave. I have only fished the Patuxent with it but it is an easier tool to use at these close casting distances and handles a weighted Patuxent Special or Woolly Bugger easily, in addition to the dry flies. Don't discount the heavier line's versaitility...
 

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I like to fish those creeks with a sweet little 7' 2 wt with a Hardy reel that I have. I spend a lot of time on my knees getting close. I only fish dries in late May and June. If I were to fish wet, I'd use a 9' 3 wt for line control. Beautiful place to fish and a lot of fish there in June. Wait for warm day and wet wade. Often have very few people they in June.
 
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