Gear is something that we as fly fishermen spend copious amounts of time dreaming about, researching, envying, buying, wanting, testing… You know what I mean and you do it to!

So, we’re starting a new feature: Whats in the Bag. We’ll be getting a variety of fly fishers from a variety locations to give us their basic must take items for their different fishing trips to a variety of  locations for all sorts of species.

I’m starting out with my own Small Stream Bag. And to get the definition of small stream right, let me explain:

A small stream is a piece of that could be referred to as a thin blue line. It is the tributary that you walk past while fishing your favourite stream. It is the piece of water that can be jumped over in places. It is often found off the beaten track, forgotten by most, kept secret by others.  It is often over grown. It is the piece of water that you could fish for several hours and only make a few, if any, traditional back casts. It is the stream that makes your 7 ft #2 seem long and clumsy. See below for the visual representation!

Anyway, for these tiny waters, I like to keep my kit to a minimum. Too much becomes a hassle. I often don’t even use the backpack if I’m fishing an easily accessible stream – fill the pockets and go. A longer day requires lunch and therefore a pack, thats when I use the chest pack.

Here’s the break down:

Rod in hand, knife on belt, the rest in pockets. Easy!

Rod in hand, knife on belt, the rest in pockets. Easy!

Rod: The Hobbit Stick. A Mario Geldenhuys custom built 5’5″ #3 Glassfibre named Maegnus
Reel: Stealth 2/3 Ultralite
Line: Rio #3 Pocket Water DT (I think its the Pocket Water! But it’s definitely a DT)
Fly boxes: Two boxes of dries and one box of nymphs.
Leader/Tippet: Spools of 20lb, 12lb and 4x, 5x, 6x. I rarely fish lighter that 6x on these little streams because of the amount of time you spend hooked up to branches and other riverside debris.
Pack: A chest pack from an Xplorer VestPack converted to fit onto the shoulder strap of my Deuter Futura 22l day pack.
Other: Leatherman Charge TTi – I don’t leave home without it!
Gink Fly Floatant
Strike Indicator Putty
Toenail clipper for quick and easy tippet changes

I particularly love the 5’5 because it allows for casts in tight overgrown streams where a conventional 7′ rod finds its tip section forever tangled in the thick Cape bush. It shoots out a bow and arrow cast, throws a tight roll and has allowed me to target fish that one would normally have to walk past!

The reel is pretty simple, lightweight and very cost effective. It does the job perfectly, which is to hold the double taper line. Not much else. The DT line makes for great short distance, accurate casting and roll casts better than any WF.

Mario Geldenhuys magic almost ten years later.

Some Mario Geldenhuys magic almost ten years later: The Hobbit Stick

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Back pack and chest pack attached!