Favorite Fly Rods for Mountain Streams

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Favorite Fly Rods for Mountain Streams

By: Jacob Noteboom

When choosing a fly rod for small streams there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

  • How do I want to fish? Which method do I want to use today? Dry fly, Euro nymph, ect. There are rods on the market for every situation, choose accordingly.
  • What is the terrain like? Is the stream overgrown with brush? Do you have much room to cast? This will dictate the length of the rod you choose. Smaller tighter stream= shorter more compact rod.
  • How big are the fish you’re targeting? If the average fish is less than 12 inches, a 3wt would make them pretty fun, although, if you’re fishing larger class fish in the upper teens to twenties, something like a 5 or 6wt would be more appropriate.
  • Or you can choose a rod that is middle of the road that does everything for mountain streams, 9' - 4 weights come to mind.

For the streams around the Mt. Hood area, I really like a 9' 4wt rod. The Echo Carbon XL is a great option; it has a soft tip which is great for fishing lighter tippets commonly used on these waters.

On some of the “Larger” streams where wading is possible, A European nymphing rod can be a deadly piece of equipment. Some favorites of mine are the Echo Shadow series, the Carbon XL Euro rod, and the TFO Drift rod. Tightline nymphing in some of the smaller pocket water and boulder fields is the most effective way to cover that type of water as there are often too many conflicting currents to float an indicator effectively.

Tenkara fishing is also a very popular method for these smaller streams and can be a very fun way to play these smaller fish. You will be doing a lot more “Lift, Drop, Drift” than you will be overhead casting, but having a fixed amount of line attached to the rod can be a fun challenge. The TFO tenkara soft hackle is a great choice.

For more info on Fly Rods for small water, give us a call at the shop. -Jacob


4 weight 9'0" 4 pc. Echo Carbon XL $149.99

3 weight 10'0" 4 pc. Echo Carbon XL Euro Nymph Rod $169.99


4 weight 9'0" 4 pc. BVK Rod $259.95

TFO Drift Fly Rod $400.00

TFO Tenkara Soft Hackle$224.95

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