Hike-Friendly Gear for Small-Stream Fly Fishing

Late-summer heat has us searching for the bite in smaller streams at higher altitudes. It’s a perfect time to try out some specialized gear that won’t weigh down your pack.

When the weather is hot, gain altitude where creeks and streams hold trout in pockets. Mix hiking, exploring water, and fly fishing into one adventure.

Here’s some of our favorite gear for small-stream fly fishing in more remote areas. This list includes some of our favorite items we’ve reviewed.

Best Gear for Fly Fishing Small Streams

Fishpond Summit Sling$99

Small Stream Fly Fishing: Fishpond Summit Sling

The best way to cover water and find fishable pockets is to stay light and nimble. No need for a large pack in most cases. A fly fishing sling pack works well for storage and space management.

The Fishpond Summit Sling is feature rich and designed with the angler in mind. The pack sports specialized storage for a water bottle, flies, reels, tools, and more. The icing on the cake? Its nylon material is recycled from old fishing nets. Fish on!

Sage Dart$700

Small Stream Fly Fishing: Sage Dart fly fishing rod

The Sage Dart is an absolute small-water specialist. The rods weigh from 0wt to 4wt, with 6½-foot to 7½-foot length options. They’re made for light lines and tight-cover casting situations.

The fast-action rod makes casting small-to-medium dry flies in close quarters a breeze. It’s easy to load, hike with, and zero in on pocket water packed with trout from mountain streams. If small-stream fishing is your specialty, do not overlook this rod.

Orvis Ultralight Wading Boots: $169

Orvis Ultralight Hiking Boots: Small Stream Fly Fishing

Hiking mountain streams often means covering a lot of ground. Traditional wading boots are simply too heavy to be labeled “comfortable” when facing long treks loaded with obstacles.

Thankfully, Orvis created a capable and comfortable wading boot for this. The Ultralight Wading Boot cuts weight with a quick-drying microfiber mid that replaces heavier leather used traditionally. A custom Vibram EVA foam midsole offers comfort while Orvis’ proprietary Vibram outsole manages traction.

Trouthunter Fluorocarbon Tippet$23-25

Small Stream Fly Fishing: Trouthunter Fluorocarbon Tippet

Fluorocarbon tippet is no secret to fly fishing. It’s nearly invisible to trout due to its low light-refractive properties. And Trouthunter specializes in industry-leading strength in smaller tippet sizes.

The small 6X and 7X sizes are perfect for mountain stream water clarity, yet strong enough to negotiate larger trout you might encounter along the way.

O’Pros Dragonfly Rod Holder: $25

Small Stream Fly Fishing: O'Pro's Dragonfly Rod Holder

Whether it’s tying a well-dressed knot on small tippet, or taking a quick photo with the feisty trout you just wrangled in, it’s much easier with two free hands. The O’Pros Dragonfly Rod Holder clips on a belt or a pack’s waistband. Place the fly rod handle into the hooks, and you now have two-handed action.

This simple solution is an inexpensive and low-profile addition to your small-stream fishing.