Some tactical questions (trout fishing)
I just returned from several days in the Black Hills fishing Spearfish Canyon where I grew up. It was great, perfect fall weather and I landed about a dozen trout over the couple afternoons I fished. I grew up there but didn't fly fish it until recently. I'm not used to fishing smaller streams and have several questions. Questions are probably applicable to bigger water too.
1. Line to leader connection. I use Rio Gold line and Rio leaders with the loop to loop connections. I typically fish a leader and tippet set-up that is longer than the rod. Moving around a lot in the thick brush means I need to use the hook keeper and reel the line/leader connection past the tip guide and it's a pain to get the connection back out of the tip...and probably not good for it. Any tactical suggestions? Use a needle knot and clip off the welded loop? Makes it tougher to change leaders and switch to a streamer etc.
2. 2-fly nymph rig. How far up should the strike indicator be? Spearfish Creek trout are selective and strikes are very subtle. Flows transition from thin to deeper runs along with pools connected by foam lines and typical "trouty" water.
3. Rod size. I used a Scott A4, 8 ft 4 wt. I like the rod but almost seemed too big. Lots of twiggy foliage to manuever through. Trout are in the 8-12 inch range with some larger ones lurking about. Width of stream is about 10-15 feet in most places. I only made a few traditional casts, mostly just roll casts and "flipping" my line into suspected strike zones. There were some breakout areas though where longer casts were called for to visible trout holding in areas that were easily spooked. This is my favorite all time fishing spot, should I consider a shorter 3 weight?