Re: Small streams
I fish upstream 99% of the time, but will allow a dry or nymph to float downstream if it looks like a better choice. I've caught trout drifting downstream, but need a good reason to do so.
Valley Creek (Valley Forge, PA) is a stream that I didn't fish very often, but
used a downstream drift on sometimes. The fish are 100% native, and see a lot of anglers. It's shallow and very narrow, and the trout see you coming from a mile away. The only time I was able to catch one of these trout was floating a CDC caddis downstream on a very long and light leader. You really need to be there to see the frustration level among fly anglers!
The problem with a downstream drift is pulling the fly out of the fish's mouth.
It requires a lighter touch, and a millisecond longer before setting the hook.