I fish a stream that is medium wide, but stop 40 feet short of the edge once I reach it. I've stepped on too many nice fish holding along the edges, and now watch and wait for a while. My approach is made while bent in half, and the first few cast are made in the same posture. As I begin to fish the water
I'll stand up straight. The stream is narrow enough that a double haul allows me to reach the other without getting in the water, and staying out of the water is my main concern. There are some really good-sized fish there, but the bottom is very rocky (large rock slabs, with a zillion baseball size rocks scattered around), and wading creates a lot of rock-on-rock grinding. My best fish were caught without getting in the water, or at least staying clear of the pool I'm fishing.
Long casts on small streams can be very useful, and I don't get any closer to the fish than needed. If you're fishing a stream with a tight canopy of branches, that means you won't be making 70 foot casts. If conditions allow, I'll make the longest cast possible to reach fish without wading to them. This is especially important if the opposite bank isn't accessible without wading.
The stream I fish most often has many deep channel carved into its rocky bottom, all runing parallel to the current flow. Those channels are where the fish are holding, and wading closer to the other side means stepping from one foot of water into 3 feet and deeper, back to one foot, and so on. Hence, my medium sized stream becomes a series of smaller streams repeated across the main body of water. Probing each of those channels is the key to success, and lprogressively longer casts are used.
A stylish cast to me, is a cast that lands quietly. That means that even if I'm double hauling a ton of line to reach the other side of my favorite stream, the line is not allowed to slap the water. Casting across channels doesn't mean I won't be fishing the nearer channels again, so I'm careful that the entire line lands softly.
Here's a photo of my favorite stream. There is a deep channel that run a couple of feet away from the large rock pile on the left. Some really large smallmouth hold in that channel, so I crawl along that rock to cast to them. The water is generally crystal clear, and once they see you....
The payoff of stealth on a not so small stream:
I see people fishing those rocks on occassion (that section sees few anglers, in spite of being located in a suburban area
), but they all walk right up to the edge of the rock. I have yet to see any else catch a decent smallmouth there....or any smallmouth. Stealth, stealth, and some more stealth is the trick.
P.S. Long casts require SHARP hooks, especially when using light lines like a 4wt.