Small-stream angling is generally considered the “short game” of fly fishing—it’s rare that an angler would need to throw more than 20 feet or so.
But that’s not always the case, and it pays to “bring a driver” on small water, too—come equipped with your double-haul. Chances are, you won’t need it, but when fish are being a little picky, you just might. I’ve used longer casts with great success on small streams, largely becuase wary trout that might get hit a little harder tend to hug the bottom whenever the sense even the smallest of threats. Being able to “skip” a run and cast to the run above you will likely put your fly over unsuspecting trout.
When your friends tell you that small-stream fishing is easier than big-water angling, or casting from a drift boat to fat, river-dwelling trout, remind them that, in order to fish a small stream effectively, you’ll need more casts, more patience and more creativity than those fishing bigger waters will.
Mastering, or at least achieving some level of adeptness, at longer casts will make your time on small waters even more enjoyable.
— Chris Hunt