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Welcome To The Small Side

by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

Do your friends give you sidelong looks and sidle away when you laugh and are happy catching small fish? Do they express pity or disdain when you hold up a 2” shiner in triumph. Do they whisper behind your back that “Old Fishbait” is losing it when you show off a baby bass? Do they ask your relatives if you’ve lost your sense of perspective when you become ecstatic over junior perch? Welcome to the Small Side. You are not alone.

Following Chris’s suggestion on his Daiwa Sagiri page I rigged my new Sagiri 39MC with a light monofilament line and a 3/8” Nakazima Ball Float above short length of 6X tippet with a small Aberdeen bait hook. This is similar to an outfit I’ve used for years to catch small fish for bait, a 10’ B’n’M telescoping pole, small Thill float, split shot and hook with wax worms. But the old outfit, while effective, is clunky and crude compared to seiryu rods. Catching bait or just fishing for small fish with tackle built for it is much more fun. Two and three inch bluegills put a nice bend in the Sagiri and it’s a blast feeling them fight. The Nakazima float is extremely sensitive even without a split shot. A winning combination for those on the Small Side.

Happy fishing,

Comments for Welcome To The Small Side

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Sep 11, 2019
Small Side
by: John P.

I totally agree. When I lived in Ohio, not much trout fishing. I started urban ditch fishing around my neighborhood. I would fish any place that had water. I caught more fish (tiny ones) and had a blast. I didn't even know the names of some of the fish I caught. I used a very short rod that Chris sold (Nissin Sasuke) live bait-flies-whatever. I think it comes with age. The older you get you just feel good being outdoors and fishing, the size doesn't matter. I always tell people if I ever have to go into a nursing home, make sure its by a pond, or a ditch. LOL.
Keep on Fishing.

Sep 12, 2019
Be welcome
by: Carlos Blatt

Join the club
I'm in!

Sep 12, 2019
Count me in, too!
by: Mike Schelp

Catching trophy BIG fish is great, but there are so few of them, and I just want to catch fish! It’s fun, gets me out of the house and is less stressful. You are also actually DOING something other than setting and waiting. I’m hooked.

Sep 12, 2019
Fish On.....
by: Herb S.

On a fortune cookie slip: "There are many fish in the sea. Maybe not as cute or as smart, but fish nevertheless."

Some of the best advice I ever got was from an older gentleman who I fished with during the last few years of his life. About fishing he said, "You’ve got to get your mind right." As I understand it, he meant not only how to understand fish and the environment, but to form the proper attitude. To me, the proper attitude is to enjoy it all. Some days "all" means small fish. How pleasant it is to spend a few hours or a day with no stress, no worries and no ambitions other than having fun with the little tiddlers.

John, we must be on the same wave length. The last month or so I’ve been thinking how at age 72 I might not have more than 20 years left to fish. And yes, thoughts of a nursing home have crossed my mind to the point of deciding which seiryu and keiryu rods, flies, lines, etc. I can smuggle into the joint. Not being able to wade has been a thought and I’m planning on a recon expedition to find good bank fishing spots and, of course, test fish them. Right now wading isn’t a problem; walking 4 or 5 miles a day five or six days a week on an indoor track helps with that, but someday I might be land bound. Be prepared, deal with what happens and keep on truckin’.

Sep 15, 2019
Why Apologize!
by: Les Albjerg

I don't apologize anymore for enjoying "the small side." It hit me awhile back while I was enjoying some fine Atlantic sardines on a salad. H'm, these are really small fish! Those small panfish and trout really put up a nice fight on the Kurenai 30 as well as several of the other rods I have! Isn't that what it is all about?

Herb, I have become more careful wading now that I am over 65 and took a face-plant in the South Fork of the Boise River in January. I'm sure glad I had snugged up my waders and had a water-proof top on!

I would rather catch 10 or more small fish in a day than a really big fish. I also wouldn't trade the solitude of those days on the small streams for the combat fishing that often takes place on the streams with larger fish. One of the places I fish out of convenience has not seen much action this summer because of rude people. As the British would say, "After a half dozen violations of the peg, it is time to leave." I hate it when you catch a fish and all of a sudden you have 2 or 3 people casting into the area you are fishing. I've not had this problem fishing for smaller fish.

Herb, thanks for the post, and the reminder of the enjoyment of fishing rather than the competitiveness that seems to creep into everything.

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

Beware of the Dogma

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