Creek anglers are often lumped together with small-stream anglers, but as any die-hard “creeker” knows there’s a world of difference between the two. This line review goes out to the true creekin’ angler (“crickin” in Montana)angler, that is to say one who makes upstream casts exclusively, who does not know the meaning of the word mend, and who on any given day of fishing deploys overhead, roll and bow-and-arrow casts in fairly even proportion.
I spend roughly 50 percent of my fishing year plying just this sort of tiny water, and not because I like catching small fish. Little glittering bejeweled specimens are nice and all, but I’m in it for the synapse-scorching thrill of hooking and fighting a large fish in tight quarters—the trout fishing equivalent of a barroom brawl.
To be a successful creek angler—not just one who catches fish, but who catches good fish—each bend or beat must be approached like its own little cosmos. Some scream for dry fies, others demand nymphs, while that gnarly undercut needs plumbing with a beefy Bbugger. And that’s why I love Scientific Angler’s Amplitude Smooth Creek Trout line: it’s a true do-it-all line that affords creek anglers the widest possible latitude when presentating over the course of a creekin’ day.
The beauty of this line is all taper and grain weight. The language on the box says “full size heavy,” but this needs to be qualified since that extra grain weight only enters the equation with longer casts of 50-60 feet—far from de rigeur on the windy, brushy creeks this line was designed for. For the small-water angler making 20-to 40- foot casts the grain weight is, in fact, perfectly tuned.
This line has enough oomph to turn over nymph rigs, small streamers, and the long dry fly leaders that are especially important to creek anglers, who must often present directly on top of fish. This easy, precise loading at short distances means less false casting, which means less time picking your caddis out of the alders. I fished this line for an entire season on a Scott G2 477-4 and experienced the most successful creekin’ summer of my life. The only time I found myself opteding for a different line was during low-water, high-sun Ttrico fishing, whenere I rolled with an ultra-subtle dry-f fly presentation line.
Like all the lines in SA’s Amplitude series, the Smooth Creek Trout features proprietary AST Plus slickness technology and the durability to last through several hard fishing seasons. It retails for $99.99.