Yep, I too grew up bait fishing with my fly rods (never kept much of anything... meat fisher indeed lol...) and we always just carried a spool of 4lb test mono in our pockets and when we saw the size and average depth of the stream cut a piece off. Small, shallow streams usually 3'-4', bigger deeper water was anywhere you wanted, from 6' up. Always used redworms. Started using wax worms in the last few years I did it and that worked well too. For catch and release, not a bad idea to pinch the barbs down. I always use a #10 or #12 baitholder type hook. Caught many a trout on that rig in my early fishing years.
A bad day hunting rabbits beats a good day of anything else!