Based on my experience, fall is one of the best times to go fly fishing. This is especially the case if you have your sights set on brown trout. It is their spawning time. In addition, the water temperature is dropping. Thus, the brown trout are bound to be more feisty and hungry. Personally, I plan on trying to get outside to take advantage of those conditions this fall. If you do too, you may want to check out a few of my fishing tips. After all, maybe my fall fishing techniques will work for you as well. Here they are:
Cast a Small Shadow
During the fall months, I have found that my shadow is apt to make the trout skittish. As such, I try to keep low to the water's surface by kneeling down near vegetation, sandbars and other natural obstructions. I have also found that using stealthy wading techniques helps as well. I try to wade into the river without pushing a lot of water around. I also try and use a light step when walking on the river's banks to avoid creating vibrations that may alert the trout to my presence.
Select the Right Fly
In my experience, trout also tend to get territorial right before spawning season. Therefore, I occasionally try to use attractor streamers that match the colors of the trout in the hopes that the fish will mistake them for invaders. Orange and black colored streamers tend to work well at times. I also like using imitator streamers on cloudy, windy days. The use of dry flies has also proved successful for me too. Depending on where you are fishing, great fall fly choices include diminutive Snow Flies, Elk Hair Caddis, Olives and Pheasant Tails. As far as I am concerned, late fall and early winter are better suited for using egg patterns on sink tip lines.
Watch Water Temperatures
I have also found that trout change their feeding habits in the fall. From what I have witnessed, they tend to get more aggressive and are likely to feed during the mid-day hours. However, when the water temperature really starts to drop, the trout's activity also tends to slow down. During those periods, I have had success using flashy, heavily weighted bead flies with long leaders and floating line. I have also found that casting directly into the trout's strike zone may prove to be productive at times.
Think About Going Deep
My experience has also taught me that a trout's behavior is affected by the water level, which can be low in the fall. If the water level is low, I'd suggest that you try fishing the deep holes with sinking leaders, split shot and quick action retrieves. Doing so has worked for me in the past. In addition, I have found that other great places to look for trout in the early fall include gravel riffles and scum lines. During low water conditions, I have also had luck using light tippets and drag free presentations.
Tighten Up on the Cast
In my opinion, it is also better to refrain from casting too far out in the fall. I try to keep my casts just out in front of my shadow and at least 4 feet in front of rise rings so as not to spook the trout. I also find that using a shorter cast allows me to have more control over my line.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
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