While the average angler tends to stick to warm summer days on the river, fall can be some of the most productive fishing of the year. All be it, you might be dealing with some nasty weather, the lure of big trout trumps the discomfort.
Fall brings on the spawning season for the Brown trout. Fish move upstream looking for spawning beds and become densely stacked on top of one another. It is also the time of year that bigger fish become a little easier to catch and not so elusive. All the trout begin to feast on drifting eggs that haven't found a home, and become very territorial over their redds (spawning beds). They will chase anything that looks suspicious and comes into their zone, sometimes including your fly.
This time of year can be frustrating for us. We get just enough snow to shut down the mountain biking and not enough snow to kick off the ski season. So we here at the Ranks hit the river while we wait for the snow. Its hard to beat being able to see these monster fish looming in the shallows and getting hooked up on a tanker. Its sight fishing at its best.
Fall is a good time of year to stock up on egg patterns and egg clusters. If you are fishing on smaller waters use a dry dropper with an egg pattern. It's a great way to deliver your egg patterns with out spooking those more weary fish. A lot of the time the extra splash of an indicator can spook fish to take cover. You might be surprised every now and then to get one to rise and hit your dry fly. A chubby or cicada is our preferred dry fly delivery system, easy to see when its out on the water. For streamers, try using leech patterns, egg sucking leeches are our favorite. Bouncing that leech in front of a brown on a redd will agitate a response to attack.
Behind beaver and man made dams are good places to start fishing. Most fish will run up stream as far as they can and things that block the river will stack fish. Also, try to search out runs with gravel bottoms, rather than rocky areas. Deeper pockets and under cut banks will also hold fish and they will rest or hide in these spots when they are not on their redds.
When you're wading this time of year take time to make sure you do not step on the redds. You can crush the eggs or dislodge them and hurt the chance for the next generation of trout. If you do not know how to identify a redd, click here. When you do land that giant brown, keep your contact with them brief and gentle. Get your photos quickly and keep them in the water until you have your camera ready. They are extra stressed do to the spawn and catching them adds a lot more stress. Make sure they are good and revived when released. Hold the fish facing up stream so the current flows through their gills until they are ready to leave is a good method.
As always, we get off the beaten path for our adventures. We love the solitude of the mountains and only the company of our mates. In turn, we are rewarded for our efforts to get out a little further than average with some epic days. We do not share the locations of where we fish, and for those that know these spots we ask you to keep these places in the category of No Tell Creek. If you want to know, come fish with us. Either way, get outside and go toss some flies.
Poor mans rod rack.
How do you like sausage with your sausage?
Nothing better than this moment right here.
Even Scottish people fly fish, Seth Meehan stalking some trout.
The streamer fishing this day was on point.