As the seasons change, you will quickly start to notice you need to acclimate to a “new normal”. Temperatures dip in the early morning and evenings, the days get shorter, food sources and fish behavior change and readying yourself for a day on the water means bringing a few extra essentials.
Here are 5 must haves to add to your pack before hitting the water this fall.
Stocking up on the right flies for the occasion is a must. Late afternoons in fall are notorious for fish feeding higher in the water column. If it looks like trout are smacking the surface, but there are no hatches to be seen, you’re going to want to tie on an emerger pattern. The subsurface bugs are “emerging” through the water column and has hungry fish snackatize from below, they often break the surface, giving the illusion that dry flies are the go-to. Wrong. Do yourself a favor and bring a handful of green and brown-bodied patterns.
That’s right, from tiny emerger bugs to underwater pigs; streamers are a MUST in the fall. Anything from brown trout-lookalikes to green pattern beadhead buggers will do the trick. Tie one on, make sure your knots are good and start slamming the banks. One you make the disturbance on the water, strip across the waterway and set that hook when you feel a bump!
Flows are often a bit lower in the fall and turbidity is equally low, unless storms are cruising through regularly. That means, the water is fairly clear and fish can be much more skittish. Using a lighter tippet like 6x or 7x will reduce the likelihood of your line scaring the fish before they see the tasty morsel it’s connected to.
Hot Coffee & Good Whiskey
Frosty mornings and chilled-breath evenings call for hot coffee and good whiskey. Plus, what’s a fishing pack without one or both of these necessities, anyway?
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Based in southern Colorado, Ryan is a photographer, outdoorswoman, fish chaser, and proud mama to two wild Outdoors-loving kiddos. When not wrangling little ones or cattle dogs, you’ll find her on the water, on a trail or on the road looking for the next piece of water and (hopefully) high country trout.