With the first official day of fall come and gone it is time to start thinking about foul weather fishing. Fishing this time of year is fun because the busy summer is over, weather starts to get a little colder and fish know that winter is coming. Brown Trout start to think dirty thoughts this time of year and it makes for some big fish opportunities.
With the change in the weather comes colder water temps and the fish start to feel revived. It seems sometimes the fishing can fall into a late summer slump. Fishing does not seem to be as good as it was earlier in the summer and the fish have seen a few flies float overhead by this time and don't get fooled as easily. This drop in temperature signals that winter is coming and the fish start to feel it is time to eat.
Many times in the fall you might have the river to yourself. The busy summer crowds have other things on the mind like hunting and there are a lot of people that are fair weather fisherman. During the fall months when you wake up to rain and colder temps that does not mean it is a lazy day to sit on the couch, it's time to get out and fish! I have a friend that we used to call the stonefly because it took a little convincing to get him out fishing in cold wet weather. He soon learned that cold fall weather can create good fishing and know he is chomping at the bit when fall weather comes around. Trout love the temperature change and there are a bunch of different bugs that decide to come out in foul weather. The extra humidity in the air brings out BWO's, midges, caddis, tricos, and all kinds of other bugs not to mention streamers but we will get to that later. During the hatch is a great time to swing soft hackles and tenkara flies because fish will be fooled thinking it is an emerger.
One of the best parts of fall fishing is the Brown Trout know that their time has come to get their groove on. As soon as weather starts to change Browns seem to start to get ready. The Brown's know that they need to bulk up for a busy spawning season. They will sit in slow flats sipping dries, riffles, and on banks looking for hoppers. Grasshoppers have had all summer to grow at this point and some become freakishly huge. The hoppers are pretty burly and can survive quite a few freezing nights before they die off. People have been fishing big bugs most of the summer so I like to go with a smaller hopper in the fall. The Fish just seem more willing to go for a smaller hopper this time of year rather than the size 6 monstrosity. Streamer fishing is productive this time of year because brown trout are aggressive and all fish are looking for a big meal. I was fishing the upper Green River a couple weeks ago and was catching a bunch of small rainbows on the Cascade rod on a small cinnamon ant. It was sunny and about 70 outside and fishing was good. The next day I took the Owyhee rod, it was raining and fishing was okay bit not as good as the day before with the ant. I caught a few fish on nymphs but I wanted to look for some bigger fish. I was standing in a very fast riffle and tied on a small streamer called the "Bling". I threw it in a couple holes with nothing then drifted it through a fast riffle right in front of a big rock. I can see the Bling doing its thing when it is crushed by a 20" Brown. I knew that there are some bigger fish in that upper part of the river but I had not seen any until that point. It just took some classic fall weather and a little bling to get the job done.
So don't be like a stonefly waiting for sunny warm weather to get out. Fishing is still productive and you have a good chance at finding yourself in the middle of hatch picking off fish or hooking into a hog!