Fall is one of my favorite times to fish. The rivers see less pressure, still good bug activity and opportunity for big fish. We are getting later into fall now so I wanted to discuss late fall or early winter fishing.
Out here in East Idaho we have seen a few snow storms all ready that has lowered the water temps dramatically. The rivers and streams are lower now and fish are starting to hold in deeper pools where they can easily come into riffles for the hatch. Hoppers can usually withstand a few freezes so you can look for those in certain areas. All terrestrials here are done now because of the colder temps we have had come early this year. For late fall fishing you can rely on some hatches at your local water. For example some hatches we would find out here are Beatis, BWO, Midges, and Trico's. These are just a few examples and each piece of water will be different.
Sometimes sunny warm days are not the best this time of year. Lots of the hatches will happen before or after rain or snow and sometimes start right in the middle of a thick snow storm. The humidity from the weather seems to help the hatch and then it is just a matter of finding fish feeding.
It is always a good time finding fish feeding on top and getting into fish on the surface but there are other options as well. In my opinion this is one of the best times to start throwing streamers! The chance of hooking into big fish and in some cases watching a big fish attack the streamer is pretty amazing! When streamer fishing cover lots of water and more importantly hit specific spots. For example some big fish will be right up in the seam where fast water meets slower water. This creates an eddy down stream. I call this the corner pocket because it is usually a small target up in the corner of the seam. The big fish like to sit in the corner pocket in the slower water and watch the fast seam next to them for a small fish to come though. It becomes easy pickings for a big trout. The Brown pictured here was high and tight in the corner pocket. I did not know the brown was there but that corner pocket just looked so good. I threw one cast in there but it was toward the back of the pocket. I tried one more cast in a little tighter and right when it hit the water he crushed it. This Brown acted like he had been waiting all day for that and he was ready!
Nymphing can also produce a lot of fish this time of year and is a huge part of a trouts diet. The New level Lines work great for nymph or streamer fishing because they will sink and get down a little deeper than some of the other lines.
On some water sheds fish start to move to "winter water". In one of the rivers out here most fish move down into a big canyon stretch for the winter. If you can learn where these fish are moving to and what kind of water they like to hold in during the fall then success rates will climb.
Bottom line is to just get out and fish! Fewer crowds, colder temps, big fish crushing streamers, makes for some fun fishing!