Fall Fly Fishing Rivals Spring

Fall Fly Fishing by Sean Obrien

Fall fly fishing rivals spring as a great time to go after those elusive trout. Trout fishing in the fall is my favorite time, as the air and water get colder, and the sun is still shining and offering up a little warmth.  As the rivers and streams get lower and lower, and the air gets colder and colder, make sure you have the opportunity to get out there a few times to close out the season.

Water temperatures are a big benefit to the fall fly fishing season, as sometimes cooler water results in lethargic trout.  This means morning and night might not be the best times to go fishing.  The best time to fish might be afternoon, when the water is warmer, and the sun is overhead, making it more comfortable for both you and the fish.  Remember to dress to impress, as clearer water and lower sun means fish can see you much better than when the water is higher and cloudier from particles and sediments.  Muted colors, nothing bright, and try to blend in with the background foliage as best as you can.  Overhead sun due to fishing in the afternoon also results in longer shadows that may spook fish, so the angler will need to take into account where they are in relation to the sun.

Trout spawn in fall,  which causes them to become more aggressive and, in the case of brown and brook trout, willing to eat more often than in spring.  Rainbows seem to be voracious no matter what, and all three types will eat any eggs that they may come into contact with, so egg patterns might be beneficial.  It is still a great idea to match the catch, as mayflies are still hatching, especially when the wind is calm and the temperature is higher.  Dry flies work well in all seasons, but in fall fly fishing, the water is clearer because the sediment is not getting churned up as much.  The problem is all the leaves and twigs and nuts and debris falling off the trees and into the water might make it tough for the fish to notice your fly.  Just putting a little twitch as you float could make the difference, and help the fly catch the eye of a fish.

Streamers are great in fall as well, because, as stated before, the water is clearer and the fish are more aggressive overall. Although this does not mean you will see or catch more trout in the fall than in the spring, the spawning fish make for some interesting excursions.  As the summer hatch winds down, small bugs, crickets and beetles become very large parts of a trout’s diet.  Try to maximize your fall fly fishing  chances by testing out not only different patterns, but different sizes and weights of flies.  And anytime you feel like you might have something to do and you won’t be able to get out there, just remember, in a few short months, you will be counting down until opening day 2017.



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Hurricane Season can Bring Surprise Fishing

Hurricane Season by Debbie Kay

The changing weather of autumn is the hurricane season. It brings with it a number of different storms.  Hurricanes, tropical storms, monsoons and typhoons are stirred up as the switch from warm to cool (or vice-versa in the Southern Hemisphere) creates inverted weather systems that make the wind blow with severe force.  Everyone knows that during a storm, property and people are at risk.  But what about fish?  It turns out that a storm can create a number of different distribution patterns for fish that the intrepid fisher can use to his or her advantage.  Here are some of the changes that can occur, and how they can benefit you:

Salinity Changes:

Much of the water in a coastal area will change in salinity during a hurricane.  This can work both ways.  Brackish or fresh water may get a surge of salt as winds push tides inland.  Saltier bodies may get a huge influx of rainfall to lower salinity.  Both of these offer opportunities for fish to explore further than they normally would.  Quiet bays that were closed to freshwater fish may find some curious inhabitants found in salt marshes.  Salt marsh and saltwater coastal fish may push upstream with the salinity boost.  This can mean that you’re catching surprise species further afield than normal.  Look for areas sheltered from wind and current where the fish could have sought safe harbor.

Channel Shifts:

The erosion processes of storm surges can carve new channels for streams and can get them to shift back into historical water routes.  This means new fishing opportunities once the turbidity of the water has settled, and it also means an easy target in stranded oxbows left over from the pre-storm stream channel.  This is especially true in areas like the Pacific Northwest, where winter’s flooding rains can shift major streams 20-feet across into completely different riverbeds.

Safe Harbors:

Wetlands and marshes connected to waterways are a great place to find fish after a storm.  They represent quieter water that is typically safe from major change, and therefore a great refuge for fish.  As they don’t represent typical feeding grounds for many of these fish, they will typically be curious to find what’s available to eat in their new digs, and will bite readily.

Hurricane Season Downfalls:

In inland lakes separate from coastal waterways, fish are going to be drawn to places where there are downed trees or other large messes of vegetation.  This is because they offer several benefits.  Protection from predators with the screen of vegetation.  Food in the form of rotting leaves and insects also eating them.  And protection from microcurrents caused by continuing winds.  Take your lake to the areas most affected–  a downed tree in the water is perfect for exploring new fish habitat.

Lateral Floods:

Often, water tops a riverbank during these storms, which allows fish to swim sideways out of their streams.  Some get stuck in puddles, ditches and other places far from their stream when the water dries.  Stream-edge areas of standing water are a great place to find surprise fish after a major flood.

No matter where you find storms, and what they look like in your region, they can be great opportunities to find fish in new areas, as well as high concentrations of hungry fish in sheltered places.  Once the weather has cleared, the hurricane season has some great opportunities to up your fishing game.

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Factors that Impact your Fishing Environment

Fishing Environment by Sean Obrien

Like anything else that you need a high degree of skill to excel at, fly fishing depends on a number of factors.  The fishing environment,  mechanics, habitat, local species and food supply all come into play to make or break a fly fisherman’s day on the water.  But one of the key lessons for prospective anglers is that only so many of those factors are under your control.  For best results, a fisherman needs to learn to identify the controllable factors and try to use them to their advantage.  Continue reading Factors that Impact your Fishing Environment

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Finding Elusive Summer Trout (PART 2 OF TROUT FISHING SERIES)

Summer Trout by Sean O’Brien

As the spring melts into the summer months, trout seem not only harder to find, but harder to catch at all.  Trout thrive in cold water, rich in dissolved-oxygen, and like any creature they get sluggish when they don’t get the oxygen they need.  Colder water is more likely to be found in streams and rivers, and accordingly those are more than likely to contain the elusive summer trout than a lake or pond.  This isn’t to say trout can’t be found everywhere in their range, but there are most certainly more and less effective places, times and techniques when fishing summer trout.  To help improve your odds of catching them in the heat of the summer, we’ve provided the following tips. Continue reading Finding Elusive Summer Trout (PART 2 OF TROUT FISHING SERIES)

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The Special Fish of Lake Crescent (Part 1 of trout fishing series)

Lake Crescent By Debbie Kay

Eight thousand years ago, a landslide on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state dammed up Indian Creek, an ancient stream full of cutthroat, steelhead, salmon, and many other species of fish. It changed the drainage of Indian Creek, and created two separate lakes, Crescent and Sutherland, who each had separate drainages to the ocean. Continue reading The Special Fish of Lake Crescent (Part 1 of trout fishing series)

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