Why Fall is the Best Time to be a Fly Angler
Fall is undoubtedly my favorite time to get out and fish. Sure, wet wading during the summer months always has it's allure, and the quality of fishing to be had in the spring is unmatched. There is just something about spending time on a river as the fall colors begin to bleed across a mountainous landscape.
Bigger flies will grace your line, and for that matter bigger fish are undoubtedly on the prowl. Then there is the peace and quiet that exhists in nature as seasons turn towards winter. Everthing knows change is coming, and we all want to get in our last moements of preparation for the long winter envelopes our lives.
So for what it is worth, I will share with you the 5 reasons why Fall is my favorite time to be a fly angler.
1. Hungry and Agressive Fish - as the ambient air and subsequent water temperatures begin to fall, trout begin to recognize that change is coming, and they better start getting ready for winer. This will push fish out of their late summer holding water, and place them in areas where they can feed more actively, and ultimately more aggressively. Fall is also the time of year when Brown trout spawn, making this species and others more active. So across a river's eco-system, fall brings abotu behaviour in these fish that isn't seen during the course of the spring, summer or winter months. What this means for the fly angler is that the likelyhood of catching more, and potentially larger fish is greater during the fall months due to this added appetite and overall aggression.
2. Brown Trout - ah yes, the mighty Brown Trout. A favorite of many fly angles, there is just something intriguing about these fish. Whether it be their colors, their aggressive behavior, or the size to which they can grow, these fish have always been the focal point for my liking of Fall fishing. It is also the time of year when these fish spawn, which provides an added potential of the posibility of hooking and landing a trophy fish (that said I always ask that every angler allow these fish to spawn in peace, and to only target fish that are pre or post spawn).
3. Fall Colors - I think there is little debate that Fall can be one of the, if the most beautiful time of year across much of the country. In mountainous areas, like Colorado, where we whitness the changing of the leaves across vast mountainsides, this is particularly true. For me fly fishing has always been more about the catching, and any opportunity to spend a day on a river surrounded by trees covered in vibrant colored leaves is always something I am going to jump at.
4. Streamers - as noted in a previous post, my prefered method of fishing will always be with a dry fly, and Fall can be a phenominal time of year for this application. But I would have to say that my second most enjoyable form of fishing is with streamer. This aspect of fly fishing is a dynamic activity, combining the athleticism of fly casting, with the visual appeal of seeing the fly, and with the end result of ultra aggressive strikes. Anyone who wants to compare watching a Thing-a-ma-bobber dart under the surface to a large trout inhaling a 3" long streamer clearly doesn't have their priorities straight (that said my third favorite method of fishing is with a nymph rig). So whether large or small, this Fall season give the big bug a try, it just might surprise you.
5. Less People - I've never quite unerstood why rivers tend to be the most vacant during the Fall months, but it's a phenominon that I am not going to argue against. But having the opportunity to enjoy some of your favorite waters, sans the tourists and seasonal anglers is always an unexptected treat.
So with the "last weekend of Summer" now upon us, it's time to start looking forward to all the things that naturally come our way during the Fall. While Winter may not be the ideal outlook for many of us, the fact that we must venture through the Fall to get their eases the pain that Winter inevitably brings.