Spring and Fall are the seasons that many anglers get so excited for. There are several things you can do as a fly-fisher to increase your chances of hooking up during these exciting months. One thing to keep in mind, is the fish. During these months, the fish are carrying on what has been going on for millions of years, reproduction. Redds are where the fish actively spawn. These are small gravel beds found in slower water and about ankle deep. You can watch the fish do their spawning rituals. The trout will often appear to “dance” as they are mating on these beds. Trout will chase each other and it is just a fun sight to see but remember the fish on these redds, spawning beds, are actively trying to reproduce. The redds should be avoided. Many times the actively spawning fish aren’t hungry anyways. During the spawning months, try to target deeper pools or heads of runs, where fish move to actually feed. Focus your attention more on active feeders that are not actively spawning. This allows you to go home with a clear head and also go home knowing you did not affect the spawning habits of these trout in any negative way. This is a very fun time of year because the fish will school up in large pods. During the spawn, other species than just the spawning ones will eat eggs, even follow spawning fish upriver as a source of food via their eggs. Not only do fly anglers get excited about the spawn but also other species of fish! For beginners, this time of year can be the most exciting because the fishing can be so good. Just be mindful of the resource because we all want future generations to be able to get the satisfaction from fishing that we do year after year!
Sight-fishing can be very exciting this time of year too. When you find a pod that is actively feeding, don’t throw everything you’ve learned out the window. Take a breath of air, observe the fish and where they are feeding, then plan your approach. Fish from the bank, out. This will help you not spook the fish. Always be aware of your shadow and make adjustments when needed. Sometimes, simply kneeling down so your shadow doesn’t spook the fish is all you need to do. Awareness is a theme that will continually be stressed throughout these blogs time and time again. Awareness and the ability to adapt to changing conditions, will always be the name of the game. When you see a fish you want to cast to, take your time. The more methodical you are and the more you make that first cast count, the better. Be prepared for the trout to eat on your very first cast. Many times, that first cast will be the only chance you get, so make it count! Cast far enough in front of the fish that you won’t spook the fish. Cast your flies to the fish, not your leader and not your indicator. You want your flies to land away from your indicator when fishing a nymph rig. Cast far enough in front of the fish to get your flies down to the where the fish are when your drift goes over the fish. Efficiently fishing each and every nook and cranny of each hole will help you become a better angler and will help you get more trout to the net. Don’t give up just because you are not hooking up, focus more when you aren’t hooking up. Think about what you are doing, make a plan of action and follow through. Experience on the water is the greatest teacher of all, we are just trying to advance your learning curve so you can become a successful angler a little quicker. The flies and tactics we pick and provide will do exactly that! Fishing the right flies at the right time of year and taking advantage of your changing surrounding is the name of the game and we work hard to take a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. TIPS UP!