Tips & Tricks

Fall Fishing on the Fly

Fall can be a great time of year to fish a fly.  The Brown Trout will start spawning near the end of September in many cases and will be in full force during October.  At the higher elevations, the Cutts will be actively feeding in preparation for the long winter ahead, if you can locate them.  Cutthroat can be a challenging species to target, but that’s what makes it so much fun!  Get out there before Old Man Winter blankets the ground with a layer of snow.  With the low flows at this time of year, stealth is often the name of the game.  Light tippet and small bugs can be helpful.  A great presentation along with a drag free drift is critical.  Fall can also be a great time of year to throw some dry flies.  Fall can also be a great time of year to get out those streamers as well, you don’t need light tippet with streamers!  Some guys will go moussing during a Full Moon as well.  Night fishing can be tough, but it can also be very rewarding.  When fishing the spawn try to be aware of the Redds and the actively spawning fish.  The spawning fish should be left alone, but you can target the deeper pools and swifter deeper runs for feeding fish.  Many bodies of water are stocked and do not rely on natural reproduction, but on the other hand, many are not stocked too much, and those are the fisheries were that we need to take extra care.  Try to release the fish as quickly as possible and try to keep them in the water as much as possible.  The less we handle the fish, the bette...

Big fish, Little mind

As we near the end of the year and the seasons change, the avid fly fisher knows that right now can be some of the best fishing of the calendar year. Some may credit this to the temperature changes, some to the aggressive browns looking to put on some weight pre/post spawn, but really we all know it’s STREAMER TIME! Streamers are becoming more and more popular and if you’re neglecting this tactic of chasing big fish then you’re missing out! It’s a great way to find and chase the bigger population of a river system and many would agree it’s the most exciting. Now, were all in chase of that big once in a lifetime fish, but before doing so do you ever think about the small fish and where they might be? This is where my theory “Big Fish, Little Mind” stems from. Before we can try and catch the big predatorial fish we’ve got to think like a small fish.                 Thinking like the small ones can be a bit difficult but here are some places to start on your next outing. Before you even get your feet wet, fish the first 10ft of water out from the bank back to the shore. In most cases that’s the softest water and most of the juvenile fish will be feeding on small bugs. During a hatch some small fish make themselves vulnerable to bigger fish by concentrating on eating and not the two foot brown below him just waiting for an easy opportunity. Another great place to locate big fish while thinking like a small one is near current change and slack water. This may be behind structur...

Dry Fly Selection and Rigging

For the novice angler identifying specific bugs can be a challenge. The more you know and understand each bug and its lifecycle, the better you will understand fly-fishing and the more you will begin to hook- up. For the novice, a great rule of thumb is simply to match the size and color of your fly as close as you can to what you see in the water and fish feeding on. Notice the vegetation around you, as the bugs will use streamside vegetation to rest before finishing their life-cycle and laying eggs. Pick up rocks near the bank but submerged in the water and see what is underneath them. Many times you will see nymphs and other forms of insects. This will give you an idea of what is in the water and thus what size and color fly to choose. You don’t always have to “match the hatch” and it isn’t always as critical as some fly anglers would like to think. Especially in the summer months, there is a lot of food in the water. Just because a caddis hatch is happening, doesn’t mean the fish won’t eat other bugs. Unconventional methods have been known to catch a fish too! Thinking outside the box can bring fish to the net in some cases. Throwing a streamer in the middle of a caddis hatch could potentially fool the biggest fish in the river. A good selection of dry flies in various shapes and sizes can be all you need. Even if you have no knowledge of the insects in a river, you can get fish to the net if you’re aware enough. A river seine can help you identify the bugs in a river...