Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fly Patterns for Fall Trout

Fall is not only a wonderful time of the year but it is the time of the year when trout fishing can be at its best. The fish become very active after the long, hot summer, and the brown and brook trout are bulking up for the annual spawning ritual. The end result is hungry trout.

Depending on the stream you fish and the time of day you fish it, a multitude of patterns will be productive; streamers, nymphs, worms, and eggs, and dry flies all have their time and place. I believe it's best to break down the streams in your area into various classes. In the southeast, we basically have 3 types of rivers/streams; Tailraces, Wild streams, and Delayed Harvest/Hatchery Supported streams. Many of the same patterns can be used on each but there are patterns that are also specific to each. Below, I will break down some of the patterns utilized on each type of waterway. Remember, many other patterns will also be productive.

A Tailrace or Tailwater is a watercourse that carries water away from a mill, water wheel or turbine. Many of these are bottom draw where cold water is released from the bottom of area lakes, which provides constant water temperatures and allows for year around fishing opportunities. The South Holston, Watauga, Nantahalla, and Smith are some of the better known Tailraces in the southeast.

As a general rule, the most important hatches on these streams will be midges, baetis, and sulphurs, respectively. For fall, concentrate on patterns that represent the lifecycle of mostly BWO's and midges. Plus, dont forget tubifex, ova patterns, and various streamer patterns. Listed below are a few of my favorites.

Hetero-Genius Nymph

Stripper Midge (sz.24-28)
Zebra Midge (sz.24-28)
Disco Midge (sz.24-28)
San Juan Worm (sz.14-20)
Medusa (sz.16-18)
Nuke Egg (sz.14-18)
Pheasant Tail  (olive or natural, sz.18-24)
Hetero-genius Nymph (sz.18-22)
BWO Split Wing (sz. 18-22)
WD40 (sz.20-26)
RS2 Emerger (sz.20-24)
Extreme Emerger (sz.20-24)
Bunny Duns (sz.20-24)
Hackle Stackers (sz.20-24)
BWO Cripple (sz. 20-24)
Hi-Vis Parachute BWO (sz.20-24)
Sparkle Dun BWO (sz.20-24)
Sumpin' Ugly Sculpin (sz.4-6)
Super Yummy (sz.4-6)
Norms Sculpin (sz.4-6)
Weise's Bunny Love (sz.4-6)

Wild Streams: 
Wild trout streams include native brook trout, and rainbow and brown trout whose population in the stream is maintained by natural reproduction. Unfortunately, there are very few streams in the southeast that are considered catch and release and this includes the wild streams. A few notable catch and release streams in our area are the Davidson, Raven's Fork, and Big Horse Creek. Use similar patterns to those used on the Tailraces in these catch and release waters.

For the most part, a dry/dropper rig is the best way to go about fishing the wild streams from mid summer through the fall. Typically, the fishing tends to slow down in the winter on the wild trout streams. These little mountain streams tend to have far less food than many Tailwater and Freestone streams so the fish are often extremely opportunistic. A stealthy approach and a spot on presentation are the keys to success on these waters. Utilize patterns that represent terrestrials, caddis, baetis and midges; as well as, attractor patterns. Listed below are some favorites.

Parachute Adams

Parachute Adams (sz.14-24)
Orange Stimulator (sz.14-18)
Orange Palmer (sz.14)
Royal Wulff (sz.12-18)
Hi-Vis Ant and Beetle (sz.12-16)
October Caddis (sz.12-14)
Ausable Wulff (sz.12-14)
Humpy (sz-12-16)
Royal Coachman (sz.12-14)
Hi-Vis Parachute BWO (sz.18-22)
Green Weenie (sz.14-16)
Sunken Ants (sz.12-16)
Pheasant Tail (sz.18-22)
Hetero-genius Nymph (sz.16-20)
Tellico (sz.16-18)
Prince Nymph (sz.16)
Casual Dress (sz.12)
Holy Grail (sz.14-16)
Disco Midge (sz.20-26)
Zebra Midge (sz.20-26)
Yallarhammer (sz.12-14)
Black Nosed Dace (sz.8-10)
Muddler Minnow (sz.8-10)
Mickey Finn (sz.8-10)

Link to Casters Online Fly Shop

Delayed Harvest/Hatchery Supported: 
Delayed Harvest waters are stocked trout waters open to fishing year-round, but trout caught between October and June must be immediately released. You cannot keep or have in your possession any trout while fishing these waters during this time. Single-hook, artificial lures or flies are required during the October-June period. Beginning in June, harvest of trout from these waters is allowed, and anglers can use natural bait. "Hatchery Supported" trout regulations apply during this time. Beginning October 1, these waters revert back to "Delayed Harvest" trout regulations.

These waters are often a fly fisherman's favorite place to go from the fall through spring, even though poaching is a constant battle. Some notable streams in the area are Wilson Creek, Helton Creek, North Toe, and Watauga River.  The trout in these waters see a lot of pressure so they get relatively smart to mainstream patterns. A good general rule is to use patterns that you dont see every other angler using. Try some of the patterns below for consistent success. Dry flies typically aren't a good choice, especially during the winter months. You're better off fishing a double nymph rig with/without an indicator. 

Squirmy Wormie
Eggi Juan Kenobi (sz.14)
Medusa (sz.12-14)
Y2k (sz.14)
Squirmy Wormie (sz.12-14)
San Juan Worm (sz.12-16)
Lightning Bug (sz.14-20)
Serendipity (sz.16-18)
Prince Nymph (sz.14-18)
Holy Grail (sz.12-16)
Hetero-genius Nymph (sz.14-18)
Flashback Hare's Ear (sz.14-18)
Sili Skin Caddis (sz.14-16)
Ooey Gooey Grub (sz.8-12)
Duke Prince John (sz.14-18)
Woolly Bugger (sz.6-10)
Little Rascal (sz.6-8)
Sumpin' Ugly- Leech (sz.8)
Blah, blah, blah....... Again, try to use patterns that you dont see everyone else tossing.

Link to Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing

1 comment:

  1. Fly fishing is one of my passion. I always feel excited if we are planning to go to river particularly in watauga river fishing to catch some salmon. Last year was to be considered as one my memorable experience since we had our vacation at South Holston and caught lots of fish.