Fall is prime time for steelhead fishing and there is unfortuneatly only so much of it, these five tips can help you make the most of those precious fall moments.
Tip #1: Fish all day. The doggedly persistent angler finds best results this time of year by staying at it. Fishing all day is productive now as the sun angle is lower in the sky than during summer months. Prime time of fish movement will still be morning and evening but don’t sleep away the day; good action can be found in full sun this time of year.
Tip #2: Change up flies, often one pattern will produce when others don’t. By now steelhead of fall have been in our rivers for at least a month or possible 2 or 3 months. These fish have seen a lot of offerings and may respond better to some flies than others. Try using darker flies and smaller flies as the season progresses. One great pattern that consistently produces in the fall is the Crandall’s Devils Candy by Spirit River- www.spiritriver.com
Tip #3: Move through the run. Keep moving to find steelhead. These fish are often really not that hard to convince them to grab your fly but they are hard to find. Summer steelhead are moving in from the ocean and often covering hundreds of miles to where they will spawn. Are they in the peice of water you are on now? Keep moving and find that aggressive fish. It will let you know it is there!
Tip #4: Don’t be a jerk-that is, don’t pull the fly away from the fish. Later into the fall fish typically tap the fly and grab less aggressively as the season progresses and water gets colder. Often the take consists of not just one “grab” but a series of soft tugs getting progressively harder. Resist the temptation to “set the hook” aka -pull the fly away from the fish and you’ll have more hookups! Simply keep swinging the fly until you feel the heaviness of the fish solidly on the line and then put a bend in the rod tightening up on the fish.
Tip #5: Surface flies are the way to go until they are not…getting the swung fly bite on a swung surface fly is absolutely the best, however, when water temps start to dip in late fall consider getting your fly deeper. Short sinktips like the MOW tips 5/5 and 7.5/2.5 tips are deadly also a 10′ T-11 sink tip will get your fly where more reluctant fish can’t resist.
Try these tips to up your success during the prime time of fall. For more instruction and on water experiences visit: www.watertimeoutfitters.com