Fall Fishing Tips from Mike!
Let's face it. We all know it. It's hot. But there is good news: Cooler weather is not that far off. Here are a few tips to get ready for fall fishing as we transition from the dog days of summer to a bit of relief in September and October.
Water levels typically are lower as summer showers decrease. Use smaller tippets and fish smaller flies. If you typically like 4x, use 5x. Sometimes the size of the fly dictates tippet size, but there's usually wiggle room. Err on the smaller sizes when the water is low and clear.
One of the most rewarding things in fly fishing is seeing a big brown suck down a chubby or hopper from a stream-side eddy. Fish are looking to fatten up for winter as the days become shorter. Take advantage of this opportunity for quality dry-fly action, even though the hatches of Western NC have faded away. Yellow Stimulators are a good option.
Take a Break from the Trout
Smallmouth bass are traditionally thought of as a late spring, mid-summer target, but smallies are a viable target in September until cold weather arrives. When it's too cold for smallmouth, it's time to chase trout. And if you can't float the Tuck or Little Tennessee, find a farm pond with largemouth and brim. Both species are willing sparring partners on a popper or Wooly Bugger.
Little Things Matter
One of the most important pieces of equipment in your pack or vest is a stream thermometer. Now is the time to use it. Southern Appalachian weather can be unpredictable, particularly in October. One day, you're sweating, the next you're shivering. Check the water temperature to make sure you're still within the trout's feeding zone of 52-62 degrees.
Fall brings cooler weather. The fish are more energetic and more willing to eat, so it's time to enjoy more comfortable weather. Tight lines.