The Art of Fall Trout Fishing

Fishing - The Art of Fall Trout Fishing

Fall trout fishing season is a treat! Enjoy cool temperatures while reeling in hungry trout for an unforgettable fishing adventure.

Summer hatches of aquatic insects may have passed, yet trout still feed terrestrial insects like ants and beetles. A float-and-fly technique like indicator nymphing may prove successful for trout.


As autumn begins, trout are on a quest for food. Preparations to spawn are underway and they become hungry and territorial in preparation. Also during this season are cooler ambient air temperatures, water temperatures, and crystal-clear river conditions-all factors which provide opportunities for anglers who employ appropriate techniques.

At VVA, our guides believe the caddis and stone fly nymph hatches of summer have ended; however, their emergence provides excellent dry fly fishing opportunities. Caddis and stone fly nymphs present streamer anglers with unique fall fishing opportunities. When trout are feeding they typically move towards areas of strong current flow to grab any passing minnow or small insect; large streamers like wooly buggers or clouser minnows in dark colors work very effectively while some guides at VVA swear by using Halloween Cheech Leech all season long – some guides swear by using it all season long.

If you’re targeting big brown trout this fall, focus your efforts on targeting main channel submerged rocks, undercut banks and deeper pools in main channels. Browns migrate into these deeper, slower moving sections of rivers during their spawn to lay their eggs – providing prime trout habitat and the greatest chances for landing one!

Fall trout fishing requires using the shaded or slackwater areas as part of your arsenal. Trout fisherman often find that shaded areas provide protection from land predators and birds of prey while making your fly more difficult for them to detect. Wading quietly into these shady areas with slow deliberate movements can yield successful results.

If shady water is unavailable, seek seams and slots in the banks where gravel may be exposed – these spots make a good place to target trout in autumn, but be prepared for cold waters and plenty of snags!

After targeting large brown trout in the fall, it is crucial to keep in mind that they are preparing to spawn and can easily be disturbed by careless anglers. Therefore, familiarize yourself with their spawning cycle as well as where and how to identify their spawning beds in your local river system.


Autumn marks one of the best times of year to go trout fishing, thanks to cooler air and water temperatures as well as less angler pressure compared with hungry trout making fall a great time to fly fish for trout.

Trout become more active as temperatures cool off in fall, often targeting baitfish and insects on their way to or from their spawning beds. They move to predictable areas such as riffles and feeder streams initially before moving deeper pools as the season goes on. Many freestone rivers’ trout tend to respond better to dry fly fishing in the autumn than spring; success lies in matching hatches with appropriate fly size/type combinations; expect blue-winged olive mayflies/midges as well as small trico and caddis hatches when fishing western trout waters; these hatches can often come out when casting to dry fly fishing sessions during this season!

Terrestrial flies can also play an essential role in fall fishing. When insect hatches have tapered off in summer months, trout tend to switch their attention from aquatic insects like Mayflies and dragonflies back onto terrestrial forage like ants and beetles that fall from vegetation into rivers and lakes. Slow and subtle presentations are key; try twitching a hopper or beetle on short lines, or fish marabou jigs using spinning gear for optimal success.

Alongside terrestrials and streamers, streamers are highly effective during fall fishing. Wooly buggers, Clouser minnows and sculpin imitations work exceptionally well when fished near depth transitions where shallower waters flow into deeper sections of rivers.

As autumn continues, brown trout become increasingly aggressive as they prepare to spawn. Anglers must respect this activity by not targeting or fishing near spawning trout as this would be unethical and disrupt the fishery.

The Lower Eagle River in Eagle, Colorado offers excellent trout fishing. Boasting both public and private waters for anglers alike, the river boasts some of Colorado’s largest trout. Fall is an excellent time to fish at Lower Eagle as large brown trout can often be caught between its riffles and deep pools along the main channel – standard trout flies such as blue-winged olive mayflies, large stoneflies or eggs are an effective way to attract larger trout to these rocky riffles!


As seasons change, trout’s habitat and feeding habits also adapt. Their summer diet of aquatic insects reduces as they prepare to fatten up for winter; insect hatches cease, prompting trout to move deeper pools or tailouts in search of sustenance; they may also seek shaded spots as protection against birds of prey.

Due to seasonal shifts, fly anglers must adapt their strategies when fishing for trout during fall. While traditional tactics such as the standard float and fly may work throughout the year, smaller flies with less flash are often preferable during autumn – blue-winged olive mayflies and midges are excellent choices in this regard.

Along with an escalation in aquatic forage supply, trout also prepare to spawn during fall and early winter. Therefore, brown trout living in lakes and reservoirs typically migrate towards tributary streams where they will lay their eggs in gravel beds lining these streams in late fall or early winter; similarly brook trout inhabiting mountain streams will move from their summer pools or undercut banks into shallow tails where there might be gravel suitable for spawning purposes.

Fishing for trout in the fall can be an exhilarating experience, with trout typically in good shape and the weather ideal for relaxing days on the water. So grab a friend or introduce your kids to this classic American outdoor pastime today.

Trout are sensitive fish that easily scare off in clear-water conditions, so stealth is key when it comes to fishing for fall trout. Wear clothing to blend into your environment while wading slowly and casting upstream to avoid scaring away trout. A low profile rig with 2- or 4-pound test line would also prove effective for this goal.

As caddis hatches occur, large brown trout can be caught using dry flies during caddis hatches. A black and white caddis imitation with size 18 fly or larger may prove effective while big hopper or beetle patterns also work effectively during this time of year.

Time of Day

Fall trout fishing can be an unforgettable experience. Now that the summer crowds have dissipated, the air is cool and crisp, and autumn’s colors are vibrant and breathtaking. Fall fishing also presents an ideal opportunity to target big brown trout on dry fly as they prepare to run their spawning runs.

Trout are voracious feeders throughout the year, but in particular during fall when insects such as small olive mayflies hatch or are available, trout become especially hungry for their sustenance. Make sure to carry several size 18 to 24 olive emergers and dries when fishing for trout at this time of year.

Fall marks another change for trout fishing: They tend to feed in shallower waters than during other times of year due to cooler temperatures and debris such as leaves, twigs, and nuts accumulating in lakes and ponds this time of year. Therefore terrestrial bug imitators such as hoppers or beetles can be effective this season when fished nearer the surface or near river eddies.

As winter progresses and temperatures begin to dip, trout will often migrate deeper and faster-moving waters as they begin preparing to spawn, making them easier for anglers to catch in shallower waters using slow-drifting floats with beadhead nymphs or grasshopper imitations.

Fishing dry flies for trout on warm, late fall morning or evenings is typically most successful between dawn and dusk on warm days, as fish tend to suspend beneath the surface and feed more actively in such weather conditions. When cloudy or rainy weather strikes, afternoon fishing may be more suitable as trout are likely to suspend below the surface and feed.

On calm fall days, large brown trout are easily persuaded into taking minnow-imitator streamers such as Wooly Buggers or Clouser Minnows as they approach spawning season – usually between September and October. This happens often enough that this tactic becomes effective.

Fall Trout Fishing