5 For Fall

15 September 2015
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15 September 2015, Comments: 0

Fall Spud

5 For Fall

If Buzzfeed can make lists of cool/random stuff, why can’t we?  Here is a list of 5 things that are get us all sorts of excited for this fall.

1. Moving Monsters

The crisp nip in the morning fall air often puts fly guys on point for one thing: big ol’ brown trout.  Fall is spawn time and the biological instinct to propagate kicks brown trout into high gear.  The best time to hook into one of these monsters is in early and late fall when they are stocking up on calories before and after the spawn.

With the yearly fall stoke on brown trout in full swing, check out a few goodies here that pay homage to the staple of fall fly fishing.  Brown trout flasks are pretty much a must in late fall…


Of course, just make sure avoid fishing to actively spawning fish!

2. Meat Eaters

Gunnison River Streamer

We get it, streamer fishing is cool.  You know why it is is cool?  Simple, because you are fishing for fish that want to kill.  Plain and simple.  Once you have hunted the hunters, it may be all you want to do.

Fall marks a turn when anglers are switching from 5x to 10 pound Maxima and from 4 weight rods with floating line to 7 weight rods with 250 grain sink tips.  Why?  Well of course the big browns are moving for the autumn spawn; but also because there are less bugs on the water and a large meal of protein is very appealing to fish who want to survive winter’s chill.  The biggest fish can be had in fall, and they are usually caught on streamers.

Of course, fishing for meat eaters requires a rod that can handle such a feat.  Our favorites include the Sage ONE and PULSE, Scott Radian, or the Redington Vapen in 6 to 8 weights.  Streamers that were made for violent fall trout include: Galloup’s Dungeon, Autumn Splendor, Trina’s Rubber Bugger, Sculpzilla, Galloup’s Bottoms Up, Snot Rocket, and Flick’s Animas River Special.

Rounding out fall streamer tackle, you will want to make sure you have sink tips or leaders, slip cone weights, Maxima Tippet, and your strip sets down.

3. Staying Toasty

Babine River Fall

Some people despise the cold.  When that fall fronts move in, many would rather be sipping mai tais on the beach than spending time in higher elevations.  For some of us, there is just something special about bundling up for a day on the water (or in the woods) that invigorates and rejuvenates the soul.  There are less people out fishing in the cooler months, which mean lots of solitude.  A few extra layers is insurance for good day outside.

womens synchilla lightweight snap-t fleece pullover Beryl Green

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T

The Fall of Southwest Colorado can bring a wide gamut of climate and weather conditions.  Lower elevations can be sunny with a high of 85, while higher elevations can have a showing of rain and even snow.  It pays to be prepared.

More often than not we are on the water with a good base layer under our favorite fleece.  Our choice for baselayers include the Simms Waderwick Core, Patagonia Capeline, and any of the Exofficio Give N Go underwear.  A few light layers to take note of this fall are the Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T, Simms Rivershed Full Zip Sweater, and Fishpond Voormi CoLab High-E Hoodie.  If the temps call for it (or we are out past dark hucking mice), we also like to add an additional layer such as the Patagoina Nano Puff Jacket or the Simms Fall Run line of jackets and vests.

And if the sky starts to dump, we keep good shell on hand like Simms G3 Guide Jacket or the Patagonia River Salt Jacket to keep dry.

Fall is the time of year to bundle up on the water.  It’s something we look forward to because bigger fish and less anglers are always a good thing.

4. Chrome

Oct_5_11_2008_Steelhead_Camp__2If you haven’t been bitten by the steelhead bug, good for you.  It can and will consume your mind and ruin your life.  Steelhead are one of those mystical fish that blur the line between the physical and the spiritual.  It’s hard to explain unless you have actually hooked into one of these anadromous fish.

Many of us have trips on the books and are gearing up for a fall journey to coastal regions, anticipating a chance to hook into chrome.  Spey rods, steelhead flies, and lots of layering (see above) are in order.

The number one piece of gear we are not leaving without has to be the Patagonia Foot Tractor Boots.  Steelhead rivers are very rocky and slippery.  The Patagonia Foot tractor boots are game changers when it comes to wading treacherous waters of the Pacific Northwest (or great lakes tribs).

Of course, many of us do not have the good fortune to make it to a steelhead river this fall.  Instead, we play pretend on our local waters throwing two handers and swinging streamers and wet flies for big browns.  This is a pretty uncommon trout technique for some, and one that is hard to embrace.  It can however, be very effective and extremely fun.  Plus we are getting plenty of spey practice for when we actually make it out to the PNW or Great Lakes.


Animas River, last lights

We have found the Redington Dually to fit the bill for trout fishing very nicely.  The Dually is a very conservative rod in terms of price, but casts fantastically well for those who want to learn the spey craft.

(Read a Beginner’s Journey into Steelheading)

5. Getting Crafty


Finally, Fall brings about cooler nights spent indoors where more often than not, we can be found cranking out a few bugs at the vise.  From EP Flies for fall pike or spring tarpon, streamers for preditorial browns, or just filling out empty spaces in the dry box; fall is tying time.  We are already working on developing our new secret patterns…

(Make sure to stay tuned for Duranglers Fly Tying Classes and our Open Tying Night too!)

Andy McKinley
Andy manages Duranglers Flies and Supplies online store and web content. When he is not plugging away in the basement of Duranglers, he can be found in the shop talking weird flies, throwing spey casts for few fish, eating pizza, drinking coffee, painting, and raising a family in Southwest Colorado.

His fly fishing writings have been published on blogs such as the Daily Drake and Simms Wading Room.

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