It was pleasant enough this afternoon that a friend asked if I wanted to go night fishing tonight.  No…no I do not.  All fishing is fun, but I’ve converted over to fall mode. I’d rather it be crummy.  Not November crummy, but bring on the wet leaves and the dirty ground and trout chasing streamers and, maybe, some afternoon olives.  Not that the sun isn’t without its pleasures to the fall trout angler.  We get to fish nondescript dries in the afternoon.  The small fish are willing to bite nymphs and swung wets.  The brook trout streamer fishing is exciting.  But…

The aphorism that always stuck with me is that the spring fishing is best during a warm front, and the fall fishing is best during a cold front.   And what I’d like is some dank, low-ceilinged fall days.  Instead of bright little streamers, I’d like to whip around black streamers for brown trout, or brave a driving mist waiting for it to break enough for the olives to start hatching on the North Branch.  Leaves in the water.  You know.  Fall!

I feel like I write this report every year.  My apologies.

The rivers are in excellent shape and we’ve done well this week, for the most part.  In the fall, I do think the boat anglers gain a little advantage being able to cover so much water.  For the wading angler, try to focus on river stretches with good flow and cover and gravel.  The fish aren’t spawning yet, but they are staging.  I target my streamer casts toward shallow cover.  It seems like the fish hunt shallow this time of year, and I tend to attribute it to the small fry that must out-migrate from the feeder creeks and are way up toward the banks of the river.

Aside from a few more days of potential flying ants, the dry fly fishing now turns almost completely over to the BWOs, which are an afternoon bug and in two sizes:  20 and 24.  The best dry fly stretches are going to be flat and shallow.  This is pleasant, precise angling, usually from 2-4 pm.

The nymph angler will do well working the front edge of the drop-offs to the bigger pools in the river.  Nymphing will improve throughout the month as fish start to move around the Au Sable system.   As of now the dry and dropper aka suspension rig is working best fishing smaller tungsten-beaded nymphs on fine tippet.  Mixing in a soft hackle dropper, or even swinging classic wets, can be very effective for brook trout this time of year.

Sign up for our Fall Catalog: Loaded with gift ideas, fly tying debris, new gear, old favorites, and more.  If you received our spring catalog, or any of our other catalogs, you’re already on the list.  If you’re not on the list, and would like to be, email your mailing address to [email protected]

End of the Season:  We will be operating under “off-season rules” after we serve breakfast on October 31…  We still have some good openings toward the beginnings of the weeks from here until that date.