River and stream fishing during the fall months of September, October and into early November can be some of the best in the Northern Rockies...especially here in Montana. During these months, the conditions can be tricky thus posing the question "When is the best time to come out". Well the answer is pretty simple...it's up to the person. If you're the type that likes great weather, lots of fish action, dry fly fishing, big trout, etc. then the fall season can be an opportunity not worth missing. Here in Montana, there is no better time to fish for the large Browns as they are coming off the summer season and preparing for fall by filling up their bellies for upriver spawning. Browns can be notorious for becoming more aggressive prior to the spawn which leads to heart stopping action for the persistent angler.
Below are some strategies that anglers can use to have a successful time in search of the big one.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS:
As stated previously, the fall months can be unpredictable for those getting out on the river. The morning or afternoon sessions can be full of clouds, minimal sunshine, rain and yes...blowing snow, but on the flip side the weather can be absolutely perfect. Adjusting to these types of conditions can be difficult but preparing for any type of weather from hot and sunny to cold and wet can be your best defense. If you're traveling to Montana, or if you're just down the road from your home, you want to be prepared to have a great experience. Gore Tex waders are a good choice as an outside layer to combat the wind and cold conditions. Long underwear and fleece pants to layer underneath as well as plenty of upper layers to protect the core body heat are a perfect combo for comfort. To top off the wardrobe, a good pair of gloves to protect the fingers from the wet elements and don't forget to protect the most important asset with a comfortable winter hat.
GET THERE AT THE PEAK:
Hitting the river at the peak time of the season is essential to making your fishing experience the best it can be. For most streams and rivers in Montana, moving of Browns starts in late September with the best fall run fishing isn't until the middle of October to mid November. Toggle our fishing page to get the most up todate information on what's biting and how to tackle the big one on your next adventure... http://www.rnaoutdoors.com/fishing
Streamers are an attractive strategy to catching that big trout. Most anglers know that Browns are predators and a great way to target them is with BIG streamers. If you're going to use streamers, don't underestimate how big of a fly a Brown will eat during this season. It's not uncommon for a large Brown to swallow a 10-15" size trout all at once with a partial tail sticking out of its mouth. Tandem hook streamers that are about 10" long will work great as you won't hook too many small trout but if you throw them long, your chances of nailing the big one increases... so be patient.
EGGS A FLOWING:
Fall spawning fish such as Brown Trout, Brook Trout and Whitefish all lay eggs at this time which means a lot of eggs will be bouncing around the rivers. Eggs pack nutrients that trout like and although Browns like a big meal, eggs can be a strategy under an indicator and sometimes will out fish every other method.
STUDY & DISCOVER SPAWNING RUNS:
Do your homework when it comes to targeting fisheries that receive a spawning run from a lake or large river as an option during the months of October and November. There are some locations that are not as well known that can produce a good run... However, as a starter, traditional spawning runs are no secret to most anglers and thus capitalize on what they are doing to bring in that big one. Also remember, as anglers are drawn to hook and land a large trout, the pressure on fish dramatically falls off and can produce some extremely productive outings on the river.
We at RnA Outdoors want you to have the best experience out there and by providing the do-it-yourselfer tips for success is our goal. I hope that you can use some of the fall fishing strategies to make your next adventure one to remember. Good luck and happy fishing.