What about fall makes us and these big predator brown trout think about large bugs? Fall means shorter days and colder nights. It still makes me dream of whitetail and turkey in the hardwoods and ravines back east. At the vise, the Fall season brings the size 4 hooks from hiding and the Magnum Rabbit begins to hatch in multiple colors all over my kitchen table. As a fly tyer I look forward to retiring my 8/0 thread for a couple of months. The color grey starts to creep into a majority of the day light hours, but not our bugs. Patterns like Teqeelie, Autumn Splendor, Lemon Drops and Goldielocks start to mimic a fall day back in those eastern woods. We always throw 2 at a time, one big one small, one bright one dull, one heavy one light everyone has a favorite combo. It always takes a bit more to get your buddy out or to convince your client that the weather is just going to make it better. Once you get them there, it's always worth it. The picture is of a very early streamer run with Mc3, it was still August, bright and sunny, but we had to. The flow of the river definitely said "don't go" but there was just 2 of us and Cam the Lab, we had to do it. Chalk talk was simple, streamers or bust, besides i had been tying streamers every night. We were going to get stuck, no way around it, THE Eagle river doesn't get floated much this time of year. I didn't really regret just bringing a 6 wt and a streamer box until the fish started rising, but you've heard that before. Mc3 rowed all day (3 hours), thanks Joe, we only boated 2 fish but they were both Bubba's. Fall is by far my favorite time to fish the mountains. You have an opportunity to catch fish three ways, there are less crowds, happy fish and usually lots of bugs. But the true draw for Fly Fishermen has to be hurling streamers from a boat and it's going to be here before we know it. I guess we all get a bit impatient when we have a box full of junk we absolutely know is going to work as soon as it touches the water.
Streamer fishing is the polar opposite of the days of summer and the dead drift. We don't necessarily trust a heavy streamer rod with 2 wet socks to just anyone, it's just dangerous. The people we do trust have probably chucked a few before and everyone has their own style. Some are short strippers, some have a long patient pause. Some guys dance em all the way to the boat and beyond the bow. I see sinking lines, floating lines, purple flies and even trailed midges. My favorite technique(from the boat) is to heave said bugs at the bank and allow the fly line to belly downstream so my first few strips of the fly make it travel downstream along the bank, wounded like. This is by no means the right way or the only way, everyone has their own style. One of my last commercial trips down The Eagle was a streamer float and it definitely wasn't my style. I ended up on The Eagle since i had just one peep and the weather forecast was butt nasty with a chance of crap. Perfect streamer weather. Dude ends up being a Kelly Gallop prodigy, fresh off the book, video series and armed with a handful of Zoo Cougars from Kelly himself. While standing at the put in, Kelly Jr explains to me how it's going to work as the lightning sirens from the Valley Course made me want to get back in the truck. He showed me his rig. GLoomis rod, sinking line, stubby leaders and huge unweighted flies, "just like Kelly does". I have never seen double 6" articulated monsters levered out of the front seat before, but i was about to. Let's just say i saw a lot of new stuff that day and i'm a believer. Of course i'll tell you my system would have caught fish that day but it really was great not losing a single streamer, i think i only looked into that grubby box of fur twice. Sex Dungeons and Zoo Cougars articulated and not got chucked. I even saw a 6" Rainbow trout version that i would have eaten. They all worked. The only thing i would have changed is the sink rate. Things never got quite deep enough for my taste. Just goes to show you predators are predators when the weather is right and even an old dog can enjoy the day in someone else's streamer box.