AUTUMN STILL WATERS
Over the past few years I have spent countless hours at the waters edge trying to figure out the behavior of our Trout before the winter sets in. The fishing seems to get really tough at times and all the tactics come flying out the tackle bag.
The past two weeks we spent as much time fishing as many different still waters as we could. I rigged myself the new RIO In-Touch Hover line on the Xplorer T-50 9’0” 5wt. Fishing this time of year when water temps are starting to drop, as we start to get the first frosts of the season. The
Tactics that we found worked well were casting a long line with the Hover line while fishing as static as possible. The nice thing about the Rio In-Touch Hover line is its sink rate. It sinks at about 0.5 inches per second. Most the action came fishing white zonker patterns with 3.5mm hot orange beads tied on a #6 long shank streamer hook. The takes were very subtle and most of the takes came on the drop. Fishing as slow as possible produced the most fish. Zonker minnow patterns also worked well when fished the same way.
One thing that we found in common on all the still waters we fished over the two weeks, was the fish were all full of snails. Their stomachs were fat and bulging with snails, some of the fish were so full of snails they sounded like a bag of nuts when shook.
Finding a snail pattern has always been a challenge, well at least a realistic pattern. The good old Peacock Snails always works well on our waters. Fished as static as possible on the RIO In-Touch Hover line or drifted slowly on a RIO In-Touch Gold floating line on a RIO Trout 12 foot leader seems to produce results.
Autumn and into the start of the Winter is always a great time for float tubing the still waters. Getting on a float tube and working the margins can be very affective. The trout are starting to bulk up for the winter period, the trout’s metabolism starts to slow down as the water temperatures get colder.
The evening rises can be spectacular with fish feeding on huge buzzer hatches and May flies. Structure is always a good place to start. Look for weed beds and channels where fish would be comfortable to feed, while taking cover from predators and having a good source of food near-by is always key.
As winter sets in the trout’s behavior starts to change as their natural sense to spawn takes over.
Enjoy the last week of autumn as winter approaches fast, and we move into one of my favorite times of the year to sight fish to mock spawning still water trout.