Fall fly fishing in Colorado is some of the best fishing of the year and is one of the best times of the year to fish with streamers. Many anglers get trapped in a rut and rarely do anything but nymph-fish. One of my biggest tips for fly fishing in the fall is to remain open-minded, experiment with your tactics and techniques, and think outside the box from time to time.
During the autumn months, I typically carry a separate rod rigged with two streamers so that I have the flexibility to change tactics when necessary. I’ll routinely nymph a riffle or run first, then come back through with a tandem streamer rig looking for any opportunistic feeders that I may have missed. Some of the biggest fish of the year are fooled with streamers between September and November.
Some of my favorite streamers for fall fly fishing in Colorado include: Size 1/0-2 Barr’s Meat Whistle (black, olive, white, ginger, and brown), 8-10 Crystal Bugger (white, and olive), 8-10 Heng’s Autumn Splendor, 10 Pine Squirrel Leech (natural), 10 Goat Leech (brown and black), 2-6 Bennett’s Lunch Money (rainbow trout, easter bunny, olive, brown trout, sculpin brown, and black), Barr’s Slump Buster (natural, olive, and rust), and a Cone Head Sculpin.
Another tip for fly fishing in the fall is that when I am walk-wading, I typically fish these with a floating line, but don’t rule out using a Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 25 Cold to increase your sink rates when your fishing from a drift boat or inflatable raft. It is designed with a 25 foot sinking head that gets your streamers deep quickly. When you want to get “down and dirty”, this fly line is a must-have!