This is it folks, the final weekend of the Southern freshwater fishing season, and from all accounts the fishing around our lake tribs has been very good. There are plenty of large browns on the move and with them, a few nice rainbows. The weather is looking frosty, but fine so you really have no excuse not to wander a bank somewhere.
Late season fly fishing can be difficult - migratory browns in cold water are often reluctant to eat so first and foremost you need to get the fly right past their nose. That means casting accuracy and often heavier flies. Uglies, Iron Maidens and Jig Nymphs pack the punch to get down fast, but often you need something smaller and a little more natural. This is where Loon Black Drops eco-friendly lead free tin shot come into play. Simply squeeze the required amount onto your tippet to get smaller flies deeper, or likewise Loon Deep Soft Weight. My more successful flies this past week have been of the ‘look at me, come eat me’ variety but often you’ll still need something natural in brighter conditions.
Here are a few essentials for this coming weekend that always prove themselves late into the autumn.
No brainers. If they’re going to eat something, a Squirmy with a dropper is a solid bet.
Tungsten BB Stealth Pheasant Tail
This has been my go to natural all season. The CDC collar gives it life and solid steel keeps its hold in lunker browns.
Tangerine and Early Girl are another eye catching pattern. While these fish are yet to drop eggs they’ll still eat them, and so drifting a Muppet nearby can often be a good plan B to the Squirmy/PT combo.
Kyles Stonefly Green or Brown
Gets deep and has a lot of sexy movement from fine rubber legs. Extremely tasty on the dead drift, or add a last moment strip to activate that rubber.
Dores Mr Glister Streamer
This is a no brainer at any time. Heavy and yet easily handled, a little bit of sparkle and a whole lot of movement. Big brown eat streamers and so pitch this upstream and across, let it sink, then strip....
A final tip, don’t be afraid to move your flies to encourage the eat. Raising the rod, swinging the flies, bumping the tip or simply stripping deep nymphs can all get that elusive grab.
Fish it well, and fish safe.