A lot of anglers start to focus their efforts on streamer fishing this time of year, and while pulling half a chicken through the water will grab the attention of some nice trout, there are a lot of fish still willing to eat on top. It is not the dry fly action you will find in July but if you are patient you can find plenty of fish willing to sip a small dry of the surface.
Presenting dry flies this time of year takes a little more finesse than slapping a size 10 hopper on the surface or skating a Caddis dry across some fast riffles. Dry Fly Fishing during the Fall Months in Colorado can also be very frustrating and will test your patients. But this type of dry fly fishing can also make you a better dry fly angler. Smaller flies, lighter tippet and good presentations are a must when fishing these fall midge and BWO hatches. Our water levels are generally low and clear making fish very spooky. So if you are slapping the water with poor casts chances are you will put the fish down. Here are a few tips for fishing dries flies during the Fall months in Colorado.
This can be very challenging and will drive you nuts. But it is best to analyze a rising fish from a distance so you can figure out exactly where it is and what it is feeding on. Too many times I see people go charging out at the fish make a bunch of casts at it only to put the fish (and many others) down.
After watching your fish and figuring out its feeding pattern, lane etc… try to get into a position where you can make a good presentation. A lot of times fish are in a transition zone (between eddy line and slack water) feeding on midges, these areas are very difficult to get a good drift in. Try to make shorter casts and keep false casts to a minimum. If once position is not working for your drift try moving up or down stream slowly then try your cast from there.
This is important in all aspects of fly fishing especially when presenting small dries in low/clear water. It is absolutely a must to have a drag free drift, unlike bigger flies where you can get away with a little movement. Midge, BWO and Smaller insects do not move on the water surface. Therefore good line control and mending will be your key to success. We also do not want to slap the water with our fly line. Stop your rod tip high and slowly guide your flies to its destination. Try leading the rising fish by a foot or two, This will allow less time for the fish to look at it and also allow less time for your fly line to create drag.
The fly fishing has been excellent. Take a peak at the slow risers video from our buddies over at Lateral Line Media and see exactly what we are talking about.