We have seen the first couple flurries of snow fall in the past few weeks here in Northern Michigan. These flurries have brought us a cold, damp, and windy month for getting out on the river. The cloud cover and earlier loss of day light is quickly reminding us that soon it will be much colder and going to the river was a thing we did in June. Fear not, we still have some ample opportunities waiting out on our favorite rivers.

            This time of year a lot of people like to joke around about separating the men from the boys, hours logged on the river when its below freezing out are only building your bragging rights. However I can not count how many times I have gone fishing in the late fall and early winter only to be conquered by the elements, a world away from any sign of active fish. Yes, this time of year can be frustrating. Fishing hard may not produce; there are some days it just doesn't happen. However there is something about heading to the river that was just a jamboree of anglers all summer and suddenly you are alone. It is days alone on the river where I believe I learn the most. When you start to accumulate days like this suddenly crazy things happen. The fish that you knew was under that log finally showed, your casting when no body is around is like something of an art form. Suddenly things begin to fall into place and you are rewarded with at the very least satisfaction that you just spent the day in forty-one degree flowing water.  This is the time of year to measure success in new days spent outside, learning from circumstance that is not present in the comfort of sleeping in on a Saturday.               

In terms of tactics and flies that have been producing for other and me guys here at the shop this fall I have one word, simple.  There is a lot of reason to go out and hunt big giant flies, mainly because it's a lot of fun. But I have moved and caught quiet a few nice fish this fall on pretty basic streamer patterns that swim well and are fairly natural in color. Wherever you find yourself on this back half of fall my best piece of advice would be to try something different fly wise. Fish a different color you would never have fished, or fish the fly you've been tying but not sure if it will produce. I encourage all to strive to be the person that walks into their local fly shop to give and I told you so report.            

The fishing is as predictable as the weather this time of year, but as long as you get outside and enjoy it for what it is while respecting the resource and others using it, surely you wont be disappointed.  

Tight Lines,

Brian Moran