Fall is not my favorite time to fish. It pales in comparison to early spring and winter, but yet it has its charm, the biggest being "it's not summer."
But when does it turn on, so to speak. In Autumn on Western streams, the fish will feed voraciously preparing for spawn or winter (or both). In the Southeast, it can be a bit trickier to pin down. Cold weather doesn't set in until late November, although it's not too unusual to see snow by late October. This gives us a month, sometimes longer, after the spawn before trout metabolism drops off the radar. And this is the time to really pound the banks with meaty flies like buggers, mudlers, and slumpbusters. Given that winter in the Southeast has its own timetable, prime fishing dates are TBD. This is where the specific science of Appalachian fishing comes into play -- fingers to the wind, color of leafs of poplars, and how many cows are left standing in the pasture. Hey, it works. For the fortunate few, these fleeting days can present amazing fishing. So, why don't I like it as much as spring or winter ...? It just doesn't last long enough. So, if you can pin down the benign state of fall, hit the streams. It may be the week of your life -- or the best three hours you've ever seen.