Not to jump the gun on Fall….. but I am a bit tired of this heat and ready for some cooler temps, shadows on the water, and even that wet stuff that falls from the sky. Here are a list of our favorite fall fly patterns. You can count on these from late August all the way through October.
Chubby Chernobyl – Our favorite “low maintenance” guide fly. Ty has been known to leave one on a rod for weeks. Super durable and holds up a huge variety of tungsten beadhead nymphs. Great hopper for the “hopper dropper rig” when you need to fish deeper and still want a dry on for show.
Double Dip Nymph – Two is better than one! The Double dip combines a brass and tungsten bead, CDC, flash, and either a natural pheasant body or holographic red. This fly has been killer since the folks at Dreamcast Flies on the North Umpqua introduced it to us.
Mercer’s Missing Link – The Missing link fishes as a caddis or drake. As the weather turns cooler and we see a few more mayflies it can be the go to pattern on tougher fish in slick water.
Parachute Adams – The classic Parachute Adams is one of those patterns that works well all year. For fall fishing it imitates a Grey Drake in larger sizes and Blue Winged Olives down to #18’s. It’s effective in sizes #10-18 on the McKenzie and Willamette.
Parachute Purple – Many anglers ask the question, why purple? What is it about the many variations of a “purple parachute adams” style fly. Try the Purple Rooster, Parachute Purple, Purple Haze, they all work.
Elk Hair Caddis Orange – The smaller size Orange Caddis works well in evenings all fall. It’s not the big October Caddis but it consistently brings more fish to top than it’s larger cousin.
Advanced Stimulator – Half “attractor” half October Caddis the Advanced Stimulator is one you can see late into the evening.
Rusty Goddard Caddis – Another Fall dry fly with excellent flotation and that rusty orange color that just seems to work in the fall months. Fish it by itself or with a double dry rig including a Parachute Adams or Parachute Purple.
Parachute Madam X Orange – Another fly that will hold up a nymph or fish well all on it’s own. The rubber legs offer stability and fish attracting movement.
McKenzie Caddis Orange – Like our Green McKenzie Caddis this “buggy” oversized caddis pattern fishes well when skated, jigged and danced on the surface. Size 8 and 10.
Half Down Golden Orange – We stole this design from a very effective spring fly, Gould’s Half Down Golden. Adding an Orange Body makes it an October Caddis imitator, size 8.
Spun Hair Hopper or Dave’s Hopper – Above Hills Creek and Cougar Reservoirs, the North Fork of the Middle Fork and other valley waters anglers can find success with hoppers this time of year.
BeadHead October Caddis – One of numerous October Caddis pupae patterns anglers should fish deep prior to the adult emergence of October Caddis.
Grey Drake Hair Wing – Late September on both the McKenzie and Willamette anglers will find these slow flying large mayflies that trout love to gobble up.
Jigged 20 Incher - This tungsten headed jig nymph gets down in a hurry and seems to imitate stonefly nymphs. You need a Chubby to hold this one up or go right to the Air-Lock indicator and nymph it.
Jigged Prince - The Prince Nymph is an all time favorite, add quick sink and a hook riding up for less snagging and you have the recipe for success.
Jigged Pheasant Tail – Another variation on the CDC Pheasant Tail this pattern is slender and deadly.
Mini Foamulator - An excellent floater, this attractor pattern is just the right size for all water types. It will imitate mid-sized caddis and stoneflies through the fall.
There are of course many more patterns that catch fish. I have neglected soft hackles and blue winged olives both of which are deadly in October as the weather shift cooler and mayflies become more abundant. Armed with the patterns above you will have options for successful strategies on our local waters.