The One Fly Method for Late Season and Early Fall Trout
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This method and pattern is one of the most successful techniques and works on both limestone spring
creeks and freestone streams. In fact, it's one of my secret guide methods that I teach for this time of
the year. You cover a lot of water and you usually catch a lot of fish. Few fly anglers know about
it and even fewer have tried it. It's a guide technique and I have used since I was taught it as a kid. It
can be used on any stream Eastern or Western and it's fun too.
You use only one fly! That fly is part of the secret. It works especially well in the
late summer and early fall. It will catch you both large quantities of trout and larger trout if they are in
the stream. Follow the techniques and methods exactly.
First you will fish upstream. Directly upstream! Second you will use a casts from 10 to 30
feet. You will use a 4x or 3x leader. And for the most part you will be fishing on top of the water.
The fly you will be using is a size 8-14 Muddler Minnow!
The Muddler Minnow invented by Don Gapin is the one of the under used flies in existence
today. This method is so deadly on some streams that I hate to tell people about it. Why is this so
deadly? Because in the late summer and early fall waters begin to change from the summer temperature regime
to the fall. Also, as the sunlight and temperature changes trout instinctively put on poundage for the winner. The
strikes can be spectacular when fishing this fly. I prefer the larger sizes but match the fly size to your
stream. The fly imitates everything from hoppers, to minnows, to terrestrials that fall into the stream.
The Muddler is fished directly upstream! Cast the fly against the banks, into the pockets,
under the brush, in any time of water. Let the fly float sometimes, then twitch it. Bounce it off the
rocks. Retrieve it slowly sometimes, at other times fish it fast. You can use many techniques on the
retrieves, On some days for some reason one or two techniques work well on other days different fish respond
You will increase your hooking rate to over 75% by fishing the fly directly upstream. Keep your rod
tip down when stripping and hooking the fish. Do not use light leaders. You need at least 3 or 4 x. Big
trout will break you off and you must be able to horse a fish in on occasion.
Wade carefully and use Polarized Glasses and small binoculars on some streams to spot the
fish. Make your casts accurate and don't over cast because you can still spook the fish. Be ready for a
strike as soon as the fly hits the water. I like the standard Muddler pattern but sometimes a white
Muddler or a combination of colors will work better. If you properly wade and fish this fly as I have just
told you'll catch fish that you never knew existed!