Fly fishing is all about presentation. More often than not, we are trying to present the fly in as natural of a way as possible. Picking the correct colors, appearance, and placing a cast so that the fly approaches the fish within the natural flow of the stream are keys to success, but that isn’t always possible.
October takes us deep into the fall transition and with that the air becomes crisper, the leaves turn colors and fall, and the wind successfully blows everything into the streams. On days where the water is cluttered with debris, don’t be afraid to go against the norm and add some motion or “unnatural” movement to your approach.
In October, adding some motion to your presentation can do one of two things. The first and most obvious is showing the fish that your fly is not a piece of inedible debris floating by. Adding a twitch to your retrieve will call attention to your fly, notifying the fish that there is a tasty bite amongst the floating debris.
The second thing that adding motion to your presentation can do is trigger a reaction strike. This time of year can be post-spawn for several species of fish, and while they aren’t actively feeding, a spunky critter moving in their face may cause them to strike anyway.
Dry fly fishing will slow down in the fall, but hatches still occur, and on warmer sunny days a variety of hatches are possible. If you find yourself fishing dries among the fallen foliage, be sure to give it a little action and distinguish it amongst the debris.
Skating flies is a good tactic. If you’re dead drifting, swing your fly at the end of the run and give it a few twitches on the swing – this can be a great strategy to entice a fish that’s been following to go ahead and take.