Fall is here and with it the colors, cool temperatures and trout rising to BWO’s. It has been a while since I had a couple hours to find trout and with the catch and release season almost half over I made a few moves to spend more time near the stream. The fall is one of my favorite times to be a trout angler here in the driftless area especially when I can stand in the rain and watch trout surface repeatedly. I wasn’t out for long but I have plans to spend more time near the water soon. From 1-3pm I managed a few dozen fish on a #12 Hairball. Fish were taking it with just about any presentation be it dead-drifted, on the swing or down and in. I had a rocket of a brown come out from a rock outcropping and smash my fly as I brought it up into some faster water on a down and in presentation. I had tried multiple dead drifts on this particular run with no success and with this heavier pattern I typically try and drop it down and in on a run if nothing comes from the dead drift, this time it worked out. This trout was so dark that I thought it was a brookie at first. I took a handful more and rolled a seriously nice fish that was high in the riffle. I saw the orange flash turn and chase but not commit. The BWO’s came out steady from 1-3 pm peaking at about 2:15 pm which brought a steady stream of rising trout to the surface. The rain was light to moderate for the first hour letting up for the latter half. The air temps were in the upper 50’s, water temps in the mid 40’s. This is a good time to be a trout angler spend as much time outside as you can.



    1. Paul,
      The Hairball is a pattern I came up with years ago for a special contest I was invited to called the Pet Fly Smackdown which required you to tie and fish a pattern made from some pet you owned. It’s extremely easy to tie and very effective. It is one of my go-to fly patterns for this area especially the #12 because it can be fished like nymph then immediately turned and used as a mini-streamer. Below are links for two videos I’ve made detailing the pattern. It has nothing to do with a BWO nymph or dry fly, it just happens to be a good all around pattern that I fished before the trout really started rising hard. Hope this helps.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *