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Falling for Streamers?-Autumn Streamer Fishing Quick tips

Autumn Streamer fishing

 Do you want to see a big aggressive wild brown trout throw caution to the wind and absolutely burst your fly? If the answer is yes then Autumn streamer fishing could be for you. Most anglers have some idea that the late season is a good time for streamer trout fishing. We fish streamers all year but there are a number of reasons why the odds may be a little more in your favour coming to the backend of the season.  Some of the considerations for Autumn are below. The other articles on this site also apply so get stuck in and if we can help just shout.

Autumn moods created the opportunity to catch this fish on a river where they are difficult to get in summer

Fish Behaviour

This time of year fish are likely to be much more aggressive. We already know they are very territorial but this is highly exacerbated as the reproductive urge builds in them. This is as a result of both hormonal changes and a desire to feed heavily to deal with the winter and for many fish the spawning period ahead. A big male trout is likely to savage a smaller trout that comes near his territory at this time. The big guy is gearing up for fertilising the hens so his instinct will be to keep others away.
There is also a lot of movement as fish migrate through river systems and you may find fish in water types and areas of pools that haven't held fish during the season.
In Ireland we will have larger lake run trout in our rivers, locally they have names such as Croneen and Dollaghan. Traditionally they are fished for with smaller wet flies and often in low water at night, however they are also very partial to a 4 inch plus articulated streamer! Both trout and salmon often wake up from their slumber where they may not have been active for some time. For the reasons above we may have a target that wasn't available during the summer.

Brown trout are beautiful but in their Autumn colours they are stunning!


We tend to find more favourable daytime fishing conditions for Salmonids at this time of year. Gone are the higher air and water temperatures that have kept us away from the river during the day in summer. Evening dry fly fishing is quiet and feeding windows for fish are often during the day in the late season. We generally have more days with cloudy conditions, lower humidity and generally dirty days that brown trout and salmon love. So we can conclude that the change in conditons that the season provides, triggers a change in fish behaviour

This coloured grilse woke up from his sleep and took it out on a Knick Knack


In Autumn, water levels are more suited to streamer fishing as we will normally have more rain coming at this time. A touch of colour in rivers works wonders for hunting predatory trout as they like low light conditions.
Don't neglect lake fishing either as its possible to sort out some of the better fish with the big flies at this time of year. As always try to cover lots of water and if you find fish in a particular water type then really take note and understand why it worked out. Mix-up retrieve speeds and presentation angles to find out what the fish want. In colder water temps it can pay to slow right down.
Knick Knack is a lethal fly in Autumn


Our standard recommendations apply for this style of streamer fishing. See the other articles on the site. In terms of flies it pays to have a couple of bright colours like white and yellow along with some subtle imitative patterns like the Knick Knack and the Bottle of Gas. Let your confidence decide which fly is best and the fish will let you know what they think.

Be sure to strip strike, we've talked about fish hitting the fly and not sticking, If you strip strike and the fish isn't there at first, at least the fly is still in the zone. Keep the rod low when playing your prize!

Lastly we've had too many people come to us with tales of monster trout that broke their 6-8lbs tippet when trying out streamers for the first time. Do not under any circumstances use anything less than 15lbs for fishing large streamers or you will almost certainly go home in tears!!

Comments (2)

Great tips, the articles on the site have helped me alot. I got a couple of nice fish this year on the bottle of gas

Awesome article! Thank you.

P.S. I would love to see some articles about great places to experience the variety of Irish Fishing. Being from South Africa, that would be a fascinating read for planning a trip to Ireland.

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