What fishing fly is best for autumn fly fishing?

Before setting off for fly fishing today I was pondering the following question: What fishing fly is best for autumn fly fishing?

I found out the answer in the most enjoyable way. Six great rainbows and countless others missed during a great day of autumn fly fishing at Bessy Beck.

Fly fishing in the autumn is my favourite time of the year. The water gets colder by the day. Insect life is on the decline. The trout become more active and feed aggressively compared to the summer months.

What fishing fly is best for autumn fly fishing?

Today was a typical day of autumn fly fishing. When I arrived at 8am sharp the weather was 1.5 degrees above freezing and the 3 lakes were shrouded in a fog reminiscent of the famous scene from ‘The Exorcist’.

I managed to secure a spot in an area that hasn’t had been fished, something I like to do when arriving at any Stillwater. This means that the fish that I covered hadn’t had dozens of flies across their heads or experienced the splashes of less than delicate casts.

I started with a size 14 Daddy Long Legs, caked in Gink, on the point plus a size 16 black epoxy buzzer on the dropper. After a slow jerky retrieve I landed a 2lb Rainbow Trout which started the day off pretty well.. no blank today!

Fly fishing in changing conditions

The next few hours were pretty slow as the Cumbrian mist gradually subsided. Withe the warmer weather the fish aggressively attacked the Daddy Long Legs as soon as it hit the water.

I caught two fish on the dropper, possibly attracted by the Daddy landing on the water. I had interest on a variety of dropper flies throughout the day:

  • Olive Epoxy Buzzer (16)
  • Black Shipman’s Buzzer (16)
  • Kate McLaren (14)
  • Diawl Bach (14)

By lunchtime Bessy Beck was like a clear summer day, with the temperature at 19 degrees and the sun burning my neck.

What fly is best for autumn fishing?

In my opinion it has to be the Daddy Long Legs. Today it drew attention from the fish at all times. Sometimes on landing. Often when left static. Regularly when retrieved with a jerky movement that created a wake on the gin clear water.

The excitement of an immediate take and the anticipation of a fish chasing a the Daddies wake are unmatched, save for a Muddler perhaps in late October.

What do you think? What is your favourite autumnal fishing fly?

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