BY GARRISON DOCTOR
Garrison is the co-founder of RepYourWater with his wife Corinne. RepYourWater is a fly fishing apparel brand with a commitment to giving back to the outdoors. To date, they have donated over $300,000 to conservation partners that support wild waters and wild places. Garrison took some time off the water to put together these pointers and suggestions for anglers of all abilities.
7 Tips to Crush your Fall Fishing Trip:
Set aside some time before your fall fishing trip to really go through and organize your gear. It’s been a long and busy summer, we get it. If you are like us, your fishing and camping stuff is all over the place. This is the perfect opportunity to get your DECKED Drawer System dialed and straightened, all of your rods and lines ready to rock and your flies in neat little rows. We all know that feeling when you need a piece of gear and you know exactly where it is - that satisfaction will be worth your efforts!
2. Pack Apparel for Any Weather
Fall, more than any other time of the year, has very unpredictable weather that can change quickly. This means you need well-thought-out, functional layers and options. Another key is to take care of your extremities with some good Merino wool socks (see RYW socks) and a warm knit hat (see RYW knit hats).
3. Backup Plan
Fall is no doubt our favorite time of the year, but it also brings volatile weather. With that in mind, depending on the scope of your fishing trip, think about some backup plans. If you are just blasting up to the mountains for the day, this may mean packing a heavier fly rod in case it is windy/stormy to throw streamers with. If you are planning a multiday trip, think about some backup locations that are easily accessible in inclement weather.
If you have a River Quiver rod vault or some other way to safely carry pre-rigged rods in your truck, take the time and set up a few set rods for different tactics. After a long drive, it will be awesome to pull up to the water, grab a rod and be able to get a few casts in before dark. If you have the rods to support it, rig up a couple of options. Examples of what I would prep for a typical Mountain West trout fishing trip would be:
- A streamer rig - My go-to is a 9’ 6wt Sage X with a floating or clear tip line. Try an Umpqua Feather Merchants “Sparring Partner” in tan or white, they are good anywhere.
- A dry fly rod - Blue Winged Olives are almost always active during the fall, so a small CDC BWO would be my go to here for the fly. My favorite rod for this is a 8’6” T&T Paradigm.
- A nymphing rod - I like a 10’ 4-6wt for a classic indicator set up, depending on the water. Otherwise, a 10’ 3wt for a “modern nymphing” approach.
5. Plan Some Legit Hot Meals
I am going to assume here you are truck camping, in which case there is no reason you need to be eating freeze-dried mush out of a bag. My Camp Chef Everest two burner stove is always ready to go in my DECKED drawers. While it requires a little extra preparation, think about having something really tasty you can cook in one pan. I love good brats with a pre-made side or two, or a big pan of fajitas (pre-chop everything and throw it in the cooler) served with warm tortillas and a cold beer.
6. New Water or New Approach
I absolutely love exploring new water. There is something so intriguing about the unknown, the possibilities. I encourage you to do a little research, scout some digital maps and check out something entirely new. If you are fishing a familiar piece of water, which is also a great feeling, think about fishing it with a new approach. If you usually fish it with a dry dropper set up moving upstream for example, think about fishing it moving downstream with a streamer. You may see holding water and fish that you did not before.
7. Pack Tunes
After a long day enjoying just the sounds of the water and the wind in the fall leaves, some good tunes at camp can really tie the room together if you will. With Bluetooth speakers these days, this is easier than ever. I recently got a TurtleBox speaker that puts out some serious sound, is rugged, waterproof and really gets the good vibes flowing at camp...