Fall is a glorious time of year to be a trout angler. When fall creeps in, it brings with it a number of elements that, as trout anglers, are essential to capitalize on before Mother Winter comes and takes the reins. That said, these elements change trout behavior and make it a prime time to target big trout. In this blog you will find 3 key ways to use TroutRoutes to target big trout in the fall. 

Look for Tributary Waters

Tributary Water Pouring Into a Bigger System

Like many other species, both land and water-based, fall is a time of movement for trout. This movement is a direct result of the spawning season. When water temperatures and flows get to a certain point in the fall and spring, fish look for ideal spawning territory in their respective water systems. In many cases, bigger systems have connecting tributaries that are more suitable for spawning trout. This brings us to our first tip: look for tributary streams when searching for big trout in the fall. Use TroutRoutes to identify smaller tributaries that pour into bigger systems that you know hold big trout. Targeting these smaller tributaries can make it easier to locate fish, as opposed to fishing those massive rivers where a fish could be anywhere. Also, by doing so you are taking advantage of those fall fish movements. One thing to note is that this tactic obviously works better for tributaries to Great Lakes that contain salmon and other migratory fish. However, don’t be fooled. “Resident” trout like their tributaries too, especially ones with sand and gravel. 

* Remember to mind your state and local fishing regulations and never fish out of season!

Cut Banks are your Friend 

Arial View of a Water Surrounded by Cut Banks

Another thing to look for, in combination with tributary water, is territory with cut banks. Cut banks are a paradise for big fish! They provide the ultimate cover for a big and smart trout that want to hide out from predators, but still keep a prime position to ambush prey of their own. In many cases, cut banks can be several feet deep and provide a completely unique habitat of their own. When using TroutRoutes to scout big fish water, look for open grassy areas of streams that run through fields and cow pastures, as these are usually areas with those deep and nasty cut banks. Even if the stream thins out to only a few feet wide in these spots, remember that it is actually several feet wider, as it extends under those cut banks. 

Try Different Access Points

TroutRoutes Helps to Easily Identify Different Access Points

Dialing in a stream that holds big trout can often take time. With smaller tributaries, it usually takes less time. That said, you still might have to fish multiple sections of a stream to figure out where the big trout are living. Unless it is blatantly clear that the water is just no good, don’t be afraid to hop around and fish different areas of a stream. Go low, go high, and go in between! Use TroutRoutes to identify different access points to most efficiently use your time. There is no need to go on multiple mile death hikes through dead water if you can skip ahead and try a new section from a different access point. Also, don’t forget to target those cut banks and areas that are sources of springs, as trout often like to congregate towards springs (time of year depending)!

*Don’t forget to contact your local fly shops for information in your area