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  • Writer's pictureBrian Lansing

Fly Flinging Into The Fall

Fall fly fishing in Central NY
Fly fishing in a tight spot this week in Central NY. Fall fly fishing is almost here!

Looking forward to fall? Me too, and it’ll be upon us quickly. The fishing, hunting, hiking possibilities are endless. I look forward to a reprieve from the heat of July, August, and early September. Summer, however, is yet to unclench its tight grip and let go with low – mid 80s forecast for the weekend (double thumbs down!). There are signs that fall is on its way, just not quite here yet. Salmon have moved into the river up north. Leaves are starting to change and overnight lows are much cooler. We’re just waiting for some decent rainfall to really kick the fall season into gear, get the trout moving, and bring them out of their summer hideouts.

Fall fly fishing in Central NY
Fall fly fishing is starting here in Central NY. The water is still low, but things are coming around.

By late September, I anticipate fly fishing the creeks in Central NY and Upstate NY will be in full swing. October and November are some of my favorite times to be out on the creeks and my schedule is filling up quickly (still plenty of dates & options left). I look forward to the fall season every year. If you’re looking for colored up and beautiful wild brown trout, this is your time to get on the creeks. Nymphing still is our predominant method of fly fishing, but streamer fishing comes into play a bit more as well.

Late summer fly fishing in Central NY
Late summer fly fishing in Central NY.

Summer was tough this year. Heat and low water made conditions challenging for the last two months, limiting the areas we could safely practice catch & release fly fishing. As water temps rose to 70+ on many streams and flows dwindled to a trickle reminiscent to that of a garden hose, we looked toward the creeks with a constant supply of cold water. Low water makes fishing challenging in the creeks, but doable so long as there is cold water. As the water approaches 70 degrees, dissolved oxygen content in the water decreases drastically and trout cannot survive and recover from a battle. They can, and do, survive just fine on their own accord, but they can’t handle the added stress of a fight. Better conditions are here, though! This week was great as far as water temperatures go.

Thank you to all of my guests this summer who joined me for guided trips, classes, and lessons. I appreciate everyone’s understanding and flexibility with scheduling and getting on the water. Unfortunately, I did have to cancel/postpone a handful of times due to conditions, but it’s important to look out for our finned friends if we want to keep them around and healthy!

I’ve gotten back into the woodshop a bit this summer and I’ll be continuing that trend through the fall months as well. The net stocking, or re-stocking in some cases, is underway. Some will be posted on my website ( within the next few days. Other options and new nets will follow suit within the next few weeks, and even more as we get closer to the holidays. Some of the more exotic handles (Leopardwood, Yucatan Rosewood, Redheart, Bubinga, Cumaru, Canarywood, Purpleheart, etc.) will be posted/announced on my social media pages as well as on the store page. A few other items will make their way to the page before the holidays as well. For those of you who have purchased nets already, I truly appreciate your support!

Looking ahead, I do expect conditions to greatly improve in the next couple of weeks. By October, I expect, and hope, that conditions will be in full swing with active trout. They’ll start to migrate a bit as we get closer to the spawn further into the fall. As I mentioned previously, nymphing will be the primary focus, as it typically is. However, streamer fishing is very fun and will play an increased role in my tactics, whether it’s the old down & across method, or jigging streamers. As fall wears on, be mindful of the redds! We’re quite a ways off from the spawn locally, but it’s never too early to be mindful of wear you walk. Redds are the trout nests and are future of the fishery. By mid – late October, a few on certain streams will start to show up. Other local creeks don’t see spawners until late November and December. For the next 3 months, just be on the lookout for redds. And while I can’t tell you what to do, I strongly encourage folks to leave any fish alone they see on redds as they are busy making more trout.

While my primary focus is always the trout creeks, fall brings better fishing opportunities just about everywhere. The lakes start to cool and the warmwater species (walleye, bass, perch, etc.) become more active. Salmon and steelhead season is upon us and will continue throughout the fall. In addition to all of the fishing, hunting season takes shape with ducks, geese, deer, bunnies, squirrels, bears, pheasants, grouse, turkey, and so on. Fall is also my favorite time to be in the mountains and do some hiking. Cooler temps, drier trails, and some leaf peeping makes for some great day hiking. Fall is truly and outdoorsman/woman’s dream season.

Then, there’s fall baseball and playoff baseball (go Yankees!). Then there’s football season. It feels good to be a Bills fan right now, though I’m being cautious about getting too excited. The only problem with fall is trying to get all the fun into such a short 3-month period of time! Actually, my one other problem with fall is all the pumpkin spice garbage out there… I don’t want pumpkin coffee, or donuts, or candles, and especially beer. Coffee should taste like coffee and beer should taste like beer. The only acceptable version of pumpkin beer I’ll take is when it’s layered with Guinness (if you haven’t tried it, I encourage it), though then you’re messing with a perfectly good Guinness. Aside from that, pumpkin pie is acceptable as well and that’s about it. I digress…

Fly fishing in Central NY
Success! Fly fishing conditions in Central NY will improve in the next couple of weeks.

Fall is almost here, and if you’re not getting ready for the fishing/hunting/outdoor season head, you should be. My calendar is filling up, but I have plenty of options to fit folks in for trips, classes, and lessons. Feel free to reach out! If you’re new to fly fishing, fall is a great time to learn and get started. I look forward to seeing everyone on the water and outdoors this fall! As always, I appreciate your time, and thanks for reading!



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