Understanding Stillwater Trout – Part 7: Fishing in Fall

Previously we discussed . Now we’ll focus on the next season, fall is a great time to be out fishing for trout.  The weather is mostly good, kids are back in school and many anglers are off targeting salmon.  This means you can have some great days out on the water and have the lake all to yourself.

In the previous article we talked about fishing in summer.  Summer is dominated by warm water and a deep thermocline.  Fall, on the other hard is a time of cooling waters.

Fall trout from Beaver Lake
Fall trout from Beaver Lake

Early Fall

Early fall is much like the end of summer.  A deep thermocline and warm water.  The lures and locations are the same as late summer.  Target the points, drop offs and depths.

My favorite lures during this time are:

Mid Fall

By mid fall we are experiencing cooling waters, which are more comfortable for the trout.  When we see the surface temperature get close to mid 60s then we’ll start to see more surface activity again.

We can still target the thermocline and have a productive day, but the shoals and weedlines become more of an option as the trout will increasingly target food in those areas.

The trout will be looking to bulk up for winter, so larger lures that offer the trout a good meal can work wonders.  However due we want to keep the colors dull, so as not to spook the trout.

The best lures fall lures I use are:

Late Fall

By late fall the water temperature at the surface will be dropping below 50 degrees, and life will slow down for the trout.

This is the time to watch out for turnover if and when it happens, it is best to fish elsewhere for a few days while the trout settle down to the new environment.  You can tell turnover has happened because the water will be quite dirty and have bits of debris in it.

Given the colder water we need to slow down our presentation for the trout.  We also need bright colored lures that will stimulate the trout to bite.

This time of year I typically find fish in 2 depths – near the surface or right off bottom.  If fishing shoal areas and close to the shoreline then they are more likely to be right off the bottom.

Warmer days are best, and it is no longer as critical to fish early morning times.

My favorite lures to use at this time are:


Fall starts off with a deep thermocline, and gradually changes to conditions more similar spring.  Fishing big lures is best, dull colors at first and then bright colors as the water cools.

Next we’ll complete the seasons and cover .

For more information about fishing for trout, please check out the trout page.

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