Fly Patterns for the Fall Spawn
By Doc Trout
I was thinking about the Brown Trout spawn here in western North Carolina the other day which generally starts sometime in October in our local Wild Water streams as well as the Speckled and Brook Trout spawns that generally start in November here in the same streams and this led me to consider appropriate fly patterns for these spawning periods. Thus, according to the research that I have done, a Trout's egg has a gestation period of approximately one to two months depending on the water temperature (the colder the water is, the longer the eggs require to develop). Then, once the eggs hatch, the Alevin take approximately one to one and one half months to consume their yolk sack (again dependent upon water temperature).
Therefore, it seems to me that during the months of October and November respectively, Brown Trout, Speckled Trout, and Brook Trout are likely to be very aggressive to what I like to think of as "predator streamers" such as the Black Nosed Dace and the Muddler Minnow (which imitates both a Sculpin and Chub) because this is the one time of year that these little fish (that are normally the Trout's prey) get to turn the tables by sealing and eating Trout eggs from the Redd. In addition, both adult Trout (those who are sexually mature) and especially juvenile Trout (those who are not sexually mature) are not above gulping down the occasional stray egg that has been washed away from the Redd and is drifting in the current or is rolling along the stream bed.
Consequently, it has been my experience that streamer patterns such as the Black Nosed Dace, the Muddler Minnow, and Alevin imitations tend to draw a lot of strikes from aggressive Trout during this period. In addition, this is also a good time to fish with egg patterns. Personally, I prefer the Glo Bug type in Pink with a red dot and Orange with a red dot in a size 12 and I like to place a small spit shot about six inches above the leader.