Fall Fly Fishing Gear Guide (2023)
Fall is a great time of year for fly fishing. Fish are aggressive pre-spawn, water temps have cooled down, and often the crowds are a fraction of what is seen in the Spring months. To fully enjoy the season, you want to have the best fly fishing gear for fall. Here's our fall fly fishing gear guide to help:
Your first line of defense against what can be frigid water temps should be a good one. Here's our top picks.
Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip Front Waders
These are Patagonia’s fully featured, top of the line waders, and they don’t leave much to desire. They feature an internal waterproof pocket, two front fly box pockets, small side hand warmer pockets, and a waterproof front zipper. They are made with durable, 100% recycled, polyester microfiber H2No® Performance Standard shell with a waterproof/breathable barrier and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. They are made with single-seam construction for durability and a gusseted crotch for freedom of movement and comfort. They have a 4 layer upper and lower all with a dwr finish. Some find these too heavy for the warmer, summer months, but as water temperatures cool down the protection against the elements that the Swiftcurrent Expedition's provide is extremely welcome.
Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-Front Waders
Simms Confluence Waders
"The new Confluence waders from Simms have been a welcome addition to the Simms line of waders. With 4-Layers of Toray on both the upper and lower, durable neoprene knee construction for extra abrasion resistance, and plenty of storage, these are a versatile pair of waders that will hold up great in the fall months."
The Patagonia Forra Wading boots are built for long hikes to the water and the slick rocks that lie below it. These boots are slim and minimalistic yet aggressively designed when needed, and the large surface area of the Vibram Mars sole and the HexaBase lugs on the outsole combine for maximum grip and stability. These are an awesome new boot here at TCO in 2023 that are now many of our go to options.
Read our full review of the Patagonia Forra Wading Boots here.
Patagonia Forra Wading Boots
Layering gives you the freedom to vary your level of insulation, and provide the warmth you need when fishing in the harshest of conditions.
"When it comes to staying warm during fall fly fishing. Layering is of the utmost importance. Patagonia’s Nano Puff jacket is the perfect synthetic insulation layer to have on for fall. You can keep it on for the cool morning chill, and then easily pack it into your bag once it warms up outside. The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody is one of my most used layering pieces. Not only does it keep you warm, It’s also extremely light and packable. Perfect for cold mornings, and easy to stow away when not in use."
"Early morning guide trips on the ocean can be pretty cold, not to mention wet! The Simms Bulkley Jacket has become my go-to piece. It's not only insulated, it's waterproof. The adjustable sleeve cuffs help make the fit perfect. If you haven't experienced the warmth and function of an insulated, waterproof jacket and have just been adding more layers under a waterproof shell, this jacket will change your thinking and comfort level."
- Capt. Jeff Coen Relentless Fly Fishing Saltwater Guide
Waterproof packs have become an excellent way to keep things dry and safe when out on the water. It can be important to have a waterproof pack to keep things safe when you are carrying extra insulation layers, gloves/hats, or electronics like a camera or phone. Here are our top choices for waterproof packs this fall:
Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Sling Pack
With the change in seasons comes unpredictable weather and circumstances. If you’re going to be wading deep, or are packing in extra insulation/things you need to keep dry, the Fishpond Submersible packs are the perfect option.
Orvis Pro Waterproof Packs
We’d recommend these Orvis submersible packs over the Fishpond ones if you needed some extra room to carry some bulkier things like a jacket, gloves, hat etc.
Minimalist Pack Option:
Sometimes, less is more out on the water. The Simms tributary hybrid chestpack fits that bill perfectly. This little pack is one of our favorites to come out recently. It’s simple, yet has the perfect amount of well placed features. It can hold just the right amount of gear, and is perfect for lightweight fall excursions. Plus, it is only $99.99.
Simms Tributary Hybrid Chestpack is a great minimalist pack option that is new in Fall of 2023
Dry Fly / All Around Rod
The Orvis Clearwater is simply the best rod for the money. For just $249.00 you get high quality feel, amazing casting ability, and great versatility. We'd recommend this rod for any time of the year really, but the versatility of the 9' 5 weight Clearwater shines in the fall months as you can go from slinging articulated streamers to indicator nymphing with ease.
Euro Nymphing Rod
Fall still presents great Euro Nymphing opportunities and jig streamers can be extremely effective with aggressive trout. If you're in the market for a euro nymphing rod this fall, you won't be disappointed with the Diamondback Ideal Nymph Rod selection.
"My favorite rod and the one that I’m currently using the most is the Diamondback Ideal Nymph Rod 10’ 10” #2. Whether you’re throwing two 2.0 mm bead nymphs, a dry dropper system, or a jig streamer, it’s incredible tippet protection and sensitivity will get the job done."
Orvis Helios 3D 9' 7 Weight
The Orvis Helios 3D 907 provides enhanced power and exceptional accuracy to the streamer focused fly angler. Whether you are throwing floating line and small weighted streamers or sinking lines and articulated monsters. The 907 has enough power to get your flies to their destination and is light enough not to blow your arm out casting all day.
Orvis Helios 3D 9' 7 Weight
Rods For Steelhead
"For steelhead fishing on Lake Ontario tributaries, I'd recommend a seven weight rod that's ten feet in length. 8 pound tippet is the norm, with certain conditions calling for 10 pound, and low, clear and cold conditions requiring 6 pound. The longer rod has a deeper flex and protects the light tippet. You'll find a ten foot rod allows you to anchor a roll cast when fishing clunky indicator rigs. 10 foot rods also allow more line control across different seams and current breaks- so you can achieve a drag free drift."
Two-Handed Rods for Steelhead
"If you're committing to steelhead fishing, and plan on putting in some days each season, you may find two-handed rods are the way to fish. Swinging flies to steelhead is considered by many to be the ultimate thrill in steelhead fishing. For this, a seven or eight weight rod that is 11 to 13 feet in length works well on Lake Ontario tributaries."
Two-Handed Steelhead Rods:
Check out our full Steelhead gear guide
Neil Sunday Releasing a Great Lakes Steelhead
Lamson Liquid & Remix 3 Packs and Individual Reels are 30% Off this Fall
This fall, Lamson has their Liquid and Remix reels on sale, available in three packs and individual reels. These reels were already a great value option, and were some of the best reels for the price. Now with 30% off, it's a no brainer. Be sure to check out this sale this Fall.
Darn Tough makes great socks for hunting which are perfect for under waders. They provide excellent warmth while remaining breathable. The heavyweight style is for the coldest conditions, but if you regularly suffer cold feet in waders these could be a good solution. Plus, they are guaranteed for life, and if you ever get a hole in them, they’ll hook you up with another pair.
Simms Merino Thermal OTC Socks
The Simms heavyweight thermal socks are perfect for keeping your feet warm in the cold water temps that come with fall, and when steelheading. They rise up over your calf for extra support and warmth, and are made of merino wool.
Simms Merino Thermal OTC Socks Heavyweight
It's extremely important to stand out when fishing in game lands during hunting season. There are some great hi vis options to choose from by Simms, Patagonia, Buff, and more.
The Fall presents a dynamic season when it comes to choosing fly patterns. You will likely want to carry a variety of dry flies and nymphs, and likely some more streamers than usual as the streamer bite starts to pick up in the fall season. Check out our blog on the Best Fall Fly Patterns for Trout to help narrow down your options.
Also, be sure to check out our Best Fall Fly Patterns for Trout Collection.
Fall is an excellent time to be out on the water. However the cold weather and water temperatures can cut your day short if you're not prepared. Make sure to gear up right, so that the only thing from keeping you from the water is you. Which of these gear options do you plan on picking up this fall season?
Fall Gear Guide
Original price $ 799.00 - Original price $ 799.00Original price$ 799.00$ 799.00 - $ 799.00Current price $ 799.00
Our most reliable, fully featured waders have a waterproof front zip and adjustable, quick-release suspenders. Rear-buckle system allows for quick ...View full detailsOriginal price $ 799.00 - Original price $ 799.00Original price$ 799.00$ 799.00 - $ 799.00Current price $ 799.00
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Our heaviest, most fully featured waders have a waterproof front zipper and an adjustable quick-release suspender for conversion from chest to wais...View full detailsOriginal price $ 799.00 - Original price $ 799.00Original price $ 799.00$ 799.00$ 799.00 - $ 799.00Current price $ 799.00
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Designed for anglers who work all the angles, the Confluence Stockingfoot provides the perfect balance of rugged durability, freedom of movement, a...View full detailsOriginal price $ 549.95 - Original price $ 549.95Original price $ 549.95$ 549.95$ 549.95 - $ 549.95Current price $ 549.95
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NEW for 2022!! Simms' long-standing, award-winning wader is back with an exciting update to the material package, improved fit, and an enhanced fea...View full detailsOriginal price $ 699.95 - Original price $ 699.95Original price$ 699.95$ 699.95 - $ 699.95Current price $ 699.95
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Engineered for trail and river, the Forra Wading Boots are lightweight without sacrificing performance. Built with Vibram® Mars sole technology...View full detailsOriginal price $ 299.00 - Original price $ 299.00Original price $ 299.00$ 299.00$ 299.00 - $ 299.00Current price $ 299.00
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Workbook Overview Warm, windproof, water-resistant—the Nano Puff® Vest uses incredibly lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold I...View full detailsOriginal price $ 189.00 - Original price $ 189.00Original price $ 189.00$ 189.00$ 189.00 - $ 189.00Current price $ 189.00