Jeff Murray likes this time of the year because the large trout feed well. Just remember the Brook Trout are well underway with their spawning by mid-October here in the mid-Atlantic area. Please refrain from fishing the native Brook Trout streams until late February (the eggs have hatched by then).
As the trout streams start getting colder an easy way to stay warm and comfortable is to wear a 200 weight pair of polartec pants under your waders.
Many brown trout begin feeding actively in the large streams in the fall. One of my most productive tactics to catch these trout is to fish a big nymph such as a Bitch Creek Nymph 8 or a Murray’s Olive Road Kill Nymph 8 upstream dead drift right below the heaviest riffles. I started doing this many years ago on the Yellowstone River just upstream of Livingston, Montana and even my guide, Ray Hurley, could not believe how many large trout fell to this tactic.
I wade into the riffle corner 100 feet below the riffle and fly fish these big nymphs upstream so they drift back downstream on a dead drift just like a real nymph would if he were caught by the current. I like to keep my cast shorter than 30 feet because it is imperative to see these strikes on my indicator system. To help see these strikes I use our Bright Butt Leaders and space two Scientific Angler Indicators along them.
I fish these riffles thoroughly by wading as far out in the river as possible and wade upstream as long as the riffle is three feet deep.
Late in the fall and during the winter you may spot trout feeding on the surface on beatis mayflies or chironomid midges. It is important to discern which they are taking so you fish the correct fly. It is easy to tell the difference if you can catch the fly because the midge has no tail and the mayfly does.