Adam and I were finally able to get out and walk the river together for our fall trip. The bluebird day was a little windy but manageable. We started on the river and had little activity. The water is fairly low and we just could not seem to move any fish. A quick rally was planned and we headed to a nearby lake I have frequented lately. The fish were still active and cruising and we managed to take some nice bruisers with Adam connecting on a giant female brown trout. She really put on a show and was so large she got in the net but simply rolled out and slipped away. It was the biggest brown I have seen all year and it put up a tremendous battle to test Adam. We continued to take some nice browns and I managed one brutally powerful snake river finespotted cutthroat that was thick bodied and fat and trying to eat its way into winter. We ended the day with a nice 90 Schilling on the way home and an urge to get back out on the water again as soon as we possibly can.
Another day spent in pursuit of brown trout. They always capture my imagination in the fall with their beautiful coloring and varied spotting patterns. Each one is so unique in its own individual expression of color and design. The fish seemed to be active but certainly not to the extent of last week. I was still throwing the intermediate sink line with heavy streamer or bugger all day and it definitely wears out the arm working into the wind. The payoff is well worth it however and I believe I will head back soon as winter will be upon us much too quickly, icing over some of my favorite places and relegating me to a life spent entirely on the river.
The brown trout were on the prowl, taking offense at streamers in their vicinity and hammering them with a vengeance. Strikes were fast, hard, and plentiful throughout the day but things got really insane at the end of the day. The water went through three stages: morning calm, midday heavy whitecaps, and back to an evening chop and calm. The fish were active and angry in every stage pounding away at the buggers we were throwing. I managed my best brown of the year in the early morning calm.
The plains lakes keep calling to me, luring me in with the hopes of big rainbows or a monster cutthroat. The promise of a clockwork midge hatch is enough to keep me in the float tube trying to find them. Rain was again in the forecast but the day turned out just partly cloudy and very temperate. So, out I went tubing and found a few rainbow trout willing to display their acrobatic jumps and hard fighting nature. The best fish of the day was a decent 19 incher. Given the choice between passively watching football and actively chasing trout in the float tube, I think I made the right choice today.
Although the river flow is down and rain was in the forecast, Eric and I ventured out for a nice afternoon and evening hiking through the canyon and casting buggers for brown trout. The rain stopped for good after the first fifteen minutes on the water leaving us with an overcast shady day just perfect for getting the trout moving about. We had a great time taking in all the colors in the canyon and even managed a few brown trout as well. I fished the three weight which turned out to be just the right rod for playing the fish in the river. I hope to make it back out next weekend for some more fall exploration in the canyon. It was truly a spectacular day of color and fly fishing.
I was able to take advantage of a lake close to town and get a couple hours on the water before darkness. The rainbows were active even with the constantly changing weather conditions. The wind and rain were shifting directions and finally a break in the weather allowed for a little easier time maneuvering in the float tube. The rainbows were striking hard and acrobatically leaping during every battle. It made for a nice trip out in the tube. The last part of the evening the water laid down flat and I went up top with a caddis dry to take the final fish of the night.