Yes indeed it is and officially so starting tomorrow Saturday, September 22. The foliage shows it as do the brown trout. Reds and oranges and yellows in the aspen and cottonwood bottoms serve as the backdrop. Brown trout dressed in their finest deep chocolate attire, accented by white and black fins frolic near beds of gravel and long tail-out pools. It’s that time of the year. The light is angled, casting long shadows pointing northward even during the height of the midday sun. Mornings are all about polar fleece and afternoons are ripe for shorts and a light shirt. Layering is never more important than it is now. It’s a funky, demanding, and oh so fleeting time. Long story short …. it’s been killer and is getting better daily.
Although the streamer fishing has of course been best during periods of dark skies and limited sun, the nymphing during those blue bird gorgeous fall afternoons has been mighty fine as well…. strangely fine in fact. Dry flies have been pretty much a non-player even though there is a bunch of baetis on the water in the late afternoons. It’s only a matter of time until the fish start looking up, there is simply too much food going by not to take advantage of those calories. And speaking of dry flies which the fish don’t give a ripe about, I’ve been shocked at the numbers of big stoneflies I’ve seen on the water and there is still a pile of little caddis in the bushes. And, then there are the October caddis, size huge, which are often seen flying over the river, but alas, the fish still apparently prefer their meals served subsurface and thus, the dries have been rather limited in their appeal.
Bottom line is that the fishing is good and getting better. If you have the need for big, nasty, browns and rainbows, you had best get your fix now, because ….. the seasons are changing and will continue to do so for the next month or so and then …… get out your snow shovels. The inevitable is out there and headed right towards the 406. I really don’t care to think about that right now, I’m headed out the door.