Happy Halloween folks. It’s supposed to be the scariest night of the year. Ghouls and goblins and all that stuff. Good time for kids and semi-adults alike.
Good times have also been the theme over the last month of fishing. It has been one of the best falls for fishing and catching large trout that I’ve seen in many a Halloween moons. The streamer bite has been awesome and when that hasn’t been the thing, double nymphs down low and deep and slow have been accounting for many nice fish, both browns and bows.
And speaking of our ol’ buddy Mr. Brown Trout. Watch where you place your feet out there. There are spawning redds all over the Stillwater and Rock Creek. The other day it was absolutely difficult to avoid all the redds as we caught fish after fish on Rock Creek. It’s great to see that much spawning activity and certainly serves as a sign of a very healthy and functioning stream system. So just make sure you keep your feet where they will do no harm to future generations of fun.
But as good as it’s been, the door is beginning to swing closed for the season. The water temperatures are starting to really head into the cold zone. The morning temps in the low river bottoms have been reading in the mid 20’s to low 30’s and unfortunately stay in that range until damn-near noon. The other day on Rock Creek I measured 49 degrees in the water for a high, which really isn’t all that bad. But as the nights grow longer and the days grow less longer, the inevitable will result a significant decrease in water temperatures. Afternoons are the time to be in the right place with the right stuff. Mornings are for coffee, reading the paper, and tending the fire. All of which has merit.
And now for the obvious….. there’s nobody out here but us chickens!!
And I do mean nobody! I had one of our quasi famous local saw-bones out the other day and in addition to catching about 50 fish over the course of the afternoon, the most commonly heard statement was ….”…. and we have it all to ourselves”. Oh well, some ones got to do it.
One of Many
Happy Halloween A little devil that has taken a shin to floating rivers
The fish are absolutely out doing themselves right now. It’s been ridiculous. The browns are as stunning as they ever get. When the streamer bit is on, there has been more large fish then I’ve seen in quit some time ….. consistently large fish. Nymph fishing is nuts as well. Yesterday, last channel of the day and a even dozen in about 13 cast. Double nymphs consisting of rubber legs and bead-headed whatevers were being pillaged throughout the entire afternoon yesterday. Absolutely ridiculous, one after the other.
And then about 2 pm, the baetis made their appearance. Itty-bitty little buggers, about #18 or #20 in gray flat light bouncing off the rippled surface …. a major issue in seeing them, but by golly, we caught a pile of fish, mostly rainbows and some darn nice ones.
Count down to the end in
Last of the Forget-me-not’s
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Gray Day Underbrush
Just Another Streamer Brown
Serious Stillwater Brown
about a month and then it gonna come to a halt…. It’s now or never time. I’m choosing now.
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.
Boys in the Hood Do’n It Good Look’n for a Fatty
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Rock Creek Fall Fattie