The days are getting shorter. The crowds are thinning out. The landscape is beginning to change. The nighttime temperatures are cooling, and soon the trout will enter a different phase of feeding. Fall is coming, and it happens to be one of the best times of the year to fly fish here on our local rivers. As the flows recede and the water temperature drops, the fish turn their focus to feeding voraciously in preparation for the long winter ahead. Matching the hatch gets a little easier with the hatch "menu" shrinking down, consisting of mainly smaller baetis and midge patterns. Some great dry fly and streamer action can also be had during this time.
One of the most underrated segments of flyfishing during this season is in stillwater. I urge you all to keep that in mind when planning your next excursion. I actually know an angler that specifically targets stillwater ONLY in the fall, and swears that it's his most productive time of the year to fish. If you want to learn how fishing stillwater changes this time of year, check out this recent blog post
and consider taking our Stillwater class on September 12th.
Autumn also holds opportunity to get into the larger fish that so frequently evade us during the hot summer months. As most of you know, the brown trout move into rivers to start their spawn. While this can be a touchy subject, there is an ethical way to get your line wet during this time. Actively spawning brown trout are on redds, or spawning beds. These are distinct cleaned areas on the riverbed and are easily identified and should be avoided. Usually they are in 1-2 feet of water in riffle runs with rocky bottoms. While the thought of catching a huge trout in a couple feet of water may be tempting, it is imperative that those fish are left alone. Its very important for us as anglers, to protect these future resources and let nature take her course in letting these fish reproduce. There are plenty of opportunities elsewhere on the river.
Kokanee salmon also make the trek upstream in the fall and can be a ton of fun to catch when they first enter the river. These landlocked salmon completely transform into toothy, hook-jawed beasts that can fight like a freight train. This is basically the only time of the year to catch salmon on the fly in Colorado.
With the unusually high flows of the spring and most of the summer, it is in my estimation that this fall season will be one for the books. This autumn season should be phenomenal statewide and present some of the best fishing of the year. I challenge all of you to think outside the box and check out one of many different areas to fish this fall season. We have a lot of water in this state and most of it will be completely empty of people and full of fish.
Keep an eye out for upcoming Fall specialty guided trips and classes. These will be announced in the near future. We hope to see you out on the rivers, streams, and lakes. Please stop into the shop and we can help you put together your fall patterns or answer any questions you may have.