The Red Sox are in the World Series, the air is crisp and cool, I have already had to scrape ice off the windows of the cars in the morning, the leaves are almost all off the trees and the fishing is starting to slow down. Having your team in the Fall Classic definitely makes the end of the season a bit more palatable. I was here in Denver in the stands of Coors Field for Game 4 of the series when they swept the Rockies for the championship, hopefully they can do it again.
I have gotten out the last few weekends, and like I had predicted, my target species has switched from high country cutthroats to brown trout in the lower elevation front range creeks. Flows are still high, but manageable. The difficult part has been the spookiness of the fish in relatively high water, so it is tough to see them and when you do it's typically as they blast out of their holding position for cover.
I know streamers would be a good choice for this time of year, but I have never had a lot of success with them on smaller streams. I have seen reports that they are working for others. Beadhead hares ears on a dead drift have been working for me with enough weight to get them down in the higher than average flows. I like to use a split shot with a soft weight on top to provide some depth flexibility.
This past weekend, I barely avoided the skunk, with too reaches that had been good to me this summer yielding nothing in the context of fish in the hand. Air and water temperatures were both much lower than previously. I thought the grey skies would result in a nice afternoon hatch, but I did not see any bug activity and not much feeding activity.
With rain moving in and starting to fall, I hopped out of the car at one last location to see what I could see and spooked one more fish. Things were not looking good. It's been a while since I have been skunked, so I was not prepared for it and was feeling a little down. Almost accepting the impending end of the season. As I peeked over a diversion dam, I spied a handful of fish holding in the pool just below. I didn't have a lot of faith, but went back to the car to grab my rod nonetheless.
As I got into position, I realized these fish were not spooked and were actually feeding, taking something just under the surface. Fish came on every few casts on the same beadhead hares ear from the previous week that I head been casting all day. I had started to doubt my fly choice after throwing multiple casts to the few fish I had seen earlier in the day with no hook ups.
I haven't gotten into any big fish these past few weekends, although a few felt bigger than they were with the flows up. It has been nice to get out and a good surprise to pick up a few fish to extend the season. I can usually catch fish at least into November here and on a neighboring stream fairly reliably, so I wasn't ready for the fishing to be over. With the rain picking up and the temperature dropping, I called it a day after reaching double digits from my skunk salvation hole.
With my success, I figured a snack from the wing place across the street was a good reward. It made the cold, wet, grey drive home all the better.
Fall classics for me are cool weather, football, raking leaves, peace and quiet on the streams, brown trout, good beer and baseball which is made all the better when the Red Sox are in contention for the championship. If you can't tell, I am a Red Sox fan, so Go America and Go Red Sox!