The trees are rapidly changing colors and then loosing their leaves just a few days later it seems. Stands of aspen that were at their peak just last Wednesday were missing most of their leaves by yesterday. The colors have been great while they last though!!!
With the rapid transition in season comes the great fall fishing. Blue-winged olives have been hatching in the canyon sections of local streams and the browns are getting fired up and aggressive towards streamers. They have been dressing up in their fall best as well. Yesterday I fished two streams in RMNP for browns. On the first stream, I was able to be the first person to fish a short section of water and the fish were sitting out feeding.
The day was perfect with just a little wind and the elk bugling for background music. The north facing slopes still held some snow from a few days earlier making it difficult to choose between photography and fishing. In the end, fishing won out...mostly. I did stop to take a few fish pictures and stream shots.
The fish were mostly in the 14-16 inch range with a few smaller ones thrown in. By the time another angler jumped in ahead of me I was ready to explore on another stream.
The next stream also contained a meadow section. I was hoping that its deep pools and undercut banks would also harbor some nice brown trout.
My initial efforts nearly led me to quit, but persistence is always the key to a good day, and I stuck with it. One 10 inch brown flashed on my streamer which told me there had to be some larger fish present. Where there are small browns there are normally some larger fish even if they are rare... Two pools upstream my suspicions were confirmed as a big 21-22 inch fish shot out from under a rock to follow my streamer before slamming its mouth shut and vanishing into the depths.
Moving upstream, I continued to find a few nice fish. Finally, it happened. I found one out looking for a meal and presented a small streamer. Carefully bouncing the streamer along, I saw the fish come over and inhale it. Soon I was taking pictures of a beautiful brown and was convinced that this was a stream worth returning to. In fact, if I didn't have to work I probably would be back today.
I hooked several other nice fish between 14-18 inches but couldn't seal the deal. Eventually I'll be back, maybe even later this week. Of course, with so many other places to explore I may opt to wait until next season. Regardless, I'm glad for the discovery!!!