For most of the year, a trout is worried about eating while not being eaten.  But for the next three weeks, trout split their time between food and survival, and spawning.  Sometimes interrelatedly, often in difficult to understand ways.  Almost all the trout caught on a streamer this time of year are males.  And they are aggressive.  I fish on the rainy days, and I enjoy the wade, and any trout encountered along the way.

A nice trout that showed little hesitation

Not all trout spawn at once, and there are always fish either arriving to or departing from spawning gravel.  Nymphing the pools can be very productive with a regular assortment of nymphs along with an array of small trout sized eggs.  The river is a bit high and off-color and this allows for some easy approaches and some nice tight-line opportunities.  The rainbows, a spring spawner, take advantage of the spawning activity.

Jordan working a sweet, dark pocket

Other anglers head to skinny water and find pods of brook trout – also spawning, but, oddly, willing to rise to the big hatches of tiny blue wing olives that have flourished in the gray afternoons and will continue to do so through the first week of November.  They, too, are willing to chase a streamer.  Check out this northern flame my friend Kevin caught:

As the river cools, I do best fishing smaller black streamers on sink tip lines or were with attachable sink tips.  Once I feel the spawn is nearly over, I fish much larger streamers on slow jigging retrieves for the now very hungry trout.  Almost always black/brown and yellow/brown are the two best color combinations in the late fall and winter.

Kim with a dandy brown

Peak color now sits on the forest floor, or in the river’s flow.  The woods get a hard look and the wind has a bite to it and many of the river cabins have boarded windows.  Our restaurant will close at 11 am, this Sunday, October 27th…and the fly shop will begin winter hours of 9 am – 2 pm, 7 days/week.  It’s the start of the quiet season, and there’s nothing wrong with that either.