For many of us in the northeast, the first sign of fall is cooling temps after a long hot summer. Others wait for the leaves to change from lush green to red and gold. And some may find pumpkins and flowers on their neighbors’ porches. A few look for baseball to get closer to the World Series and football to crank up. A select group may even herald the annual arrival of pumpkin spice season.
For me, fall signals the return of trout fishing on one of my favorite local rivers and the chance to get some water to myself. Even the roads seem to have less traffic.
This afternoon I spent a few hours chasing trout in a remote section of the Housatonic. It was an overcast fall day, with temps around 70 degrees and light intermittent showers. While autumn has not yet peaked, there were plenty of twigs and small branches in the water, reminders of the dreaded leaf fish.
For this reason I started with two streamers: The Orange Blossom Special and the Guinness Trout. The Guinness Trout has been a go-to for years, but the Orange Blossom Special is relatively new in my box. I tied it faithfully to the recipe, adding only a bead head. It uses the colors of fall, so I had high expectations. It delivered.
While debris and light rain made dry fly fishing seem more like target practice, the Orange Blossom Special pulled in browns and bows.
Later I used the Guinness Trout for this rainbow.
At one point I stopped and soaked in the beauty of early autumn and the solitude it brings. But then again, for many of us, solitude has not been much of an issue this year.
While I sit here typing, the vice presidential debates are going full force. Not exactly the best background to spur story writing. As the candidates spar from their chairs, weaving, jabbing and bobbing verbally, I’m even more thankful for the chance to get outdoors. In times like these, where politics, economics and finger pointing merge into one corrosive news feed that feels like a cross between a roller coaster and a carousel, we need places enjoy ourselves and recharge, free of the divisive rhetoric.
Hope you are finding time to get out and enjoy yourself in what has been a year like no other (and still has 3 months to go!)