The end of the season grind is here. I’m over 150 days in of guiding. The last 20 to 30 days available to book are here. It’s been a season. One where I’ve had to pull myself up out of tragedy and some darkness. I’ve surrounded myself with family, close friends, and trout. I’ve spent more time in the woods this year and am camping the rest of the season until it’s over.
It’s been a different season with the off river stuff aside. And the guide life has had its run of shenanigans like a transmission costing me my winter savings, broken rods, 25% more overhead in fuel and food costs for trips, a June lull with the high water that didn’t help, and my guide rig getting smashed into and looted. There’s a flat tire and an axle problem in there somewhere too. A busy year both good and bad.
The fall is my favorite time and I’m one of the best this time of year. I’ve upped my guide game, gotten a little harder on clients, but still keep it pretty chill. I’ve had a great spring and decent summer run. This fall is shaping up to be one of the busiest. The end of October is still wide open with lots of good days to fill with trips and those anglers that aren’t faint of heart with the colder temps, have the chops to strap on those expensive waders and boots, layer up, and cast to hungry eager trout before they go down for the winter are rewarded with some of the best fishing you can find.
This early start to the fall has not disappointed. It is here and the fish are big, plentiful and are dialed in and ready to smash flies. I’ve had some great days with lots of trout up. I’ve had some tough days, but all have had shots at trout. And 80% on the dry all day erry day the past 2 weeks.
The season is a funky one. Trout are still on summer stones and some have switches to caddis. Mind you its October now and the fall bugs are just getting started as the trmps start to dip. We have almost 40 degree swings and that’s not super normal on an extended summer. Trees are starting to turn but it’s later this year. Like everything else. And that means fishing into November is a definite. Wooo! Bwos and half days into the late season. Hot soup, bundled up, and casting little dries to big slurpy trout. Some of the hardest and most technical trouting one can get. It’s my favorite and is a short window every season.
This season saw a lot of new anglers. New faces and a lot of teaching. A lot of new starts and days with lots of missed shots but that’s part of this gig and I’m in it for the long haul building up clients and turning them into amazing anglers over time. And it’s going strong. The fall I get a lot of my regulars and anglers that have fished with me for 8 years. They can chase trout like the best of em. And I always look forward to those days as a guide in the late season. I’ve spent time and a lot of expertise teaching and guiding some of my anglers and those days can be some crazy days. And I’m always working clients that keep coming back and start out new to that level. It’s rewarding for everyone and it builds a brand and client base that follows me wherever I go.
The October Caddis are just getting started and that hatch will shift earlier and earlier into the day as it gets cooler. Craneflies are strong and still going. Lotta little fish on those this season. Big trout have been keyed up on summer stones since beginning of September and they keep hatching with the warm days. The fish are just up on bigger bugs as the caddis are taking over the evening hatch as the stoneflies wane. And bwos are feeding aggressively in the low water algae growth and all the new riffles from the high water have made for some really neat holding amd feeding water for those little bugs. Big trout are on those little nymphs during the day in that faster and Boulder garden water eating the abundant small food source and then switch to big bugs as the light changes. Mornings and after 4 is big dry time. Dropper mid day. Eggs and stones or caddis underneath for nymphing deep, and of course streamers always get nice fish with patience and work. As it cools off the bwos will hatch and fish will fish on top even more, ravenous before the winter temps come in. So we get the best dry fly fishing there is on the Yakima over the next 30 days or so. It’s always good amd there are some chonky monster trout this season. Oooff. Like good fucken trout anglers.
There are days open and I’m always hungry for more before the winter creeps in. I’ll take days into November. There aren’t many left. 15 to 25 more guide days would be quite nice. I’d end on a solid 200 plus trips even with the June lull, and be good for the winter after a cost filled season.
Come on out. It’s always a good time in the fall. Grab those waders and let’s get it anglers.