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Float Fishing in Fall

Autumn is setting in quickly here in Colorado. Frost is frequently adorning the windshield, and the bite of winter is showing itself in the early morning hours. This is my favorite time of the year, even the pumpkin spice lattes. I'm a sucker for the cooler temps, warm food, and most of all - fall fishing season.

This past weekend, we were fortunate enough to get on the river with some friends, both new and old. Skylar and I joined our friends Derek, McKayla, Gerald, and Julius on one of our favorite stretches of the river nearby our place. The day was surprisingly warm and threw a middle finger to my earlier words about crisp weather. We met late morning to run shuttle and soon enough, the boats were on the river.

The flows were just low enough to give us some well-deserved hell as we skidded and bounced down stream. The fall colors were showing themselves in exquisite hues of yellow, orange, and green - painting a gorgeous backdrop for our casts and row calls. I took moments to admire the colors as I rowed my half of the group through the thinny skinny. The first portion of the float was surprisingly quiet on the fishing scale, but this didn't detract from the moments of solitude we soaked in. After a mile or so, we pulled over to work a chewy run that looked promising.

Not long after jumping ship, our group started to get into some really enticing bites. McKayla was the first to hook up and released a healthy rainbow back into the pool. Not long after McKayla's tango with a trout, Derek worked a beautiful brown trout into the bucket. He paused for a quick snap before sending the brown back home.

The fish livened up for the rest of the float and responded well to dries, droppers, and streamers alike. One fish would take an RS-2, the next would take a slumpbuster. We all enjoyed tying on a diverse buffet and reaping the rewards until we finally eddied out at the boat ramp. A quick loadout and round of hugs and daps sent us on our way home.

There's no doubt that fall is an opportunistic time of year to fish, and fishing from a boat removes the chances of stomping redds and disturbing breeding water. It's imperative to keep this in mind throughout fall, but can easily be navigated with a bit of attention and education. We were lucky to enjoy nice weather, fantastic company, and some fiesty trout. Days like these are numbered with winter on the horizon, but it's easy to forget about that when the fishing is hot and the company is A-list.

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