This post was last updated on April 8th, 2014 at 05:27 pm
A.B.C’s = Autumn Brown Charms
The river is ensconced in hues of emblazoned yellow aspen. The rarified air is promising a transition to the closure of another trout fishing season. Anyone fortunate enough to be on a trout stream anywhere at this time is indeed blessed. But imagine if you will, being in the heart of the grandeur of Swan Valley near the Teton mountain range in Idaho. A glance in any direction provides a scenic vista worthy of a post card.
Now for the challenge, a selective brown trout is wise, experienced and quite wary of the most sophisticated tactics. He will not easily succumb to anything less than a flawless presentation of plausible fare. Your choices at this time include: hoppers, drakes, midges or a well-placed streamer.
On this day there is an abundance of grass hoppers. Many are escapees of adjacent wheat fields moving to avoid the farm harvest equipment. From my fly box, I decide upon an ideal imitation hopper. This fly is one and one quarter inch long. It is tied on a size ten hook. Its belly is yellow foam and the back is comprised of mottled turkey forming realistic wings. The legs are brown hackle and this fly is a perfect imitation of prevailing terrestrial activity. I tie it on to a 4x leader never anticipating the monster awaiting me.
I false cast while observing the flow of the Upper South Fork of the Snake River near Palisades dam. I am seeking the protected haven of a deep pool. I find one bordered by huge boulders offering a likely hideout. With a soft eddy pulling terrestrial insects off the willow foliage, I notice ghost like shadow activity as a big brown feeds just downstream. I make a perfect roll cast which effectively precludes the tell-tale drag of my line. An almost imperceptible subtle break of the surface is followed by a reciprocal powerful fight. This classic brown submarined straight to the bottom of the river. His pull is a throbbing intermittent display of electrifying power. This particular brown possesses the omnipotent strength of an arm wrestler on steroids. He would not move. I had to wade directly into the deep ice-cold pool that he calls home. My rod was lifted high as I ran down the river attempting to preclude his imminent breakaway. Ultimately he found a way to tangle himself around the roots of a fallen willow tree. I thought for sure, “that’s it.” At that moment he miraculously somehow managed to untangle himself and streak another run up the fast flowing river.
An autumnal brown is a piscatorial prize. The brilliant colors of this fish are matched only by God’s painting in the deciduous trees of the fall forest. My heart skipped a beat as I gently slid this prize into my net. At this exact moment my leader snapped and added another dimension to the excitement of autumn brown charms.
He earned my respect and his liberty. I hope each of you reading this have the opportunity to experience this thrill sometime in your life.
Tight Lines….. W.C. III